BoRT’cast over at Man Bytes Blog

BoRT stands for Blogs of the Round Table. It is a monthly challenge run by Corvus Elrod of Man Bytes Blog. There he describes a challenge and any that wish to take it up in a post can. For the month of January the challenge was as follows:

Putting the Game Before the Book What would your favorite piece of literature look like if it had been created as a game first? In a time when bits of Dante’s Divine Comedy are being carved out and turned into a hack-n-slash game, I find myself longing for intelligently designed games–games with a strong literary component–not merely literary backdrops. So rather than challenge you to imagine the conversion of your favorite literature into games, I challenge you to supersede the source literature and imagine a game that might have tried to communicate the same themes, the same message, to its audience.

Feel free to ignore the technical constraints of the era in which the book was written. In fact, feel free to ignore the technical constraints (within reason) of today and push the envelop a bit. Also notice that I didn’t specify video game. Feel free to imagine a board game, card game, RPG, or sport, that could have been created during the same time period as the book in question. Be as vague, or as detailed, about the design particulars as you like. Work together with another blogger, or work alone.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Well many blogs contributed their design concepts, including yours truly. It was an interesting game design challenge and will be further continued in February:

Turning Over a New Leaf: (We’re trying something new with the topic this month, so please read carefully.) February’s BoRT invites you take a game design suggested by another blogger in last month’s Round Table and build upon it. You should ignore the literary source of the original design, but attempt to communicate the same themes and/or convey the same mood as the proposed game. This means you can alter the game genre, change the setting, and add new layers to the game mechanics. This is not an opportunity to critique a previous design, but to honor it by striving to reach the same goals, while adding your own personal touch.

After the January challenge concluded at the end of the month, Corvus held the first ever Round Table podcast. He drafted in three guests to talk about their favorite entry and why it was their favorite. They also get into some of the design aspects of the ideas. It’s a good listen and only around 30 minutes long.

You can listen/download here:

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Eric Swain

A graduate of Boston University, majoring in English and Creative Writing and has spent significant time studying story structure and theory in the mediums of books, film and video games. His articles offer unique perspective on deep game development and design through his eclectic prose. you can find his critical analysis on

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