Analysis: Wandering Willows And Game Narrative

Writer and designer Emily Short takes a look at storytelling and narrative PlayFirst's non-combat casual RPG Wandering Willows, to see how its game mechanics support its survival-in-the-wild fantasy.

Emily Short: "My childhood fantasies always began with being orphaned. Nothing against my parents, you understand -- the details of their untimely demise were always airbrushed out of the story as too upsetting to contemplate. But no really good adventures could happen to me while they were around.

I imagined that once free of parental protection I would spend my time foraging, picking nuts and berries, building a primitive shelter, digging firepits and catching fish.

It was a scenario that drew heavily from Island of the Blue Dolphins, Little House in the Big Woods, and Julie of the Wolves, but minus the gritty realism."

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