Gaming Syntax: Using Sentence Construction to Think About Level Design

Jason Rice: "...It is from this most recent study, an audio series called Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft, that I found my understanding of game design develop further based on an idea from another discipline. The lecturer in the series is Brooks Landon, who discusses very early in the series about how one could describe the construction of a sentence using an XY graph. Along the vertical or Y axis, the words of the sentence appear. The lower on the graph you go, the less specific the word is.

For instance, the word "food" might be quite low on the graph, while "linguini" or even "linguini in lobster sauce" would be much higher. Depending on the idea you want to convey or the image you want to put into the mind of your reader, you will choose words of varying specificity up and down that Y axis as you construct a sentence. The X axis then becomes about syntax, the ordering of the words into something meaningful.

Depending on where the words are placed in a sentence, how they are ordered to express ideas as a series of steps, the same words can create quite different experiences for the reader."

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