Other Writing

In addition to novels, games and comics Mark has written for other media. While a student in 1978-79 he wrote and published his own fanzine and also wrote for the Teenage Depression fanzine. In the eighties and nineties he did some freelance copywriting (manuals, advertising copy, press releases) and wrote a couple of articles for computer game magazines.

While an academic he published research papers, created conference posters and gave talks (slides here). He also created extensive teaching materials around game design and development, including storytelling in games.

Fear Magazine – Plague of Hearts

Mark had a six page horror story published in issue 18 of the British anthology magazine Fear (1988-1991). The magazine was edited by John Gilbert.

An Investigation of Ambient Gameplay – PhD Thesis

Inspired by Brian Eno’s ambient music, which is persistent and supports different levels of engagement, this research explores ambient gameplay in computer, video and pervasive games. Through the creation of original games containing ambient gameplay and looking for ambient gameplay in existing commercial games, this research focuses on gameplay that supports a range of depths of player engagement. This research is not concerned with ambient intelligent environments or other technologies that might support ambience, but focusses on gameplay mechanisms.

The research started in 2004, PhD completed 2012. The thesis can be downloaded here: An Investigation of Ambient Gameplay

With his colleague Roger Eglin he wrote a chapter ‘Outlining a Game Design Research Strategy’ for the book ‘Extending Experiences: structure, analysis and design of computer game player experience’, edited by Olli Leino, Hanna Wirman and Amyris Fernandis (Lapland University Press 2008). This was all tied in with his research while at the University of Portsmouth.