I WOULD LOVE THIS ANNO STYLE GAME. I really like the ideas you're cooking! My first mafia game is in the vetting process too and I'm really excited about modding.
I don't have many concrete ideas about games right now, but I'd like to make something someday like Firewatch. I have a creative writing background so story structure is really important to me and Firewatch has a really excellent narrative structure, the likes of which we don't often see in games. But I love strategy and building games (not minecraft though...) - I'd love to make a mod for something like Crusader Kings II but man, the complexity!
What are the unity projects you were talking about? Also, can you send me a link to one of your papers (preferably open access or arxiv or something)? I'm quite interested in how something like that looks.
I just remembered that you also asked how I got into the field. Well, I wanted to do experimental physics, because theory almost always involved more or less involved pen+paper calculations and that's not really what i enjoy about physics. I also wanted to do something with light, because, well, I don't know why. That left 3-4 groups at my university where I could do my Bachelor thesis (and a few external research institutes but as Bachelor student I didn't really know about them). Also quantum computation stuff is really fascinating and that's a possible application for what is done in the group I'm in now. Add to this that we have a really relaxed and awesome working atmosphere (including a big breakfast at our weekly group meetings) and possibly the nicest Prof I know, I jumped into there. We also have some old Italian coffee machine ("Mr. Coffee" who is a semi-official group member) that's apparently makes really awesome coffee, but I don't really drink coffee, so I can't judge that. I then did my Master's thesis in the same group, because a) I liked it there and b) it was the way of least resistance.
Opened up your thesis and it warms my rhetorician's heart to see the intro couched in the classics. So much of what we do is still grounded in classical rhetoric. I've never really thought about the transmission of information in these terms, even though so much of my work is focused on technology. Interesting.
The only paper in general I have that's openly available is more a review of the game Her Story as a tool for writing classes - a rhetoric journal decided to start including work on games for the classroom, and I got picked to write the first one (with a friend) because of my advisor, but I do a lot of my thoughtwork for our blog and podcast and recently I did go through some data from major games studies journals in that way, coding self-reported gender of authors at the journals' inceptions and more recently. www.nymgamer.com/?p=16637 One of my points here is that representation in the field should be more equal at all levels, and certainly should change over the years, but we're not really seeing that. But the stuff for the blog isn't formal, just kind of where I work out my ideas, like writing about the game Reigns and Foucault or whatever random connections are happening at the moment in my brain. It's nice to have a place to keep all that, though.
Are you familiar with the work of Karen Barad? That's another overlap for us, potentially; her degree is in theoretical physics but she's one of those amazing people who ends up doing All The Things and we use a lot of her work in posthumanism.