Aug 17

Designer Weekly Aug17

Popcap’s Secrets of Game Design.

It’s high level, but an interesting read. There are counter points and considerations not detailed, but this shows how they look at game development and there are definite takeaways. I like 7. It’s often not polished enough in most titles, usually because it’s different disciplines that aren’t unified and directed together.


“You have to keep improving yourself somehow. Not because you aren’t good enough, but because you’ll stagnate if you don’t.”



Breakdown of mechanics in Portal 2.

This is a good info-graphic of portal 2. I’d have like to have seen how their “1. Learn 2.Play 3.Challenge 4. Surprise” cycle fits into it all. Maybe that’s something for a spare 5 minutes…


5 good tips on presenting.

Things presenters should know about people

For designers, this works for company speeches but also 1-1 interactions.


“Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it. “



Competition vs Co-operation

Some findings on co-op gaming. You could of course extrapolate this to AI NPC characters providing they were smart enough and endeared to you.


“The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail.”

Mark Twain


Also interesting this week from a design perspective is the identification of mental lock-up identified at the beginning of this post:


Think about the player and how they handle the experiences you throw at them. Even as a highly experienced developer and gamer I still get those moments of game paralysis where during play I don’t know WTF I’m supposed to be doing, looking at or paying attention to whilst the pressure of the moment is high usually all thanks to unavailable information rather than skillset.

If you’re going to throw something different at the player, give them time to acclimatize and adjust. Steer well clear of Trial and Error Gameplay.


“I never did a day’s work in my life- it was all fun.”

Thomas Edison



A new way of designing mechanics. I’ve yet to try it but I’m keen to see it in action.


Temporal Reviews

A short follow up piece from me relating to groups 3 and 4 from the 5 degrees of design separation.



Image by Pink Sherbert