Nov 19

Designer Weekly Nov19

If you follow this regularly then you’ve probably noticed it’s a Friday thing. Well,… it wasn’t done. Or rather, it was mostly put together but other more urgent things came up, plus I was mulling the content of the final few links below.

Games exist in a odd place media wise. With movies, the viewer mostly gets the intended experience. With books, there is so much more filled in by the reader than is written down that to each person the story and story world is different. With a performance (street, theater, concert,etc. ) it’s a one-off moment, never to be repeated in quite the same way again. Games share some ground with each of these, and as a creator of experiences and player of games, I strive to make the moments other people spend with my output to have as much impact, as much worth if that’s the right word, as possible.


In game design school? Be an overachiever. – actually, that’s good advice regardless of career level.


Worshiping at the iOS altar

Excerpt: “Game design is about having a god complex,” Bogost points out. “We think we have left God behind these days, but then we worship gadgets, and we want worlds we can’t control with lowercase-gods in charge of them.”


“If we only do cinematics, we’ll never figure out another way to tell story.” – Lee Sheldon, #MIGS


And as Moly was mentioned, here’s a skype thing he did, talking about Curiosity


“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy


Your First F2P Game: Where you will go wrong.

Also check out the links on the side. This is one of those links where the takeaways are by association (unless you are of course making a F2P game J)

Mistake 1 association: Don’t look at other games and assume that the design and its success are linked in isolation. By this I mean that, for example, the plasmids in Bioshock are clever and delightful but are also backed up by a whole gameworld trapping/philosophy to ensure they don’t feel like a cheap excuse for magic.

Mistake 2 association: Real currency or Game currency, a player will spend disposable income on items based on its usable value. That is, the cost of item Vs bankroll Vs in-game effect. A Rocket launcher that is amazing but costs 95% of your available coin and will get used quick or auto dropped on level end is only going to be bought by a very small %.

Mistake 3: Adding constraints that are counter intuitive to reality / that cripple play for the purpose of a better design really pisses players off. Players don’t appreciate it. (that said, few people complain that the char in their FPS is carrying a small armory in their inventory. :)

It runs into more F2P specifics after this, but do stick with it.


Good, but dense piece. If you’re short on time, just read the conclusion, but do get back to it.

When Players Make the Rules

It reminds me of the DesignerTip 29…

 #DesignerTip 29: Expect players to play with the game as much as play the game itself.


Public speaking the Lev Grossman way

Some sage advice on speaking to crowds of, I don’t know, more than 2 people… The reasoning’s are very personable and not at all ‘self-help’.


A fluffy take on game front-ends, but worth a scan. Some valid points.

and now to the meat…

Designing is hard. No, really. Sure some design is quick and easy – but, actually, not really. There’s an aptitude for it that is perhaps innate of genes or background history, but it’s still hard; the responsibility, the dedication, the finesse, the creativity on demand, seeing the end result before it’s started and how it meshes with all gears.

I personally have a love for creation of worlds and experiences, order, mechanics and perfection. You grow older, you make games for different people and differing reasons. You become better at the craft, the job. These posts are an interesting read and they’re likely to poke your introspective gears into action too.




There is, once again, a theme emerging from the voices. About who we are as industry professionals and how we’re feeling about the industry. One thing’s for certain, the industry has mutated over the last couple of years drastically and, with 2013 being ‘the year Kickstarter games deliver’ it’s going to shift some more.



Image is of Vancouver today. Wet. It’s from Roland