Apr 02

Designer Weekly April 2

Well the GDC tornado tore all up the place with insights, tidbits, exclusives and controversy. Much of the content is out there for the hungry to find and digest, here’s a smattering.


How I got my mom to play through Plants vs. Zombies.

If you need a reason to watch this then you’ve never played PvZ.

“Remember folks: presentation is everything, but gameplay > graphics”



Free to play, almost a weekly section in itself:

five free-2-play ideas – quick and blue sky. debatable suggestions regarding efficiency.

Players hate buying virtual currency – profits x12. twelve-fold!!!
- seriously though folks, this point: “We made all the items that change the game, free.” I’m curious if there are any iOS stories on the same tack.

5 reasons why Freemium games usually suck (pic)

Social gaming to social gambling. Another story in the changing industry. around the 5 min mark he talks about working with established/expected mechanics and play style. 8 min video, watch! (7 if you skip the part 2 preview).


 ”Beating the cliche doesn’t mean giving in…”

- George Bray


Miyamoto toned down Starglider to create Star Fox

“No idea must go into a game, even if they are good ideas.”  or rather “you can build ideas and then, by destroying them, find other ideas hiding in the shadows.”


“Good stories are constructed, they’re not found.  Emergence can only get us so far.”

- Warren Spector


Warframe and creating dynamic levels

I’ve admittedly only played for a short while and I can see some good building blocks in there, but I’m not swayed so far – which I guess for a f2p isn’t a good sign. I also love the idea of swords and armored suits, but in the few games I’ve been in the enemy is always taken down by gunfire from my teammates before I get to land the blow :(


Why intuitive interface is a myth

Thanks to @hellchick for this. who can also be found talking shop, here.


 ”The important part of UX design is figuring out what doesn’t work before it gets all the way down to the engineers” – Caryn Vainio / @Hellchick


Quick one:  Marvell. iconic. 40 seconds

“Stop thinking about platforms, think about venues… hearth, reading nook, anywhere, workbench”

-  @SebGrinke (?)


Foreplay – romance in games

Podcast of the audio from the PAX East panel.


“You can’t overhype your game, you can only under-deliver”

- Chris Hecker on hyping your indie game


What attracts people to violent movies

I don’t like scary movies. Odd given my fondness for the Aliens franchise (I’ve not played it, don’t ask). I do find people absolutely fascinating – more so since becoming a designer. So to try and understand why people will voluntarily get scared witless is a mission I’ll accept.


Lots this week. many more great articles, podcasts, videos, quotes, etc. that will surface from GDC throughout April I’m sure.





Develop have a 1 page linkathon of all their articles.

image by magnezja