Nov 18

Designer Weekly

It’s that time again people. Designer weekly. A round up of articles that have caught my designer eye this week, and why.

What is a game

If you’re a designer then you inhabit an interesting space in the company hierarchy. You need to understand the differences between toy and game, between critical agency and busy work, hard rules and soft, and why those all matter.

I quite like the definition ‘an interactive rewarding experience, with rules’.

Shifting gears, I didn’t mention last week that Gamasutra have been running some excellent features and feature blogs recently. Always a good source for designers, ensure you’re on their mailing list as I don’t post most of their articles as I assume you read them already!

A nifty collection of resources for Indie Game Developers.

A thank you to @omglazerkittens for the link as well as making me chuckle at the name. I did read it as omg Glazer kittens, which of course is a different thing. There’s just so much here, but check out some of the documentaries and of course the ‘big list of game design’.


The Creative Process
1. This is awesome
2. This is tricky
3. This is shit
4. I am shit
5. This might be ok
6. This is awesome

- @MarcusRomer


Side note. I was playtesting the latest build of Monsters Rising out and about when some randomer struck up a conversation, “hey that looks cool”, “My brother, has a friend who’s cousin works for EA” (it’s Vancouver, everyone knows someone who knows someone at EA :) , etc etc. and clearly this person was a mild ‘gamer’ at best. They play smartphone games on and off, but not really all that much.

A discussion earlier that day on F2P/mobile gaming/time slices led me to probe this man-on-the-street into their perception of games and how they operate. Yeah… they dislike F2P. They’re not fooled for an instant about what’s expected in a free product. More so if it appears like a ‘well done’ game. “But that’s what I expect for free… and I don’t really spend all that much time playing games”. The question was, if it was better and cost you 1.99 would you buy it and play it. The answer was ‘yes, but probably if someone recommended it to me first.’

I get the impression some look at the numbers and don’t see the people. I’m here for the business and the game, so I want to make a product people will pay for, that then drives more sales. I don’t think the race to the bottom is dead, but I think consumers are far more savvy than many give them credit for.



How to make shooting feel good

Far from being a detailed breakdown of the minutiae of bullet physics in Man Shooter 9000 it’s an interview with the developer of Nuclear Throne. The feel of any feature is tricky to articulate properly and to the definition required, right of the bat. You can say “I want this ship sailing to make me feel like king of the world’ or spelunking to feel ‘like a fog of impossible darkness pushing in, where light itself is as oxygen’, but that’s just the leaping off point, particularly with games. You’ve got to get in there and define these details individually and holistically, across discipline too.

Cutting the DW short, have a post on IP for you…