Mar 25

Designer Weekly Mar25

Another week, another bounty of articles. Although a mini bounty, lots of the good stuff kept till GDC.

I did have a post on topic, but you all have enough to read without me adding to the pile. It’ll keep. On with the show!


Level Design in a day.

I’ve spent many years studying and applying level design techniques and innovations and yet we can all learn more and I love to hear experts speak on the topic. Seth’s first note about halving a room should also be reflected in the fact that a level designer rarely is directly responsible for all the assets placed in a level and therefore should take extra care to anticipate performance later down the road (and where possible bump for good profiling tools and performance milestone dates.)

This should pretty much be a must read for anyone responsible in building a level, from LD’s to world artists to lighting, animation, etc., etc.

I quite like the term ‘alpha corridor’ and ‘beta room’. may use that :)

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Mar 18

Designer Weekly March18

A weekly roundup of articles of interest to the design contingent out there.

Koster on QTEs.

The ‘surprise!’ QTE is the one I despise the most.

Ones that don’t appear until the final boss or just the last 1/3 of the game often feel cheap too- or to be more precise, they feel like a disservice to the player to have them refine their skill of a mechanic throughout the game only to have them have to accurately perform a different skill to proceed/complete, and it’s compounded when it doesn’t fit.

I liked the QTE multi -stage knife fight at the end of Turok, it worked. After plasma guns, rocket launchers, helicopters and so forth the up-close-and-personal matched well. Similarly the 1 button extended mashing at the end of COD:MW2 took the Gervais approach and used that time required to reflect the difficulty of the task Soap was performing.


“Some game ideas are like a fire in your brain. Like falling in love. You can’t focus, sleep, etc.”

- @SolomonJake

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Mar 11

Designer Weekly March11

Skipped a week last week, lots of new work to get stuck into as new Lead Designer at Nine Tail Studios working on a damned exciting project :)


“When brilliant minds, attitudes, and talents come together to form one goal – expect masterpiece”

- John Ruskin

This quote encapsulates well the attitude I feel towards teams developing games; It’s that combined energy and individual histories and talents that create something.

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Feb 25

Designer Weekly Feb25

Designer Weekly time again. A round up of articles with a designery flavor. I’ll admit that by not commuting my time hunting for said articles is reduced, however I hope you get something out of the below and also enjoy Project Orange when it’s done.


Designing puzzles that make players feel smart

A free lecture from the GDC vault from 2009. Randy Smith breaks it down and I enjoyed his delivery too. As with any good talk there are tangents and takeaways that go beyond the expected.

Also linked up next to this on the Gamasutra site is a video: Why Bungie spent so long fine-tuning Halo’s plasma rifle. They’re both an hour each, so ensure you’ve the time :)


“i am going to succeed because i am crazy enough to think i can”

- @sonia

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Feb 18

Designer Weekly

Ah Monday. You bright dawn of the week you. Last week was wind-down and handover from previous role which I left on Thursday. Friday I luxuriated by being ill (yeah, thanks immune system, nice one.) but the weekend saw a new beginning; Developer account created, test balloon app whipped up and uploaded, etc. etc. More on that adventure soon – 1st game in progress!

To the designer weekly then.


DICE speech videos

This link is to the JJ&GN keynote, but there side links there to other good pieces. Newell’s opening note on Next Steps is also worth your time.


 The 6 Stages of Debugging: That can’t happen. That shouldn’t happen. Hmmm, weird. Why does that happen? Oh, I see. How did that ever work?”


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