"Although it will seem remedial to mention this, all Breakout-style games have at least three things in common – each contains paddles, balls, and target objects for the balls to hit." -- Lego Bricktopia level designer, Mark Nelson, shares his vast of knowledge of Breakout-style games (previously 1, 2) in Breaking Down Breakout: System And Level Design For Breakout-style Games. [more inside]
RockPaperShotgun asks the British game industry how they would make a game out of The Great British Bake Off.
A fan takes a look at the downturn of Sonic the Hedgehog, and presents some ideas on how to breathe new life into the franchise. [SLYT]
Aurion looks to be a standard and mechanically unremarkable retro action RPG with heavy Japanese design influences. But its design and feel are unmistakably fresh, offering a bold color palette and interesting unit designs. Its fiction is rooted in stories of exploitation and division, and in a desire for harmony.This review of Cameroon's Kiro’o Games latest release is just one of the increasingly visible ways Africa's game developers are beginning to gain traction in their domestic and international markets. Last fall, Lagos hosted the inaugural West African Gaming Expo, bringing together startups, gamers, developers and investors for the first time. Games range from mobile only, extremely local - smash the mosquito or drive your matatu like a maniac - to educational - to full fledged RPG like Kiro'o's Aurion. Women are as much a part of this nascent industry, breaking barriers and encouraging others to join. Watch this space.
The designers of the hit iOS game "Threes" reveal the complete design process behind it and their thoughts on clones.
Risk: Legacy, released in 2011, adds an interesting twist to the classic boardgame: it introduces permanent, game-changing modifications to the board and game pieces every time it is played. Last year, the designer of the game, Rob Daviau, gave a fascinating talk on the design challenges inherent in such a game. The video of that talk is now freely available to watch. [more inside]
Untold Riches: An Analysis Of Portal’s Level Design, from RPS, who have been looking at level design in their Level With Me series of interviews. Meanwhile Valve will be announcing something Monday morning - probably not Half Life 3.
There’s an old dream in game design. It drives the design of games like SimCity, Dwarf Fortress, Tropico, The Sims, and Prison Architect. I like to call it the Simulation Dream. - Bioshock Infinite designer Tynan Sylvester on games, complexity, stories and simulation.
Video game character design is frequently questionable, but some designers don't like being questioned. Penny Arcade imagines equal opportunity questionability, while their reporter Ben Kuchera examines the broader issue.
"Today I donated my Xbox 360 Elite to Goodwill. It represented a time in my life as a developer that I'm not overly proud about living." A former Microsoft game designer reflects on how his ex-company turned gaming into a bro thing and perfected a formula for the modern console title.
"Propaganda shields ideas from danger, and I think I'd rather expose ideas to danger. I think that's what I like to make in these games, is to take ideas and say, well, let's see what happens when these aren't protected." With the much anticipated release of BioShock Infinite just two weeks away, EuroGamer sits down for a lengthy chat with creative Director Ken Levine about philosophy, politics and God. [more inside]
Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [more inside]
Take a copy of Monopoly, cover it in lye for a few days, boil from off the bones whatever flesh remains, and give the clean white skeleton a tasteful, minimalist paintjob, and you end up with ONOPO, an extreme reduction of the original boardgame by Metafilter's own Matthew Hollett, aka oulipian. Via mefi projects, hat tip to fastcodesign c/o Rock Paper Shotgun's always-lovely Sunday Papers feature.
Ever played Monopoly? Then you've played a board game that was designed by a woman (it was, under its original title, "The Landlord's Game," the creation of Elizabeth Magie). Want to play more board games designed by women? Let's go! [more inside]
"The experiences of women may not be easy to portray in the aggressive world of videogames. If such a game is made - and I hope it is - it will be because its creators demanded to be heard. It will be created because women made it." (Source)While the vast majority of video game titles are designed primarily by men, women have been a part of video game development since the earliest arcades. Here are some of their games: [more inside]
Broken on Purpose: Why Getting It Wrong Pays More Than Getting It Right - 'It doesn’t end with Facebook, either. Being broken pays off, so social media is often deliberately broken. In fact, nearly every major social network, site or app has greedily pursued this logic.' [more inside]
Even if you don't have a fondness for building-sized, stomping war machines, you might find this detailed interview and pictorial about the process of designing, from concept to texturing, a mech interesting.
Both inside and outside the walls of Facebook, the story of social games has become one of dead geese and golden eggs, flatlined growth, formulaic games and shady practises. Many warned that the sector was slowing down, but sometimes giants need to fall. It needs to get bad enough before people start to really consider what's next... So what comes next?
Having previously been disappointed by the information available on the topic, this is my attempt at categorizing different ways to implement 2D platform games, list their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss some implementation details.
How I invented games, and why not - an essay by game designer Christian Freeling. Between 1979 and 1986 I invented some fourty abstract games, most of which can be found in the ArenA and the Pit. Dameo, HanniBall, YvY and Symple(x) are exceptions. Dameo's invention in 2000, after an incubation period of fifteen years, took two minutes. The invention of HanniBall and YvY in 2009 and Symple and Lhexus in 2010 were 'live' occurences decribed in a late arrival and a final whisper respectively. Looking back now, from a safe distance, and with the benefit of hindsight, I'd like to clarify how and why I invented these games, and more specifically why not...
Trigger Happier "Trigger Happy is a book about the aesthetics of videogames — what they share with cinema, the history of painting, or literature; and what makes them different, in terms of form, psychology and semiotics. It’s offered under a CC license, for a limited time only. I’m not sure how limited that time will be, so grab it while it’s hot." [drm-free pdf]
Level editor for Super Mario World.
You'll need a SNES emulator and a Super Mario World ROM.
You'll need a SNES emulator and a Super Mario World ROM.
Ctrl+right-clickto insert objects.)
Thinking with Type The online companion to the book of the same name offers a nice little online primer on the finer points of typography, including my favourite new online game: Dumb Quotes. Remember kids: only you can prevent poor kerning.
The Movie Alphabet Game is harder than it looks. I'm stuck on C, O, U, and X. When you're through with that, try the second one.