Maybe people have changed, and today we want different things from games than the ancient Egyptians wanted from Senet. Maybe they found the shuffling rhythms of the game of passing to be thrilling, or at least true: the smallness of human life captured against the unchanging vastness of the landscape of the gods.
"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]
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.
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]
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]
The complete story of the collaboration between Asher Vollmer and Greg Wohlwend on Puzzlejuice. [more inside]
It's just another clever colour matching game. It seems to be getting trickier and trickier, but don't let that confuse you - it's all about matching the colours perfectly.
In 1992, influential game designer Chris Crawford left the game industry to further pursue his vision of interactive story telling. But not before giving a little speech at that year's CGDC. Topics include the future of game design, the genesis of art, and slaying dragons. [more inside]
Tim Rogers has written a long piece about the evils of social gaming and the mechanics of getting players to pay for virtual items. This, in reaction to certain mechanics in the new facebook mega-game, The Sims Social, which Tim has also reviewed, calling it "A Love Letter from a Computer Virus"
Tabletop: Analog Game Design - A commons licenced book containing a series of essays about digital and non-digital games from some esteemed boardgame veterans: "Much has been written about the videogame revolution, [...] In a scant thirty some-odd years, we’ve grown from nothing to one of the world’s largest entertainment forms, grossing tens of billions annually [...] Works that discuss the evolution of the game industry from an historical perspective generally talk about the connection between the pre-digital arcade and the earliest digital games; I’ve even heard some claim that “without the arcade, videogames would not exist.” This is, of course, bosh..." [more inside]
"Challenge: Create a game. The game can be of any theme or genre you desire, but there is one restriction: You're creating a 'new classic,' like Chess, Tag or card games. So, create a game to be enjoyed by generations of players for a thousand years. Prize: $1,000 to the winning entrant, to be announced and awarded January 1, 2012." Daniel Solis' Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge. [more inside]
For the 25th Game Developers Conference, organizers hosted several postmortems for classic games such as Out Of This World, Doom, and Maniac Mansion. They are now free to view online. [more inside]
"We put in a level system because that led you out of the class system," he says. "There was nothing stopping you from going up a level because you were a girl, or because you were slightly socially inept, or because you are from the North of England. It was a kind of meritocracy where everybody could succeed." Richard Bartle talks about the design of the original MUD. [more inside]
These are all the Twinkie Denial Conditions described in my “Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!” Designer’s Notebook columns. Each one is an egregious design error, although many of them have appeared in otherwise great games.
What can one learn from the design choices of past games? John Harris discusses different game aspects, 20 games at a time, at Game Design Essentials. You can read on 20 Open World Games (where generally the player is left to his own devices to explore a large world), see your destroyed controllers in a new light with 20 Difficult Games or check out 20 Mysterious Games (that rely on algorithmically-generated content or emphasize secret-hunting), 20 Unusual Control Schemes and 20 Atari Games. What about roguelikes, you say? [more inside]
Tryangle cannot be defined, but it's way fun. Use it to easily create angular art pieces, then share your creation with the teeming masses on the Tryangle Flickr pool.
You say you want a Revolution? This morning at the Tokyo Game Show, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata unveiled the unique controller for the company's upcoming video game console, code named Revolution. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto demonstrated the device to the press with a series of hands-on demos. While no full games have yet been shown on the system, the controller offers many possibilities for novel, accessible, and compelling game experiences.
I always thought Bruce Campbell would be perfect to play the guy from Doom. And yeah, Howie Long is a dead ringer for Duke Nukem. But looking at how much Mr. T looks like Barrett from Final Fantasy 7 and Winona Ryder looks like Vice from King of Fighters I have to wonder how much of this is on purpose? Of course there are the exceptions.
Evil Pupil. A game? A work of art? Something entirely different? Welcome to the weirdly beautiful world of Quebecois Interweb designer Yohan Gingras. You can click and drag various elements on nearly all of his pages (I recommend "Evil Pupil / V.2" as a starting point) to discover, well, new things to click and drag. Just don't ask him what you are supposed to do or he will call you a dumbass.