Tag: design

The 10 Games You Should Have Played

This is a belated response to Brian’s post (which is a response to Adam’s post).I’m going to speak as a designer rather than a gamer, and list some titles which I think teach us something about game design rather than necessarily being the best gaming experiences available. Yet I accept they are biased towards my…


The importance of abstraction

From the late 90s to the present day, many commercial games have been focused on some sort of realism – graphical photorealism, real-world physics, etc. Certainly when you look at the man-hours spent on most game software you’ll see far more of it invested in features that further the simulation aspects: eg. the creation of…


Understanding what facilitates meaningful strategy in games

Often we invent games by taking an existing game that works and adding a twist to it, or changing some aspect of its behaviour or theme to something different. But how would we create a game from nothing, without using an existing game as a framework? In particular, how do we make the game complex…


Crossover games and explaining them to the audience

There’s a post on Penny Arcade from a few weeks back which is complaining that a certain game BrĂ¼tal Legend seems to masquerade as one type of game (ie. a Real Time Strategy game) while actually being something else (a third person action-RPG). The tone of the article is that games shouldn’t be mixing one…


Pitfalls of using wikis for game design documents

I recently made a post on this issue over at Gamedev.net, and thought I’d clean it up a bit to post over here, as I think it’s worth talking about. Designers are often looking for new and better ways both to create and present their design documents, and rightfully so. Just as programmers may try…


Dissecting a ‘simple’ game

Apologies in advance for the length of this entry; there’s a short summary in the last paragraph if you’re pressed for time! A few weeks ago, in a moment of extreme boredom, I stopped to watch the snooker player Stephen Hendry score the maximum possible ‘break’ of 147 points. (13 minute video.) Snooker is not…


Does ‘games as art’ have to mean ‘games as metaphor’?

In recent times there has been growing recognition of “games as art”, a term which is necessarily as vague as the wide scope of “games” and “art” allows, but which tends to evoke very specific images. The mainstream games industry tends towards heavily simulation-based 3D games with increased levels of fidelity in terms of rendering,…