What does it mean for a game to involve a lot of “mind games”? Can you really make “reads” off of an opponent and predict what he’s going to do? What’s the difference between “reading the opponent” and “a lucky guess”? This episode explores these questions, discussing games like Poker, Street Fighter, Rock Paper Scissors, Yomi and more.
What does it mean when something is a “classic”? I think there’s actually a huge problem here that needs to be explored. New work is created using new cultural and scientific understandings, and it’s universally better in almost every case. We need to understand and appreciate this fact, and stop glorifying things just because they’re old.
In this episode, you’ll also hear me talk about classic games like Go and Chess, as well as talk about a better distinction between art and entertainment. Enjoy, and let me know what you think below.
In this episode I talk about my process of five major stages in game design. I also talk about how game design is not a guaranteed thing. We tend to think of game design in terms of “designing lots of games”, sort of “churning them out”, when in fact, we should be thinking of it a lot more like how we think about apps. Are you going to “design” another word processor or banking app? Probably not, unless you’re going to solve some major problem that exists with those. Yet with videogames, we feel comfortable doing just that because our word processor app has a green logo instead of a red one.
Today I talked about how and why games work best with a 50% winrate (even single player games). That’s because learning in games is extremely hard due to their inherently complex and ambiguous nature. Getting a loss when you had a 10% chance to win doesn’t necessarily tell you much about your choices in that match. In order to learn, you must compare yourself to yourself.
In addition, I talked a lot about why single-player is considered a strange thing for strategy games.
In 2003, I was a very serious WarCraft III player. If I recall correctly, I have over 5,000 one-on-one ladder matches logged on my Battle.net account. I watched replays every day and even did some highly amateurish commentaries myself. It’s interesting to note that some of my first-ever “internet game design articles” were WarCraft III design/strategy analyses for sites like wcreplays.com. Continue reading →