Clockwork Game Design Podcast – Episode 2: Distractions


Episode 2, already!?¬†Yep! I spent essentially all day one day recording both of these episodes, because I wanted to really get the ball rolling. It’s kind of annoying to have just one episode of a podcast, I feel like.

Today’s episode deals with the distractions and other obstacles that have slowed our growth in the path to progress in game design. I think I’ve gotten much more into the groove with this episode – now with fewer “ums” and less housekeeping!

Here’s a few things I said I’d link to in the show notes:

Greg Costikyan’s “I Have No Words & I Must Design”

Richard Terrell’s old site – also, his new site.

For those who want a direct feed URL, go here:

As always, please let me know what you think of the episode. And if you’d like to support the show, visit


The Clockwork Game Design Podcast – Episode 1: Introductions and Asymmetry


Introducing the Clockwork Game Design Podcast. Episode 1 is an introduction, as well as a shorter discussion of my recent Asymmetry in Games article.

Most episodes will just be me, but we do plan on having guests from time to time. The opening theme was composed by Blake Reynolds.

For those who want a direct feed URL, go here:

To support this podcast, please visit

My League of Legends Suggestions

9otURYhI don’t usually do things like this(although I did do it once for American football), but I’ve been playing League of Legends for a couple of years now and I have a bunch of thoughts on the game. I myself am far from a good player, but I have watched a decent amount of pro games and commentary and I have friends who are much more serious than myself will will review these suggestions to make sure they aren’t just just silly “noob” ideas before I post!

Here are my “changes that they should make right now”. These are changes which I have a high level of certainty in and which Riot should do immediately. Continue reading

Asymmetry in Games



A few years ago, I had written an article called “Debunking Asymmetry“. I think that that piece makes some mistakes about how it framed some of the problems of asymmetric forces in games.

Quickly, a definition – “asymmetry”, in this context, refers to the player or players having different abilities from the start of a match. A Street Fighter II character, a StarCraft race, or a Magic: The Gathering deck all would qualify (for the purpose of this article, I will just use “character” to refer to any of these, as a shorthand). Continue reading

We Should Patch Our Games

I’ve been hearing more and more voices crying out against patching recently, and I wanted to unpack some of what people have said. I think this is one of the many designer-to-player communication issues that crops up in the games conversation, and so here is a designer trying to improve on(“patch”) that aspect, so that hopefully we can have better conversations in the future. Continue reading

Psychological Exploitation Games


We tend to think about things that are designed to cultivate addiction with disgust for a very good reason. When we think about casinos, or drug dealers, or pyramid schemes, I think it’s reasonable to have a strongly negative reaction; even more so when we think about those who actually end up falling into the chasm – those who get addicted. Addiction is a terrible thing, and those who actively try to bring it on should be – and mostly are – maligned in our society. Our disgusted responses to “the drug dealer” or “the pyramid scheme salesperson” are useful defense mechanisms against something that’s actually “offensive”; something that goes on the offense against our well-being and mental health. Continue reading