CGD Podcast Episode 30 – Deepities, a new Frank Lantz article, and updates

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In this episode I discuss the concept of deepities and how it applies to game design writing. I also discuss a new Frank Lantz article on Ian Bogost‘s new book—an article that, it seems to me, pushes against progress in game design in some ways.

(Don’t forget to check out episodes 23 and 24 where I talked with Frank on the show, if you haven’t already.)

Finally, I talk a little bit about some personal updates with me, my 2-3 upcoming games, and Codex (which I’m still playing).

Thanks for listening! If you like the show, show your support by making a pledge on my Patreon page.

CGD Podcast Episode 27: Broad Statements with Richard Terrell

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Had a great conversation with Richard Terrell, designer of Bara Bari Ball who’s currently working on designoriented.net. He’s also been on the podcast before, so I would go back and listen to Episode 6 where we spoke earlier this year.

The conversation went really well. We talked about language, “broad vs. narrow statements”, Auro and its reception, and a lot more.

Enjoy!

 

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Feminists/social progressives: stop making excuses for violence glorification

The day after the horrifying Orlando shooting, a friend was inviting me to play Overwatch. It was a weird moment. I felt like, I don’t know—maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t feel like running around with a gun shooting at people right at that moment for some reason.

Some E3 events began that night. Everyone was talking about a new Quake game’s announcement on social media. I found it to be pretty distasteful, and actually felt a little bit bad for the people who had to present this stuff at a time like this. Then again, I always find E3-type events pretty distasteful, so I felt like, well, it’s probably just me again. Continue reading “Feminists/social progressives: stop making excuses for violence glorification”

The Virtuosity Scale

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One thing to think about when designing a game is trying to figure out what “degree of virtuosity” you want to allow. I mean this in a bit of a prescriptive way, which I’ll explain.

Some games offer you a huge number of possible choices per “turn” or per “moment”. Having a high degree of range of motion means more potential for creative actions. You can literally do something that ten onlookers watching hadn’t even considered. I’d say abstract games with a big grid like Go are good examples, but also complex real time games like StarCraft or Team Fortress 2 certainly qualify here, too. We’ll say that these games have “high virtuosity”. Continue reading “The Virtuosity Scale”

Auro’s out on iOS! (Finally!)

The game I’ve been designing for four years now, Auro, is finally out on iOS! Grab it here.

Also, just a reminder, it’s also out on Android.

Because of the release, the article writing / 3MGD is a bit delayed. But don’t worry, I have two articles and one 3MGD episode in the pipeline.

Clockwork Game Design is now available for pre-order!

For the last year or so, I’ve been working hard on a book called Clockwork Game Design. It details a clear, useful design pattern for building elegant strategy games.

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How does it differ from my first book, Game Design Theory: A New Philosophy for Understanding Games? Game Design Theory was very broad. It talks about the history of interactive systems design, it talks about other forms such as puzzles and toys, and it talks a lot about modern videogames and some specific problems with them.

Clockwork Game Design is narrow and focused. It asks a specific question: how do we go forward with strategy game design? How do we make games that are significantly better than the ones we’ve made in the past? How do we make games that are not only easier to learn than existing games, but also have longer life-spans?

The answer is in the Clockwork Design Pattern.

The Clockwork Design Pattern is one that starts with a core mechanism – a basic action that is the primary means of interaction with the system. Supporting mechanisms support – but do not fight with – the core mechanism, and all of this is anchored by the Goal. The Goal is the ultimate expression of the core mechanism action.

To the extent that designers are able to create depth and elegance, they’re already using elements of this design pattern without even necessarily knowing it.

If you want to design strategy games, and you can only own one book on the topic, it should be Clockwork Game Design. Pre-order it now on Amazon.com!