CGD Podcast Episode #19: The Process, and Designing Games Like Applications


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.

What’s your design process like?

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  • alastair_jack

    I think this is my favorite episode so far!

  • Thanks!

  • Jereshroom

    My tabletop game design pretty much follows that pattern.
    I generally end up moving on to a different game whenever I reach a brick wall, and coming back when I figure out a solution.

  • hilbert90

    I like what you say about the number of games needed. I know some people’s motivations are less than pure: pop out some piece of trash that makes it big for an unknown reason, netting a ton of money for little time investment.

    But for the most part, I’m amazed at the number of people who put in a serious effort making uninteresting, slightly tweaked versions of other games. I’ve done this computation before. As an adult, it’s stretching it if I actually put in 2 hours a day on a game. Let’s call that 700 hours a year (certainly much less in reality). I’ve always said a good game should net me 500+ hours if it has a lot of depth (e.g. I’ve probably put in more than 3 times that for Go and still suck). For me at least, it seems that 10 excellent games should last me 10 years, and if I’m playing them in rotation, even longer!

    I know there’s a lot of assumptions in there. For example, I like the occasional one-off, story-driven quickie. But those are in a different class.

    I’d be curious to hear your opinion on “balancing updates” like they do in DotA-likes. Necessary? Excessive? Annoying? At the very least, they change the meta and keep things fresh that way, but do you think that’s an artificial way to do such a thing?

  • Brett
  • hilbert90

    Thanks! I combed through the back articles to find something like this but had missed it.