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

cgdplogo_twitter 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.

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Why You Need the Clockwork Game

Let's start from scratch. You're a game designer. How can my work help you? If you're the kind of designer who wants to tell a good story, create a lush immersive atmosphere, express a social value, or just embrace the latest in graphics technology... this article - and most of my game design-specific work - isn't for you. But there's a ton of designers out there who want to make a little "fun machine" - an interactive system where the player is doing stuff, gaining mastery, and being otherwise entertained for reasons other than atmosphere, story, social values or those sorts of things. (more…)

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The Clockwork Game Design Podcast: Episode 12 – Verificationism and Goals

cgdplogo_mediumIn this episode, I really talk about three things:

  1. I wanted to address some comments I got about last episode and whether I really agreed with much of what Charles Pratt said, as I seemed to to some listeners
  2. The idea of "verificationism" which I was introduced to by Sam Harris' latest podcast episode, and
  3. Goals - what makes a good goal, and what should we avoid in goal design?
Some stuff I referenced in the podcast: Sam Harris' latest podcast episode, which is absolutely recommended listening for my listeners My book, which has a lot more detail on good goal design Wikipedia article on verificationism My 3 Minute Game Design episode, "How Games Work" which touches on goals (other episodes in the series do as well) Thanks for listening, and as always, you can support the show by visiting my Patreon page. Patrons will soon gain access to a new top secret prototype I'm working on, by the way!

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

cgdplogo_twitter 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

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Clockwork Game Design has been released!

Great news - my book, Clockwork Game Design, is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores, in both digital and paperback formats. 97467b937ecb6b80758463d9af2fdcedClockwork Game Design is unique in many ways, I think. I don't know of another book on "building rulesets for strategy games", that actually tells you how you should approach it. I've read maybe 15-20 of the most popular books on game design, and none of them have anything remotely like that. This is because, of course, they are all writing about "all interactive entertainment", and providing such a specific, "how-to" guide for such a broad category of forms is impossible. I'll be doing a short video about Clockwork Game Design soon to help people understand what it is, exactly. In short, though, it's a run-through of a very specific system for understanding and building strategy game rulesets. I not only use this system in my own work, but I think that the Clockwork Design Pattern or something similar is really the only way to achieve depth and elegance in game design. Other designers who have achieved deep, elegant games, are using this theory (or at least parts of it) without knowing the words for it. It's quite different than my first book, which was very much a broad "overview" of videogames, the history of games, and my general philosophy on games. I think the first book is valuable in that it relays my perspective on games broadly and goes into detail on some specifics. However, it is definitely far less constructive than this book. I hope you'll spread the word about my book. I worked hard on it, and I tried to make sure it was itself elegant, as elegance is really a major reason for its existence. From little things like there being no subtitle (when was the last time you saw that?) to no preface to just simply being short and to the point.

In other news: Dinofarm Games is launching a Kickstarter for an Auro expansion in a couple of days. Please keep an eye out for that!


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