While it’s tempting to think otherwise, computers are the best tool we have for pursuing great game designs. In this episode, I also talk about how “abstract” games are problematic due to low information density, the information horizon, and a lot about the medium of board games.
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:
There are a few philosophical positions on game development that are, I would say, “anti-design”. In this short series, I will go through a few of them. We’ll begin with an article about what I call “the quantity design philosophy”.
Recently there was a discussion on the Google+ development group for the game Hoplite. The creator, Doug Cowley, is making some improvements to the late-game and asking people for advice.
Then, sort of in the middle of the discussion, another game developer chimed in with:
“At some point you’ll have to accept that it’s impossible to make a perfect game and stop tweaking 🙂 (Also, make more games!)”
This statement really angered me, precisely because it’s such a common sentiment in the world of game development these days. Perfect can indeed be the enemy of the good, but really, who’s even going for “perfect”? Are any games you’ve ever played in danger of being “perfect”? Perfect, in this context where a person is simply trying to do the right thing and improve their game, is a strawman.
I’m writing my book, so I don’t have time to write a big thing today, but I wanted to share a little thing I found.
I’ve often made claims that not only are we (everyone) collectively very bad at game design, but that large segments of our population do not even know/acknowledge that game design is a discipline all its own, separate from programming, art, or other elements of game development to begin with.
There are actually even university programs with “Game Design” in their titles that actually have nothing to do with game design. Take a look at this nice, horribly wrong infographic I found in my research today.
It’s from a website called “schools.com”, so I guess that’s kind of authoritative, and the infographic itself is nicely put together. Apparently, a game designer does the following things: