Genres are stupid. And a designer that starts off an idea with “I’m going to design a platformer/FPS/racing/RPG game” is a stupid designer.
The worst thing any creative person can do is restrict themselves, especially early on in the process. Continue reading
Structured exploration is a design in which players are carefully guided through a game world with the feeling that they are exploring on their own. In my opinion, no game series does this better than The Legend of Zelda.
This blog post contains potential spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, please bookmark this page and return once you have completed the game.
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If you’re playing an arcade game and you lose all your lives you’ll have to pay more money to have another go. That’s a genuine game over.
Back in the early days of console gaming, there were no saves and the collection of extra lives were important as running out meant having to start the game again from scratch. As such, learning where the extra lives were hidden was an important skill. The term ‘game over’ stayed, but was really more of a ‘game restart’. Continue reading
Recently I had the opportunity to take part in a 48 hour game jam in aid of Children in Need.
Game jams are a fantastic environment for testing your game design skills as the very limited time given tests your abilities and short-comings to the extreme. You need to be able to taper your design scope, be confident in choosing which features stay and which get cut and most importantly communicate your design in a clear and concise manner, quickly. Continue reading
This post is an extract from a university assignment I wrote in 2008. Although written three years ago the information is still applicable so I thought I’d share it here. To help explain the theory, I have used Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn as a case study. Continue reading
Have you ever been accused of not taking anything seriously? Did you have the phrase “everything is just a game to you” thrown at you as if it were an insult? If the answer to these questions is yes, you may be destined for a career in games design!
I think that a big part of why I decided to become a games designer was because I seem to find games or gameplay elements in a pretty wide range of situations. The most recent example of this is the business cards for the part-time indie team I co-founded, +AsDesigned Games. Continue reading
While at the Eurogamer Expo last month, the first thing I did when I got my hands on Batman: Arkham City wasn’t to administer some caped justice on some goons, nor was it to grapple to a rooftop and show off my bat-skills. It wasn’t even to watch the opening cut scene. The first thing I did when I got my hands on Batman: Arkham City was to go to the options menu and invert the Y axis. Continue reading
Following the Eurogamer Expo last weekend, I have compiled a list of the top five designs I saw while there. The number one spot may surprise you… Continue reading