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Game Design

  • Game Design
    Let Them Play: Don’t Lock Your Players Out of PlayingLet them play dont lock players out
    Interactivity is a fundamental aspect of game design. Without it, a game isn't a game: it's a TV show, or a book, or an instance of some other static medium. So why is it so often overlooked?Read More…
  • Game Mechanics
    5 Approaches to Crafting Systems in Games (and Where to Use Them)Preview
    Although crafting is now a widely-used game mechanic, there is substantial variation in the appearance and implementation of crafting systems. In this article, I categorize these systems into five approaches, and highlight what works best about each and how they are best used.Read More…
  • Monetization
    How, Where, and When to Add Video Ads to Your Mobile GamesVideo ads in mobile games
    In this tutorial, I'll explain what I know about monetizing games with video advertisements, and how to get the most out of this revenue model. You'll learn about the types of video ads available, how to implement them, and where best to use them within your game.Read More…
  • Game Design
    What Destiny's Failures Can Teach Us About Game DesignDestiny thumb
    Destiny was one of the most anticipated games ever, but did not live up to the hype. In this article, we'll use Destiny's failures to help us learn about game design and managing players' expectations.Read More…
  • Game Design
    6 Games That Succeed Because They're Interesting, Not Because They're Fun Games that succeed by being interesting
    Imagine if you designed your games to be interesting, rather than fun. I'm talking about giving the player a drive to play the game outside of simply completing the goals you have set. The player also plays to experience and explore the game itself, to see what the world you have created has to offer. In this article, we'll examine six games that do just that, and look at how they do it.Read More…
  • Game Design
    4 Game Design Lessons We Can Learn From Shovel KnightRummage
    Shovel Knight, one of the most popular indie games of the summer, does a lot of things right in its design. In this article, we'll take a look at what it can teach us about style, borrowing from others, difficulty, and balance.Read More…
  • Game Design
    The Snowball Effect (and How to Avoid It) in Game DesignThe snowball effect game design
    The snowball effect exists in nearly any game where having resources can gain you more resources. It's a type of feedback loop, with effects that can make a multiplayer gaming experience miserable. In this article, we'll look at what causes snowballing, and how best to deal with its potential negative effects.Read More…
  • Post Mortem
    Bad Game + Bad Game = Good Learning ExperiencePic%202
    Every other month I choose one "bad" video game and remake it into something playable and hopefully even entertaining. In May, I made Virtually Super Hydlide Special—a combination of Hydlide, a game that half the world hates, with Virtual Hydlide, a game the whole world hates. Here's what I learned.Read More…
  • Game Design
    All About Karma: Decision Making and Morality in GamesInfamous2artwork2
    A strong narrative, influenced by player choice, is becoming a widespread feature in the medium of video games. In this article, we'll look at some of the systems developers have used to allow player agency to affect their narratives, from various morality systems to more simple solutions.Read More…
  • Game Design
    How to Deal With a 'Bad' Game Jam ThemeSampleimage1
    You need to develop a game based on a specific theme and you're completely stumped. You have no ideas and time is quickly running out. Check out these quick tips to get those creative juices flowing.Read More…
  • Polish
    How to Polish Your Games' EnvironmentsPreview
    Your players will get bored far faster than you would expect if your play spaces don't retain their attention. In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can easily crank the polish of your world up a couple of notches—this will go a long way towards capturing the imagination of players!Read More…
  • Project Management
    Should You Polish Your Game, or Add More Depth and Features?Article%20icon
    It's getting closer and closer to release day, and you're running out of time to finish your game, but you're torn between adding those extra few features and polishing up what you already have. What should you do?Read More…