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Bart Stewart's Blog


Avid game design theorist; experienced programmer and software project manager; first (noncommercial) game developed was a real-time multiplayer space combat sim for IBM mainframes in 1985. Gaming-related interests include "deep" gameplay, Explorer/Simulationist gameplay, psychology of gamers, player-centered design, massively multiplayer game design, and industry trends. Personal game design blog at:


Member Blogs

Posted by Bart Stewart on Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:33:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
A month before its release, Watch Dogs is being described as having a highly dynamic world conducive to thoughtful exploration, but also as having simplified mechanics better suited to exciting action. Which impression is more accurate? Both? Neither?

Posted by Bart Stewart on Tue, 17 Jan 2012 01:41:00 EST in Design
In which we consider how the careful selection of gameplay elements can burn a game into our hearts and minds.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Sat, 20 Aug 2011 01:13:00 EDT in Design
Game developers often try to find and remove all unexpected interactions in the belief that anything not intended is likely to be a bug. But this may be unnecessarily preventing the development of games in which surprise is a necessary feature.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Fri, 23 Jul 2010 05:51:00 EDT in Design
Since Warren Spector demonstrated Epic Mickey at E3 2010, there's been a microburst of gaming media coverage of his design philosophy that "play style matters." It's about time.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Sat, 13 Mar 2010 03:41:00 EST in Design
At GDC 2010, Blizzard EVP of Game Design Rob Pardo described a number of design concepts behind Blizzard's games. While these are obviously successful for Blizzard's games, they can be seen as working only for simple action games. There are other kinds.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Mon, 01 Mar 2010 06:11:00 EST in Design
The online reaction to Jesse Schell's DICE 2010 presentation can be understood as a reaction to computer gaming becoming a mass entertainment form. Where early gamers enjoyed intangible immersion, today's typical gamer now expects tangible rewards.

Bart Stewart's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 04/23/2015 - 04:33]

Let 's take this to ...

Let 's take this to its logical conclusion: saving one 's progress in a game is bad and evil. Any player attempting to reload a game will be given a painful electrical shock to discourage them from trying to avoid the punishments decreed for them by a game 's developer ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/17/2015 - 02:06]

Darn it, I thought I ...

Darn it, I thought I 'd put away all the feelings about SWG. This brings them all back up again. r n r nI was a minor contributor to the pre-release game forums, and they were every bit as outstanding as Raph suggests. The collaborative, constructive attitude there remains by ...

Comment In: [News - 04/14/2015 - 11:01]

Rock Band vs. Guitar Hero, ...

Rock Band vs. Guitar Hero, Clinton vs. Bush -- what 's next, Coke vs. Pepsi r n r nIt 's nice to see these franchises firing up again. But I have to admit I 'm pretty disappointed by the decision to exclude keyboards from Rock Band 4.

Comment In: [News - 04/09/2015 - 02:37]

Property ownership rights are a ...

Property ownership rights are a fundamental component of Western society. The body of law that is intended to insure that those rights are respected is a lot more than just a technicality. r n r nTaking the form of more-easily-copied ones and zeroes changes nothing about property rights and the ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/08/2015 - 02:15]

Taking this study for what ...

Taking this study for what it actually says, not what some wish it said, the result is clear: playing computer games didn 't make people any more sexist than they already were. r n r nTo the extent of its applicability, that is all kinds of interesting. It 's a ...

Comment In: [News - 04/01/2015 - 05:19]

I always enjoyed the Schadenfreude ...

I always enjoyed the Schadenfreude articles when they were published here on Gamasutra. r n r nMaybe they could be collected into a compilation piece here someday...