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: http://flatfingers-theory.blogspot.com/
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?
In which we consider how the careful selection of gameplay elements can burn a game into our hearts and minds.
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.
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.
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.
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
[Blog - 08/28/2014 - 07:57]
While I wouldn 't say ...
While I wouldn 't say it in the same way, I agree with the overall motivation of this article. As the Marines say, Silence implies consent, and no one should consent to jerks treating other people badly, in games or anywhere else. r n r nThe reason I 'm commenting ...
[Blog - 08/25/2014 - 05:09]
A game designer has two ...
A game designer has two options. You can keep your core game idea to yourself and expose it only when the game is released. You 'll then have to explain that you came up with it independently from previous similar games. Note that the smaller the game, the harder it ...
[Blog - 08/18/2014 - 05:50]
My impression is that you ...
My impression is that you 're using MDA to its full advantage. r n r nIt 's possible to make a fun game focusing on just one of those levels. But a really absorbing game hits on all of them. When all the levels at which a game can be ...
[News - 08/22/2014 - 01:33]
Social justice has nothing to ...
Social justice has nothing to do with this. Any developer, regardless of where they fall on a spectrum of sociopolitical beliefs, and regardless of whether they express their personal beliefs publicly or not, is a potential target for this kind of malice.
[Blog - 08/16/2014 - 03:18]
I suspect we 're going ...
I suspect we 're going to see more of this style of collaboration. So getting a peek at some experienced opinions regarding what this approach is and is not well-suited for, as well as how it can work in practice, is very helpful. r n r nThanks for publishing this.
[Blog - 08/14/2014 - 04:37]
In late 1990 I was ...
In late 1990 I was playing Wing Commander for many hours after work. As part of my job, I had access to a massive 20-inch NEC 5D monitor. So playing WC was for the time like looking through an actual cockpit window. r n r nOne Friday night, after many ...