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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. Currently working as Community Manager for Storybricks (Namaste Entertainment): . 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 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.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Fri, 05 Feb 2010 01:46:00 EST in Design
The MMORPG concept of "faction" allows small choices to accumulate into big consequences. Extending this concept to allow NPC groups to have faction with each other creates even more dynamic social environments in gameworlds.

Bart Stewart's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 04/16/2014 - 01:01]

It 's a good question. ...

It 's a good question. You don 't want players getting stuck with one kind of gameplay just because they tested that path first. r n r nThe two general approaches I 'd suggest are what might be called explicit and loose. r n r nThat first option is about ...

Comment In: [News - 04/04/2014 - 06:59]

Beeeeeeeeecause I failed to check ...

Beeeeeeeeecause I failed to check my sources and mistakenly said John Gotti instead of Jimmy Hoffa r n r nThat 's probably it. I think.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/28/2014 - 01:23]

This reads very much like ...

This reads very much like something I could have written. So I agree with every word. : r n r nI also think the middle way -- do enough world-building for you to understand why that unique world works the way it does -- is best. That 's because I ...

Comment In: [News - 03/31/2014 - 03:37]

2048 slyly deconstructed: ...

2048 slyly deconstructed:

Comment In: [Blog - 03/27/2014 - 11:27]

I have been raving about ...

I have been raving about Goat Simulator to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. If you 're a game developer, and you 're not having this much fun with the creative process, why aren 't you Is anything less really what you signed up for r n ...

Comment In: [News - 03/27/2014 - 09:41]

I hope Gamasutra will remember ...

I hope Gamasutra will remember to come back to this story when a future UK government abruptly terminates this special tax break, leaving the developers who to came to depend on it with unexpectedly higher operating costs.