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Fabian Fischer's Blog


I'm a game designer and critical writer. My German blog (Fischers Ludokultur) serves as a platform for my thoughts on games and the underlying industry. Besides, I regularly publish articles on the German gaming website GamersGlobal. My intention is to help advance the medium beyond being regarded merely as a "fun diversion" or a provider of superficial technological spectacle. Games as complex interactive systems are a unique art form and deserve to be analyzed accordingly.

"The ludological position is that games should be understood on their own terms. Ludologists have proposed that the study of games should concern the analysis of the abstract and formal systems they describe. In other words, the focus of game studies should be on the rules of a game, not on the representational elements which are only incidental." (Wikipedia: Game Studies)


Member Blogs

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 01:18:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
While losing in games, and specifically an avatar dying, are most commonly associated with frustration, some games claim the opposite to be true in their case. What kind of games can rightfully make this claim?

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Mon, 05 Jan 2015 01:17:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
Uncertainty is of central importance for any interesting game. Without it, interacting with a given system will only be of highly limited value. What tools can be employed to generate or preserve uncertainty? And which ones demand a close critical look?

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Mon, 01 Dec 2014 01:06:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet
Videogames come in different forms. Some are interactive movies or dynamic story generators, others are puzzles, dexterity challenges, or sandboxes. This article deals with strategy games as “contests of decision-making” and how to assess their desig

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 01:38:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
“Progress” has almost become a buzzword in today’s gaming industry. And indeed the idea is of fundamental importance for the motivational power of gameplay. This article takes a critical look at the different forms of progress you may come across.

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Tue, 04 Nov 2014 08:03:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
There is an endless variety of reasons for any individual to play a specific game. This article, based on self-determination theory, tries to distinguish motivators from other reasons, and shed some light on the elusive concepts of "fun" and "value".

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Wed, 08 Oct 2014 01:34:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Even highly replayable games of skill aren't infinitely interesting. But when does the fun stop? When does the player decide to stop playing? This article takes a closer look at this decision process in the context of elegance, depth and efficiency.

Fabian Fischer's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 02/03/2016 - 01:18]

And I completely agree with ...

And I completely agree with that. I hope the article didn 't give you a different impression Pre-defined traps are completely opposed to the picture of games as intrinsically motivating evergreen disciplines that I painted.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/01/2016 - 12:59]

I couldn 't agree more ...

I couldn 't agree more AI should actually just be part of a game 's openly laid-out ruleset. Many games with AI that 's actually trying to simulate intelligence or something often break down into just gaming the AI , as in find exploits and use them, instead of trying ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/19/2016 - 01:02]

It 's worth noting that ...

It 's worth noting that keeping each play random can be achieved without having to rely on luck-heavy mechanics. There 's a difference between what the Ludology Podcast once termed input randomness e.g. randomness that happens at the beginning of the game, like a randomized map , and outpur randomness ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/04/2016 - 01:31]

In a way the concept ...

In a way the concept of RTS is inherently broken. On the one hand you have those reactionary tasks that require dexterity and stamina most of all System 1 processing , on the other hand very deliberate planning in the actual strategic decisions System 2 . These two sides fight ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/12/2015 - 12:20]

I think it might be ...

I think it might be a bit short-sighted to only consider this very explicit form of progress. Even quick games that are played in self-contained matches with no currency increasing in-between games can be considered to provide the player with significant implicit, personal, intellctual progress. It 's just that this ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/14/2015 - 03:46]

Both are art. Designing a ...

Both are art. Designing a deep and elegant game system and playing such a game well are both acts of creativity.