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Fabian Fischer's Blog


I'm a game designer and critical writer. My German blog (Nachtfischers 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 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 - 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.

Comment In: [Blog - 04/02/2015 - 01:16]

Great piece And another good ...

Great piece And another good explanation as to why I dislike Dota or LoL since they both quite frequently are an example of a game already being basically decided mid-game.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/12/2015 - 01:54]

Yomi is the ability to ...

Yomi is the ability to know or to have a high probability of guessing correctly what the enemy player will do next, before anything can actually physically be known. r n r nSo it 's either knowing before knowing is possible which simply doesn 't exist , or it 's ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/27/2015 - 03:08]

Yup, one of my favorite ...

Yup, one of my favorite columns ever. Keep up the deep work and lively style, John r n r nRegarding T E, I can only hope they don 't butcher it due to fear of being too hardcore . On the other hand, the recent rise in popularity of roguelikes ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/10/2015 - 12:54]

I strongly agree with your ...

I strongly agree with your piece content-wise. But reading the term mechanical game design I initially thought this was about NON-linear games, probably that assumption was fueled by the discussion regarding ludology focused on mechanics vs. narratology, recently cropping up again as anti- formalism . r n r nPersonally I ...