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September 21, 2018
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Justin Reeve's Blog


Justin is a game journalist and independent developer. He's also a pilot, cartographer, and PhD student in Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Chicago. Read about games on his website, SlowRun, or follow him on Twitter!


Member Blogs

Posted by Justin Reeve on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:45:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
The design principles underpinning Breath of the Wild's open world come from what may be a surprising source: urban planning. This article examines how these principles lend Hyrule a high degree of legibility... at a cost.

Posted by Justin Reeve on Mon, 10 Sep 2018 09:43:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Ever wondered what powers environmental storytelling? Placemaking. This article takes a look at how the process of placemaking can be used to help design deep video game levels.

Posted by Justin Reeve on Tue, 04 Sep 2018 10:34:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Why do so many open worlds feel artificial? This article dives into how landscape archaeology can be used to inform open-world level design.

Posted by Justin Reeve on Fri, 10 Aug 2018 09:22:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Homeworld remains one of the only real-time strategy games to ever feature a truly 3D movement system. Why? Players never look up. This article examines what Homeworld did differently and why it failed to catch on.

Posted by Justin Reeve on Thu, 09 Aug 2018 10:28:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
What is it which fills a game world with wonder? This article examines the relationship between exploration and discovery by analyzing Watch Dogs 2, The Witcher 3, and Breath of the Wild.

Posted by Justin Reeve on Tue, 07 Aug 2018 09:56:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
There's more to What Remains of Edith Finch than first meets the eye. This article examines how the game's creative level design evokes feelings of quiet contemplation in the player.

Justin Reeve's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 09/10/2018 - 09:43]

I 'm really glad that ...

I 'm really glad that you liked my article You 're absolutely right that many level designers likely practice placemaking intuitively. Hopefully formalizing the process will help with workflow Here 's a short list of books if you 're interested in reading more about space and place: r n r ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/30/2018 - 11:02]

I 'm really glad that ...

I 'm really glad that you enjoyed my article I definitely have some recommendations for books on architecture: r n r nThe most relevant in this particular case would be An Architectural Approach to Level Design by Totten. It 's about how architectural principles and ideas can be applied directly ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/22/2018 - 09:41]

I don 't think that ...

I don 't think that Breath of the Wild 's designers have explicitly mentioned using Montessorian methods. They did outline their design philosophy at the 2017 GDC, though. The approach which they described is definitely Montessorian . r n r nNintendo has always taken a very consistent approach to game ...