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Keith Burgun's Blog   Expert Blogs


I'm the lead game designer at Dinofarm Games.  I designed 100 Rogues and I'm currently working on AURO.  I'm also the author of Game Design Theory:  A New Philosophy for Understanding GamesI'm a writer for Gamasutra, and I also have taught Game Design a number of schools, including the New York Film Academy and SUNY Purchase.

Email me at keithburgun - at -


Expert Blogs

Posted by Keith Burgun on Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:02:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
While there will always be a place for randomness of all sorts in some kinds of interactive systems, I believe the current assumptions with regard to randomness in games are largely wrong.

Posted by Keith Burgun on Tue, 01 Jul 2014 03:32:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Serious, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
There are a few philosophical positions on game development that are, I would say, "anti-design". In this short series, I will go through a few of them. We'll begin with an article about what I call "the quantity design philosophy".

Posted by Keith Burgun on Mon, 23 Dec 2013 07:26:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
Game designer, author and Gamasutra contributor Keith Burgun explains his very specific criteria, and weighs in on his favorite games from 2013.

Posted by Keith Burgun on Tue, 17 Dec 2013 05:18:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Mobile Games
The way we think about concepts like "winning" and "losing" in the world of single player digital games tends to be a bit strange. What do these terms really mean, and why is it important?

Posted by Keith Burgun on Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:33:00 EDT in Design
Asymmetrical forces have always been a dominant design pattern for videogames. In this article, I ask why that is, and suggest that we may actually be better off shooting for symmetrical designs.

Posted by Keith Burgun on Fri, 06 Sep 2013 04:17:00 EDT in Design, Indie
Independent game developers have been exhibiting a pattern of not supporting their games, and it's a massive lost opportunity for developers, the community, and gaming in general.

Keith Burgun's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 10/15/2014 - 02:02]

To your second paragraph: I ...

To your second paragraph: I think I addressed this argument in the article. Not all unpredictability is equal. The unpredictability of the game state in 5 turns in Chess is not the same as the unpredictability of dice rolling. The former is supposed to be explored by the player in ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/29/2014 - 01:05]

XCOM is the same way ...

XCOM is the same way if I can try a battle over and over again until all my shots hit and all my soldiers survive, then the game doesn 't take skill anymore, it just takes time. Ironman mode is a game option available at the start of a campaign ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/02/2014 - 08:39]

I like that the first ...

I like that the first example of a game with a lot of clones here is 2048, which is ITSELF a clone of Threes.

Comment In: [Blog - 07/01/2014 - 03:32]

If someone makes a game ...

If someone makes a game that is overall basically the same game as Fruit Ninja, but it 's significantly worse, that thing has no value. Even if it has one or two merits in there, really, we already have Fruit Ninja, so this new less good Fruit Ninja is really ...

Comment In: [News - 03/20/2014 - 01:55]

Why do people argue about ...

Why do people argue about whether something is a INSERT WORD HERE but avoid providing a definition for that word I see a lot of debates like this... and it 's like, OBVIOUSLY the answer is contingent on how you are defining the word game . The whole reason there ...

Comment In: [News - 02/18/2014 - 12:53]

How is that troubling It ...

How is that troubling It 's high time people stopped spending hundreds of millions of dollars on games. Focus on good gameplay, good ideas. With a team of 15 - or even half that, for that matter, you can make the greatest games the world has ever seen, if you ...