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Neil Sorens's Blog   Expert Blogs


I've been designing professionally for 13 years (and much longer as a hobby) and couldn't imagine myself doing anything else.

I have an endless fascination with gaming's unexplored possibilities. Much of my writing on this site is about taking advantage of unexploited (or under-exploited) game design opportunities. The toughest part of game design is not giving players what they ask for (sequel to GameX), but figuring out what they want and don't yet realize they want.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Neil Sorens on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 03:52:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Why I oppose "bro-shaming" for reasons of creative freedom, even though I dislike the "bro" games and culture

Posted by Neil Sorens on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 10:39:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Current practices in connected games that need to change to achieve long-term success.

Posted by Neil Sorens on Thu, 11 Apr 2013 05:59:00 EDT in Business/Marketing
As President of the United States, I will step in to get the US video game industry back on its feet.

Posted by Neil Sorens on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 11:49:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
Why the current level of indie game development isn't sustainable, and what will cause it to falter

Posted by Neil Sorens on Tue, 03 Jul 2012 11:55:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
How basing Diablo 3's character progression on auction house use led to unhappy players.

Posted by Neil Sorens on Wed, 10 Aug 2011 04:22:00 EDT in Design, Social/Online
A visit to Zynga's fabulous new amusement park.

Neil Sorens's Comments

Comment In: [News - 12/16/2014 - 04:04]

The thing you are missing ...

The thing you are missing is that it really has nothing to do at all with females. It 's simply a resistance to unwanted change from ANY source. The backlash against Microsoft 's Xbox One DRM, for example, was incredibly virulent. Same with that against Jack Thompson and Leland Yee. ...

Comment In: [News - 11/21/2014 - 07:11]

Running an independent game studio ...

Running an independent game studio is tough and risky. Running one in San Francisco is exponentially tougher and riskier. Doing so with a no layoff policy, as Double Fine had, is madness. r n r nAnyway, always a shame to see real games MMoJ aside and studios suffer while shovelware ...

Comment In: [News - 10/13/2014 - 11:43]

@Curtiss Hmm, that 's not ...

@Curtiss Hmm, that 's not what I get from Google. It seems to be focused on informational diversity, and there are conflicting studies saying that while different experiences and backgrounds can increase creativity and again, using race and gender in place of these is a lazy, ersatz substitute - unless, ...

Comment In: [News - 08/28/2014 - 01:00]

There are many cultures within ...

There are many cultures within gaming, and some are extremely vocal, reactionary, and/or juvenile. Holding up the extreme examples to criticize gaming culture as a whole isn 't reasonable. And in a pastime that appeals to teens, loners, and people for whom Internet crusades are a way of life, it ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/26/2014 - 12:09]

I think far more games ...

I think far more games and dev/publisher strategies have gone in the reverse direction, starting out with a innocuous F2P implementation and then becoming very aggressive in naked selling of advancement - and sticking with it because it makes more money. The new Plants vs. Zombies, for example. r n ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/26/2013 - 08:16]

No, the blocker levels that ...

No, the blocker levels that rely on luck or RMT-obtained powerups for completion start out very infrequent and grow in frequency steadily over the course of the game. Eventually, you simply have to be really lucky or spend money to progress. Skill is often only a minor factor, especially in ...