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January 23, 2020
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Josh Bycer's Blog


For more than seven years, I have been researching and contributing to the field of game design. These contributions range from QA for professional game productions to writing articles for sites like Gamasutra and Quarter To Three

With my site Game-Wisdom our goal is to create a centralized source of critical thinking about the game industry for everyone from enthusiasts, game makers and casual fans; to examine the art and science of games. I also do video plays and analysis on my Youtube channel. I also have a Patreon Campaign set up to help support my family and keep things running while I continue to put out content here and on my site.  Recently, I'm also the author of 20 Essential Games to Study and Game Design Deep Dive Platformers, with my aim to demystify a lot of the discussion around game design.


Member Blogs

Every videogame is someone's first, and it's important for every designer to think about their game from the new player's experience as a way of improving the playability and onboarding of their title.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Mon, 16 Dec 2019 01:50:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie
Continuing my talk on playability, we're discussing the use of dynamic difficulty or player-controlled difficulty to adjust the play experience.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Mon, 09 Dec 2019 11:14:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie
Customization is a powerful option to give games depth, but it requires a careful eye when it comes to balancing an ever-growing number of choices.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Thu, 05 Dec 2019 10:11:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC, Indie
2019 has been another banner year for amazing games being released, but it also shows how hard it is for games to stand out, and why just having a good game isn't enough anymore.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Mon, 25 Nov 2019 10:55:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online
Today's post looks at the ever polarizing topic among roguelike fans, and how despite being used for trolling by some, does have some major design discussions around it

Posted by Josh Bycer on Wed, 20 Nov 2019 11:37:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Indie
A quiet feature on Steam was unveiled recently that could mean big things for indie developers, and more people need to know about it.

Josh Bycer's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/17/2020 - 12:20]

There are a lot of ...

There are a lot of issues with this article that are mischaracterizing roguelike and procedural design. r n r n And this is why I Hate Roguelikes: most of the time, it is impossible to win a roguelike, because the random elements align in one of a million different ways ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/10/2020 - 10:13]

organic tutorials are definitely the ...

organic tutorials are definitely the best, but often the hardest to design around especially if the gameplay is abstracted. r n r nRe: Good tutorials demonstrate the purpose of what 's being taught, so the player is motivated to learn the facts to fulfill that purpose. This right here is ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/14/2019 - 10:42]

I know it 's harsh ...

I know it 's harsh to say 'most ' and 'trash ', since there are a lot of high effort and quality games that never go anywhere we see a lot of postmortems here , but I 'm including all the terrible shovelware and asian porn ports that come out ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/13/2019 - 10:47]

My problem with designs that ...

My problem with designs that turn off the core gameplay loop and leave it at that, is that it 's not really making the design better or fixing issues with it. It 's easy to make a game at either extreme of difficulty, but making something amazing for everyone is ...

Comment In: [Blog - 08/12/2019 - 11:21]

I think marketing and presentation ...

I think marketing and presentation are the two biggies. I know when I spoke with the developer he didn 't spend a lot of time marketing the game it was not covered by any major site or youtuber that I saw. And the presentation doesn 't pop as we saw ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/17/2019 - 12:30]

This article makes the same ...

This article makes the same fallacy whenever there are discussions about difficulty in videogames -- accessibility has nothing to do with difficulty. In this situation, accessibility involves outside factors that prevent someone from playing a videogame colorblind, physical disorders, etc . This needs to stop, because its muddying up any ...