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October 16, 2019
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Lewis Pulsipher's Expert Blogs

Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 05 Feb 2018 10:39:00 EST in Design
Almost always, when I talk with groups of people about game design, I quote Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery:"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." How do we achieve this?


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 27 Nov 2017 11:28:00 EST in Design
Why would it bother anyone that a game is too hard for them to play? The notion that it's "wrong" to make a game "too challenging" is another instance of Rampant Egalitarianism, trying to make everyone conform to the lowest common denominator.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:21:00 EDT in Design
Harmony and its opposite, the kludge, are fundamental to good game design. Games that lack harmony or have in-harmonious aspects have a handicap, though some succeed. Fortunately, most of the in-harmonious games are never published, or only self published


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Wed, 14 Dec 2016 09:19:00 EST in Design
Many aspiring designers, and some who ought to have enough experience to know better, design by trial and error (guess and check) rather than by using an efficient method related to engineering and science. I illustrate this and try to explain why.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 09 May 2016 08:06:00 EDT in Design
Computer RPGs (especially MMOs) appear to be a "grind" aimed at rising in level.  People don't enjoy the journey, they only enjoy the destination ("I'm 80th level!").  That's why there's a big market for sale of items and gold and even entire accounts.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:16:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Party games, and to a lesser extent family games, have always been reward-based (you're rewarded for participation) rather than consequence-based (winning and losing is important, plus more), but hobby games were usually the latter. Not any more.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Tue, 29 Mar 2016 08:39:00 EDT in Design
What is the "natural" format of a game? You can program a boardgame on a computer, or vice versa, but the physical format difference is more cosmetic than real. A man dressed as a woman is still a man, a boardgame on a computer is still a boardgame.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 21 Dec 2015 01:42:00 EST in Design
Creativity in game design may amount to about 10% of the whole. The rest is more or less engineering/project management. Some people rely on trial & error (guess & check), throwing things against a wall to see what sticks. Find a more efficient method!


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 01:53:00 EDT in Design
Author Robert Heinlein says this about the nature of jokes: "Funny once, funny twice, or always funny." Games follow this pattern. E.g. I know people who have played my Britannia 500+ times. Which kind of game do you want to make?


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 29 Jun 2015 01:49:00 EDT in Design
I don’t use the word “theme” any more, because there are so many different meanings. These meanings are not even close to the same things. If you cannot know how your reader/listener understands a word, you can’t use it (if you want to be clear).


[More Lewis Pulsipher Blogs]