Monthly Archives: April 2011

Every System Designer Must Study Economics

How much experience should this monster give? What drop rate should we set on this item? How do we know two functionally distinct items are worth the same amount? Economics is the study of choice under scarcity, and one of many ways to discuss player motivation is to view it through the lens of economics. [...]

Maintain The Chain: Game Your Life To Achieve Great Things

Twitter has its moments. It can be a cacophonous smorgasbord, even at the best of times, but recently there was the hashtag #ims211, which started with a basic request: @scd Hey, if you work in games, can you tweet hi to my class (#ims211)? I wanna make a point about Twitter and the game dev [...]


April 9, 2011

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Find Your Core

The question we must ask ourselves is wether we want to design the kind of game that makes you call your friend to yell “DUDE!”, or do we want to make the kind of game that makes you shake your head and say, “dude…”

The Importance Of A Feature Does Not Determine The Order It Gets Designed

Long title is long. I tried a few different titles, and they all failed to convey my intent. But before we get to my intent, some backstory. One of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome as a system designer was my obsession with “efficiency”. I am a scientist. It defines everything I love about [...]


April 4, 2011

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Do Your Research

Game design demands a lot of research. Good ideas come from all around you, and it is the height of arrogance to assume that you and you alone possess the power to envision undreamed solutions. Don’t be that asshole that thinks, despite all evidence to the contrary, that they shit gold. This manifests so often, [...]