Month: November 2005

Mini Game Design Reviews: Guitar Hero and Wierd Worlds

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I wanted to briefly mention two very different games that I’ve been spending time with recently. The first is Guitar Hero by Harmonix and the second is Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space by Digital Eel. Neither is a traditional game, and both have some good lessons about game design to share. Guitar Hero: The Importance of Setting Guitar Hero is a rhythm game at its core. The abstracted game mechanics are little different than […]

Off topic: Lessons from Starbucks

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The raw desolation of an empty Midwestern strip mall in the waning hours of the noon embodies the essence of the American suburbanite’s desperate existence. Outside the sun beats down on the endless empty parking lots, baking the soul out of both plants and people. Personality is eradicated. The neighborhood shops are generic big box chains. Another Walgreens. Another Pottery Barn. Another Kwiki Lube. This is not a landscape meant for people. You can’t even […]

Random Notes from Mr. Fever

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I’m sitting here in plaid bathrobe, drinking tea in my nearly empty house. Just imagine a somewhat scruffy Arthur Dent and you’ll get the picture. Due to a rather poorly timed illness, my move out to Seattle having been delayed by a week. I’m left with Civ IV, a web browser and handful of new home loan applications. Yes, I am a dangerous man for the next five days. Track backs has been mentioned […]

A five step program to move beyond the game geek culture

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Folks in general completely missed the point of the last little post on the culture of the game design community. I want to particularly thank Zoombapup and the other great commentators who pushed me to clarify. Kudos to Gamasutra and Elias for getting the gist of the article. The post wasn’t about lambasting programmer-designers. It was about pointing out a strong blind spot in our culture and practices. Instead what we got was a stream […]

The myth of programmer-designer greatness

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Here’s a phrase from an earlier post that harkens back to the ancient days when game developers beat their dinner dead with bone weapons. “The best game designers are also programmers.” (Apologies to Dylan Fitterer for taking this out of context.) In the distant past, only a programmer could make a game. You could fumble through the tasks typically done by an artist, a game designer or a sound guy. All game designs from this […]