Year: 2005

Book Review: 21st Century Game Design

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I recently picked up Chris Bateman and Richard Boon’s new book 21st Century Game Design. Chris is the managing director at the game design consulting group International Hobo (aka ihobo) and has worked on Discworld Noir and Ghost Master. Chris has been kind enough to stop by this website and I’ve always enjoyed his comments. The major contribution of his book to the dialog on game design is the formulation of a new audience model […]

Big News: The Newest Gig

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As some of you may know, I have three major interests that I have passionately pursued over the years. Games Development Tool Design Illustration Over the past seven years, I’ve been honored to work with a stunningly talented crew of folks over at Anark. In that time, we’ve released six (!) versions of Anark Studio, a truly classy tool for authoring 3D application. It is my baby. The latest Anark Gameface keeps gaining major new […]

A Game Business Model: Learning from Touring Bands

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Most metropolitan areas sport a wide array of bands that eke out a reasonable living by touring about the nearby countryside. At every stop, they get a bit of cash from the till, sell a handful of t-shirts and maybe even an album or two. If they are good, they build up a sizable population of groupies that worships the ground they walk on and follows them from show to show. Very few people outside […]

Space Crack: Monkeying with 2D art

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I’ve been playing around with a variety of styles for Space Crack. Everything from giant robots to completely abstract shapes to Sanrio-inspired space monkeys. Assuming for a moment that you have a decent game design, one of the most difficult decisions facing a game is the setting and theme. It is a topic so important that many gamers often mistake the theme of the game with the actual design of the game. You’ll hear “I […]

Space Crack: A gift prototype

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What a pleasant surprise. Michael Bayne of Puzzle Pirates fame dropped me a note that mentioned he had created a prototype of Space Crack in his spare time. You can find the Java applet here. He used his game creation system Game Garden, demonstrating once again the benefits of using established middleware in the rapid creation of a prototype. You’ll need a Game Garden user name and a friend to try out the game. The […]

Game Design Review: DS Training for Adults

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While we were in Japan earlier this month, Aya’s brother gave her “DS Training for Adults: Work your Brain” (Kahashima Ryuuta Kyouju no Nou wo Kitaeru Otona no DS Training). Oni-san, this article is dedicated to you! DS Training for Adults is yet another a truly fascinating game title that straddles the edge between pure entertainment and practical software. The direct translation of the Japanese title is a good description of what to expect: ‘Whip […]

Nintendo Genre Innovation Strategy: Comments and Follow up

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Well, that was an exciting moment in the history of this website. In the spirit of my old demo days, greetz go out to all the readers from Penny Arcade, Slashdot, Kotaku, 4ColorRebellion, Joystiq, GameGirlAdvance, Dvorak(?), and more. I apologize for any disruption of service for folks who were visiting the site. Everything should be back to normal, comments are back on, and I’m on a new server with 10x the bandwidth. Post away. 🙂 […]

Religion as a game

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Religion has been using the psychology behind online social games for centuries. Here’s one example. When you die and go to heaven in particular Buddhist sects in Japan, the priest gives the deceased a new name in an elaborate ceremony. Naturally, the family pays the priest for his time. Highly respected people get longer names. However, if you haven’t devoted much of your life to being respectable, the family can pay the priest a little […]

Nintendo’s Genre Innovation Strategy: Thoughts on the Revolution’s new controller

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I’m still jet lagged from my recent trip overseas, but I managed to stay awake for the new Nintendo controller announcement. I must say that I’m feeling like an excited Japanese school boy waiting in line for the latest Dragon Quest. I’m not going to tackle whether or not this innovative device will be a market success for Nintendo. There will be so much riding on the 1st party titles, the 3rd party support and […]

Back in America

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I am once again sitting here at my much beloved desk in the lovely town of Boulder Colorado USA suffering from an excruciating case of jet lag. Some folks have the international travel bit down pat. I am not one of them. I’m seriously considering tooth picks props or perhaps large shots of adrenaline injected directly into my eyelids. As I recover, I’ve been catching up on emails and a bit of reading. The trip […]