Month: April 2006

The joyful life of the lapsed game developer

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Once upon a time I was a passionate game developer. Though I still love games and game design, I no longer work in the game industry. I have forsaken the church of game development for the easy and highly rewarding life of mainstream software development. This is my happy story. What brought me down this path? It began with a common enough tale in the game industry. The project I had worked on for the […]

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Jesse Schell, over at Carnegie Mellon, dropped me a note on a fun project documenting game design innovations. I normally do not post the editorialized links that you find on many sites. For this, I’ll make an exception. Here’s the blurb: “The Game Innovation team is launching The Game Innovation Database (GIDb) today. The goal of the GIDb is to: Document every innovation in the entire history of computer and videogames. Provide a comprehensive taxonomy […]

Team culture matters

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I just thought I would repost this lovely Slashdot comment that I came across recently. For some reason, it caught my eye. “Having lived through the Microsoft buyout of a game studio, perhaps I provide some insight into why acquired studios seem to lose their mojo. Disclaimer: This are my opinions only, and come from the individual contributior perspective, not that of the studio management. First off, Microsoft corporate culture does not map well to […]

Managing game design risk: Part II – Data Driven Development

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Read part Managing game design risk: Part I here. It provides an overview of different classes of production processes and their relationship to various forms of risk. The next two essays will talk about common techniques for reducing risk. The first technique, data driven development, involves lowering execution risk by investing in lower risk product features and processes. This low execution risk strategy is the predominant technique used by game developers to reduce risk and […]

Managing game design risk: Part I

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GDC was wonderful. Unfortunately, I’m the sort of person who is absolutely miserable at copying notes in any literal way. As soon as I started writing, I became distracted by a thread connecting several intriguing talks on prototyping, tools and production risk. The result was a very long essay. This is the first part. Managing Risk Much of game production is about managing risk. We partake in a highly complex process that juggles people, technology, […]