Month: July 2006

Bursty Indie Sales Cycles

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I had a delightful lunch today with Amanda F. and her handsome, watch loving friend. She is the driving force behind the new indie RPG Aveyond and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what she does next. Most of my contacts with the game industry go back to the old PC shareware glory days, so it is quite enjoyable to connect with one of the rising stars of the new generation of entrepreneurial game […]

Games are designer food for infovores

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I happened across this article in New Scientist discussing how the brain processes information. Research by Irving Biederman of Universtiy of Southern California in University Park and Edward Vessel of New York University provides some indirect scientific backing for many of the concepts I’ve discussed here such as: Games as drugs Burnout The pleasure of groking that Raph Koster has discussed so eloquently. They also claim to have coined the term “infovore” (which already had […]

Ze Story Snobs

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There exists a powerful group within the gaming world that actively seeks to stamp out innovation unless it falls along the prescribed lines of their rigid and conservative doctrine. Who are these people? They are every developer, gamer and publisher who promotes the ideal that a good game must have a story. Raised on fine stories from the golden years of novel writing and movie production, story snobs see games as just another opportunity to […]

Playground game design as a sustainable competitive advantage

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There exists a perplexing multi-billion dollar mystery sitting in plain sight of everyone who works in the game industry. Some of the top franchises such as GTA or Sims do not experience the same competitive pressures as do other titles in popular genres. Also unexpected is that the companies that originally innovated with the creation of a new genre end up dominating. Something beyond your typical branding and IP ownership acts as a barrier to […]

Lessons from the Land of Pixel Art

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I had a lovely visit to a pixel art website recently. Wow. What an amazing community. Back in the day, the artwork I did was, if not cutting edge, at least quite close to state-of-the-art. Game artists who drew with pixels were pushing the technological boundaries of the time. They dithered because it was a clever technique to drag the sexiest look out of limited hardware. They mapped palette indexs to assembly coded color shifters. […]

More free game graphics

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Here is another set of free game tiles for a 2D Zelda-like RPG that I discovered lurking on my hard drive. These were created for a prototype title so there are only a few sets completed. These would make a great start if you are in need of basic graphics for your next great game. Wilderness Tile Set Interior Tile Set Village Tile Set For the time, these were rather high tech. The shadow tiles […]