Month: November 2006

The Passion of the Developers

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A thousand little decisions go into the creation of a great product. Most are not in the specs or master plans. Instead, they are implemented by testers and programmers. Yet, these are the same people that are traditionally lampooned as geeky and out of touch with the target customers. What would happen if the developers possessed a deep understanding of their customers needs and desires? Suddenly, those thousand little decisions aren’t introducing random noise into […]

Killing the elder game

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I had a chance to sit down with Andrew Tepper, the designer for A Tale in the Desert. His game is a good example of a village game, one of those small MMO that flourish in the dark corners of the internet. They’ve got a small group of dedicated developers making a wonderful, profitable game that is invisible to much of the world. They bootstrapped themselves into existence without selling their souls and are planning […]

Millions of Peaches: The value of games

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Raph gave a fun, mildly inflammatory talk called ‘Influences’ questioning if games are fundamentally limited in their capability to explore the human experience. Such angst makes my geeky heart beat faster. What follows are the random late night thoughts jotted on the airplane ride back. My heavily editorialized version of the talk: What if games are only spreadsheets? You can reduce a game into mechanics, stimulus, inputs and lots and lots of numbers. As the […]

Project Horseshoe

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I attended a unicorn convention in Texas this past weekend. I always tell people that the role of ‘game designer’ is really a mirage left over from the days when there were one person teams and we needed a term to described the person who mashed together the messy creative gunk inside a game. Nowadays, we have specialists: Level designers, producers, creative directors, AI programmers, UI coders, writers, artists and more. Few companies seem to […]