Year: 2007

Super Mario Galaxy: A breakup note

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Last week we picked up Super Mario Galaxy. It has always been a private shame of mine that I never truly experienced Mario 64, despite all the accolades that it has garnered. Years ago, I played for the first level, enjoyed running about and marveling at the scenery. But then, as I recall, the game became impossibly difficult. Not for all people. Just for me. Completing precision jumps across lava filled 3D chasms while ominous […]

The Naked Business

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An essay on how to treat customers and employees like owners and reap the benefits. In any meeting, a negotiator can adopt a variety of strategies. Typically, they horde information, pick apart their opponent’s every move in hope of understanding hidden meaning, and ultimately attempt to gain the upper hand through manipulation. Sometimes you outsmart your opponent and win. Many times, you are so busy protecting yourself that a deal never happens. There is a […]

Random links and musings

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Here are some random notes of interest: Ballistic Wars: The good folks over at Easy Only! Games put together a delightful little tactics game using concepts similar to those found in SpaceCute. My hope is to see an entire genre based off this mechanic popping up. As we saw from the prototyping challenge, there are a huge number of different variants that are possible. https://jayisgames.com/archives/2007/12/ballistic_wars.php Call for Participation for the Experimental Gameplay Sessions 2008: Johnathan […]

How to bootstrap your indie art needs

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A goodly number of indie game developers are lured into Lostgarden.com by the free game graphics. Every few days an email pops into my inbox, “Hey, could you draw the graphics for my cool game design idea?” I’m honored more than you can imagine when I get such a letter and they mean a lot to me. Unfortunately, I have my fingers in so many projects at the moment that squeezing in an additional graphics […]

Project Horseshoe 2007 slides: Smashing the game design atom

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Here are my slides (with talking notes) from Project Horseshoe. I blazed through this in about 30 minutes since dinner was waiting and there is nothing more ornery than a crew of wild haired game designers in complete glucose crash. See if you can spot the source of the infamous ‘8mm’ meme that stalked the conference. Since it was Halloween yesterday, let’s start with a tale of horror. Not so long ago there was an […]

Project Horseshoe 2007: A recipe

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Hola. Amigo. First, isolate the group I just stumbled back from Project Horseshoe, the amazingly intense game design think tank set in the deep wilderness of Texas. Ah, Texas. Armadillos sporting leprosy and overhanging trees dangling with dozens of wiggling arachnids were amongst the more colorful wildlife lurking on the isolated ranch where we stayed. There is nothing more endearing than having a conversation about virtual gods interrupted by a friendly eight-legged fiend swaying two […]

Constructing Artificial Emotions: A Design Experiment

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My latest essay on emotion in games is up on Gamasutra. There are pretty pictures about brains. You can read it here. It asks that simple, innocent question,”What can we do to make games evoke emotions?” The answers are more about applying the lessons of experimental psychology than the 300 hot tricks of screenwriting. While I was looking into this topic, I read an essay in Scientific American on ‘dangerous ideas’ and it got me […]