Month: October 2008

Lostgarden Podcasts

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Ryan Wiancko over at has started recording selected Lostgarden essays. If you find yourself regularly sharing a few spare moments with your tank-like Zune, why not download an essay or two? Ryan’s dulcet tones reading riveting game design minutia make for a perfect panacea to downtime boredom.Or perhaps you know a friend. You know…the sort that never reads any of the mind-boggling important links that you send him (or her) on a Friday afternoon. […]

The Princess Rescuing Application: Slides

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Last Thursday, I gave a talk on game design to the local Seattle chapter of the IxDA, an interaction design group. About 100 folks were in attendance and the catered finger food was downright delicious. Other speakers included George Amaya, who spoke about recent research on social/party games, and Mark Long, CEO of Zombie. Mark gave a lovely presentation on how narrative and storytelling immerse players. His new game looks gorgeous. My talk was on […]

Theme and game design

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Recently I was chatting with some friends about the role of ‘theme’ in game design. Theme, in this discussion, was the setting of the game, be it fantasy, sci-fi, military, etc. At first blush, the typical game designer’s use of theme appears a bit primitive. Limited range compared to the wide variety of themes in movies or books. Games recycle a half dozen major themes or in some cases invent their own surrealist themes that […]