Year: 2010

Story as evolutionary success or failure lessons

comments 17
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

Idle thoughts for a rainy December evening. Viral player stories.  When you create games with deep systems, player run into amazing, emergent scenarios on a regular basis.  From these moments of player experience grow myths and legends.  Players tell them.  Press repeats them. Your game goes viral without requiring any of the whirring, queasy machinations of your local social network dealer. Why does this occur?  It happens without prompting.  It requires no points, no bribes.  It is […]

Steambirds: Survival: Goodbye Handcrafted Levels

comments 36
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

Steambirds: Survival, the sequel to our original steampunk airplane strategy game was just released today.   You can go play it right now at Steambirds.com. Steambirds: Survival takes place on a grim fall morning at the start of the Battle of London.  The British forces are taken by surprise as thousands of Axis steam-planes descend upon the doomed city.  Outnumbered and outgunned, your heroic mission is to delay the invaders long enough that a handful […]

Steambirds: Now out for iPhone, iPad and Android

comments 12
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

Have I mentioned that this was a busy week?  Monday saw the release of our new Kindle game Panda Poet.  Yesterday, we release not one game, but two games.  The first is Steambirds for iOS.  The second is Steambirds for Android. Indie legends Adam Saltsman and Eric Johnson from Semi-Secret handled the iPhone and iPad versions.  They’ve been leveraging their experience with Canabalt and Gravity Hook to help navigate the wild west of AppStore relevancy. […]

The Cutest Kindle Game Ever: Panda Poet

comments 20
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

Panda Poet, our next Kindle game, just became available for purchase. Panda Poet is my take on an anagram-style word game boosted by an epic dose of procedural pandas. Just like with Triple Town, I played with several key design philosophies: Designing from the root: Instead of expanding on an existing genre, I went back to first principles and re-evolved the mechanics using rapid prototyping. Evergreen gameplay:  Instead of making a series of fixed puzzles, I […]

Triple Town released for the Amazon Kindle

comments 22
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

I like taking interesting chances.  On new games, on new markets and new ideas.  This week Spry Fox released a delightful original puzzle game called Triple Town for the Amazon Kindle.  If you have a Kindle you can download it over at Amazon. To my knowledge, this is the first indie title publicly available on the Kindle.  An industry first, low dev costs, high potential payoff and a chance to try out an original game […]

Announcing Spry Fox (my happy new company)

comments 29
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

  How do you change the world?  For me one of the brightest opportunities to have a meaningful impact is by creating games. Video games, board games, games inside applications…you name it.  We are living amidst an explosion of game innovation that will shape the very culture of our society. In the past 15 years, I’ve had the honor to work at some of the biggest companies in our industry and seen this opportunity growing. […]

Visualizing the Creative Process

comments 17
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

As I coach new developers, I’ve taken to scribbling out the same useful diagram for visualizing the creative process again and again on coffee-ringed napkins.  In order to limit my future abuse of culinary paper wares, I’ve reproduced my images in a more formal fashion in this essay. The conversation usually starts with the following statement: “Creativity is like a snake swallowing a series of tennis balls.” And when confused looks inevitably result, I sketch some […]

Wordcamp 2010: Why we turned Microsoft Office into a Game

comments 8
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

At the start of May, I gave a talk down in San Francisco on how game design can plug a gaping hole in the current practice of application design. Wordcamp 2010: Why we turned Microsoft Office into a Gamehttp://static.slidesharecdn.com/swf/doc_player.swf?doc=wordcamp2010-public-100517214725-phpapp02&stripped_title=wordcamp-2010-public View more documents from danctheduck. Here is the pdf with the speaking notes included. This contains a bit more than the actual talk. Wordcamp 2010-Public.pdf take care Danc. PS: You can embed PDF files in slide […]

Goodbye lostgarden.com. (Hello www.lostgarden.com)

comments 15
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

Google, in their infinite statistically derived wisdom, shut down an obscure feature on Blogger called “FTP publishing”. For the past 5+ years, this is how I’ve been putting words up on Lostgarden.com. It turns out that a pipsqueak 0.5%, a mere Seattle-sized city worth of users, were insisting on hosting their own files on disreputable non-Google servers. It was a grand deviant run, but compared to the scalable majority, we were tagged as a tad […]

GDC 2010 Slides: Convergence of Flash Portals and Social Gaming

comments 7
Ported Posts / Uncategorized

Here are the slides from my talk at the Social Gaming Summit at GDC 2010. It was a good crowd in a very large room. Gdc 2010: Convergence of Flash Portals and Social Gaminghttp://static.slidesharecdn.com/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=gdc2010-public-100311122156-phpapp01&stripped_title=gdc-2010-convergence-of-flash-portals-and-social-gaming View more presentations from danctheduck. take care Danc.