All posts tagged: All

List of Game Artists

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A very large number of game developers come to Lostgarden looking for game art. (Apparently I’m on the first page of results if you search for ‘free game art’) Of those folks that show up, some are happy to find my collections of free art.  A whole slew of other write me asking if I can make art for them.  Unfortunately I haven’t done contract art for decades and now pretty much exclusively focus on […]

The Declaration of Game Designer Independence

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On a cool, clear Austin weekend, a group of experienced game designers gathered for their yearly retreat.  At night they swapped stories of an industry in turmoil.  As social games and mobile games rewrite the landscape, power struggles between business and design dominate and designers find themselves being sidelined or abused.  And the products they work on suffer horribly as a result.  It is a time when musty old assumptions are questioned.  It is also […]

Happy 2011: Celebrating frontiers in Game Design

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When the frontiers go away, culture turns inward and begins eating itself.  For a brief period of time at the turn of the century, we saw our beloved game industry fall into the trap of thinking ‘there is nothing new under the sun.’ It was a dark time where risk adverse publishers and platform owners made bigger bets on more-of-the-same.  Independent developers were dropping like flies.  Bloodier methods of shooting demonized minorities in the head were […]

Story as evolutionary success or failure lessons

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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

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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 […]

Triple Town released for the Amazon Kindle

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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)

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  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

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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

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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)

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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 […]