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Level Design Primer Part 19: Familiar and Unfamiliar Space

After a hiatus, Level Design Primer returns! This time around, I want to talk about one of the evocative qualities of level design. Specifically, the ability to create familiar and unfamiliar space. But first, as a way of illustrating what … Continue reading

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Design – Soft Gates

I’ve talked before in my Level Design Primer series about Gating mechanics: mechanics that block player progress until they’ve accomplished a certain task, reached a certain location, or acquired a certain item, thus directing the order they play through an … Continue reading

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Design: Elements of Difficulty

I want to talk about different types of difficulty. A lot of times, people will describe a game as difficult without really looking deeper, which feel misses a lot of potential for analysis. I want to break down the concept … Continue reading

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Bandits and Bounties on Kickstarter

Hey, everyone.  I recently launched the Kickstarter for my upcoming Spaghetti Western Action-RPG Bandits and Bounties.    

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Design Quick-Thoughts: Optional Puzzles in Metroidvanias

I just finished playing through Super Metroid, and a thought occurred to me.  Something that is both a strength and weakness of the “Metroidvania” style of game is that sometimes you see an object out of reach, and don’t know … Continue reading

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Ninja Outbreak Trailer

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Emo McGothington Halloween Spooktacular

It’s Halloween and that means Emo Mcgothington has more candy to fight than ever!  When they made a deal with the devil, the people of the candy kingdom asked for treats, but instead they got tricked! Help our maudlin mercenary save … Continue reading

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Design: General and Specific

Today I want to talk about the relationship between specific and general elements of games. It’s something that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. But first I should define what I mean by specific and general.

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Design: Can, Can’t, Should and Shouldn’t

The key, I think, to understanding games as an expressive medium lies in the following: Claude Shannon once famously estimated the number of potential chess games as being at least 10 to the 120th power, which, as the cliché goes, … Continue reading

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Level Design Primer Part 18: Emergent Objectives

We’ve talked so far about goals mostly in terms of specific objectives which you’ve placed in specific places for the character to reach. But what if the systems in your game interact in such a way that the player ends … Continue reading

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