Category Archives: Design Musings

Design Musings: Emergence and Authorial Intent

I think one of the biggest stumbling blocks games have as an art form is the idea that the author of the game does not have total control over the game due to the element of player input, and the … Continue reading

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Level Design Primer 6: Planning Out Levels

This article is going to be a bit different. I want to go a bit into my own personal process for planning out levels. Now, everyone is going to be different in what works for them as far as their … Continue reading

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Design Musings: Hang on to you Ego

Megaman is a brilliant game.  I say this unclouded by nostalgia;  I only seriously played the game a few years ago.  There are a lot of incredible things to take away from the game, its level design, its enemy design… … Continue reading

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Mechanic Puzzles vs. Narrative Puzzles

Most definitions of games will say something to the effect of “an interactive system of rules with a goal”. You have some sort of win condition you’re tying to achieve or at least a lose condition you’re trying to avoid, … Continue reading

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Getting Lost in Games

One of the feelings that I think games are especially good at evoking is the fear of getting lost. The idea that you’ve made one to many wrong turns, and now you don’t know how to find your way back. … Continue reading

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When to Start Level Design

When designing a game, there’s always that question of “when should I start designing levels?” This is something I’ve had to deal with a lot, since level design is my favorite part of the development process. When I was getting … Continue reading

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Leveling Systems

I wanted to go in depth with a set of mechanics known as Leveling Systems. I feel that Leveling systems are one of the more misunderstood game dynamics, and I think that misunderstanding derives from the belief that, in a … Continue reading

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Why I Like Short Games

When I released Venusian Vengeance, one of the complaints I got was about the length. The game only took a few hours to beat, they said. There are two reasons that the game is the length it is. One is … Continue reading

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How Games Don’t Know What They Are and Why This is a Good Thing

Games have something of an identity crisis going on. I can’t count how many design discussions I’ve seen where the subject is what games are supposed to be. Are games art? Are games a storytelling medium? Should games be all … Continue reading

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Design Musings – Guidance and Exploration

I recently played through Ultima Underworld. Ultima Underworld is one of those games from a significantly different period of game design. One of the key differences, in my opinion, between most games then and most games now, is how the … Continue reading

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