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March 8, 2014

Bad End: You can’t trust game writers – Dragon Age, Fallen London, etc.

First, a simple example to get the idea across. Daggers of Darkness is a gamebook, part of the classic Fighting Fantasy series. (I’m afraid there will be some spoilers, but oh well.) It’s a very elaborate book, with many paths, but they all lead to one confrontation (or death, but, well). After going through more […]

November 18, 2010

I’m a Computer Game Snob, and Why I Don’t Care About the Kinect

Non-mainstream gaming tastes and how they relate to the Kinect.

September 1, 2010

Why Social Games Aren’t That Social

The dominant feature of “social games” isn’t that they’re social, it’s something else.

July 15, 2010

Game Design: De-Automation—Human vs. Computer Creativity

A recent group of “de-automated” games explore the division of labor between humans and computers in creative tasks.

April 28, 2010

Games as Art: A Dwarf Fortress Example

An example of how art arose in a game of Dwarf Fortress.

April 18, 2010

Innovation is always good

Innovation, in computer games at least, is always good. Well, that depends on what you mean by “good”. Is an innovative game always a fun game? No. Does an innovative game always make money? No. So what’s the point? The point is that every innovative game advances knowledge in some way. Even if only one […]

April 13, 2010

Game Design: Breaking the Bank in Uplink

The computer game Uplink rewards you for thinking like a computer criminal.


Aleatory Apophenia: Endless Frontier Towns

A minor feature of Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier can fool the player into thinking of the characters as real people.

March 30, 2010

How Braid Fails

Failure is not a bad thing because it helps people learn. The problem is that sometimes people fail in such a way that you really have to question how they’re thinking; sometimes you just feel like their entire way of thinking has to be torn down and started from scratch. In this blog post I’ll go through the various ways that Braid failed, and what made me angry enough to want to punch someone.

October 1, 2009

Game Design Basics: Social Contract

Games involve social contracts between the designer and the player(s).