Another story beginning

Continuing my series about stories I started to write, but will never finish, here’s a new one. Only a few weeks old.

The would-be assassin lay in a motionless heap on the floor on the other side of the attic. I walked to his feet and shouted. “Get up!”


Odd. I was pretty sure I hadn’t hit him hard enough for a knockout. His legs were broken, sure, but he wasn’t bleeding anywhere nearly enough and I had specifically avoided hitting his neck or face. My instincts for this kind of thing are usually pretty good, so I went … Continue reading

A ‘Madlibs’ Game Design Doc: Part 2

Warning — I didn’t give this post my usual level of editing and scrutiny because I haven’t been feeling too well.

I wanted to post it, even in its raw state. Hopefully you’ll find some use from these rough notes, and when I move on to the later parts I’ll develop them more fully.

Think of this as a chance to peer inside an in-progress design.

In our last adventure, we went through the theme and designed the enemies. Part 2 is about designing player abilities. If you haven’t read the previous article, this one might not make much sense. … Continue reading

Because it has been asked of me so many times…

In any human endeavor I’ve been exposed to, I’ve found this distribution of attitudes in people:

1) The “Aggressively Incompetent” – In my whole life, I’ve only seen a handful of these. But just one of them is enough to ruin an entire project. One of these can negate the work of dozens of people. Fire on sight. The key sign is this: They become this way the second their crap starts reducing someone else’s ability to “produce” (whatever the fuck that means).

2) The “Zoned” – Not too many of these either. These are the people who (no matter … Continue reading

A ‘Madlibs’ Game Design Doc: Part 1

A quick note. The following work is considered public domain information. Use it however you want. If you’d like to tell me about it afterwards, I promise you it will make me a happy man — but if you don’t I won’t lose any sleep.

On twitter the other day, I decided on a whim that I wanted to create and fill out a madlib and then design a game based on the answers I got.

I’m trying to design a game via ‘madlibs.’ I’ll ask questions, and the first response dictates the answer. I’ll post the design on my … Continue reading

Why do games cost so much to make?

This was an FAQ I got from a lot of people, most recently from Youtuber Rebellion3112. My most recent attempt to explain it got so long that I thought it might just be better to post it here so that everyone can enjoy (and so in the future I can redirect people here and lazily continue lazing about).

Everyone thank Rebellion for sharing. (Thanks, Rebellion).

So let’s get started. It is REALLY hard to explain this without going into a ton of detail, but here’s how it works in the simplest possible explanation (and this is still really long):

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Our friends over at GeekDad just keep writing great stuff about Skylanders:

The article I linked above has one passage that made me stop and marvel.

They don’t actually use the Skylanders DS styluses to play on the DS at all. Firstly they used them to create their own plays in a make shift cardboard theater. By poking the stylus up from behind they could get the miniature Skylanders figures to act out different chapters from their adventures.

They then moved on from this when one of the styluses got inadvertently broken (apparently during a particularly hazardous Skylanders … Continue reading

I has twitters

What’s up everyone.

Been very busy lately. Besides work and travel (been heading out to exotic locales, most recently Albany, New York) I’ve been working on a number of side-projects.

I’m working on a GDC talk that, if all goes well, I’ll be able to give. Fingers crossed!

I’m also working on more Gamasutra articles. My most recent one on Zelda level design ( was pretty popular, apparently, and Gamasutra would like me to do more like it!

So that’s cool.

I’ve also been designing a one-shot Star Wars adventure that I’m giving my friend John as a … Continue reading

Project Cake: Weapon Selection

Hi Guys,

Here’s another update for Project Cake. It’s a small one, this time.

When you’re in a combat zone, there is now a UI that lets you choose between multiple attack abilities. You can press 1 to use fireballs, and 2 to use an ice attack. You can also change weapons with the scroll wheel on your mouse.

The two attacks aren’t really balanced or tuned yet, but it gives the idea of how the functionality of it should work.

If you’d like to check out the build, please click here.

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Really cool youtube “Lets Play” of Skylanders

Youtube user tealgamemaster has put up a really cool full playthrough of Skylanders. If you’re not worried about spoilers, certainly check it out.

My favorite thing is how he starts off and it seems like he is prepared to hate the game. His impression slowly grows more and more positive as he plays until he gets to the end and he LOVES it. BEST game EVAR! I spent the weekend watching all 12-14 hours of the series and it really made me feel great. I’m glad he liked it so much.

He even made up a song about it:

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Re: The Industry

A viewer on our youtube channel sent me an interesting question:

Hey guys, first off, I really appreciate the videos for the insight they give about professional game development.

I have been wondering however, how did you guys get into developing videogames?

Not necessarily into the industry (although I’d find that interesting as well, I just figure you are asked that every few hours) but what made you want to start to develop games?
What were the first games that inspired you? How did you start out? Did you even plan to become professional developers and would you recommend … Continue reading