Random Bloggage

I don’t have much to muse on this week, so this’ll just be bloggage. I’ve got a post in the works about how to figure out what to steal when stealing from other games… but that’s not ready yet. Hopefully I’ll get that out next week. I’ve noticed that a lot of people “borrow” the wrong things from games. GTA clones are a good example — they’ve got the ‘beating up hookers’ part down, but they skimp on the things that really made the game fun. So hopefully I’ll have some neat stuff on that subject soon…

My first week … Continue reading

5 Years is a Long Time

Well it’s all done tomorrow. Friday is my last day at Insomniac Games.

It’s been an awesome five years, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.

I’m going to be moving over to Obsidian — they made KOTOR II and Neverwinter Nights II.

I get to work on this, how awesome is that!? And I get to be lead level designer. SCORE!

I’m really excited to see how s different company makes games. To this point, I’ve only seen how Insomniac does things. I’m looking forward to learning new things and working … Continue reading

Game Oscars?


I think that, if the artistry of what we do is ever going to be recognized, we’ll need a good awards process.

One HUGE problem with all the awards ceremonies we have right now, though, is that we keep trying to borrow outside our own industry to make them work. All our awards shows steal heavily from Hollywood, in the hopes that it would make them seem more “legit.” For every developer that goes up to give an award, there’s B or C list Hollywood celebrity attached to their hip. The argument I’ve heard in the past is … Continue reading

On Resolution

I’ve been thinking a bit about resolution mechanics over the last few days… random, I know — but that’s what kind of crazy crap comes into my head when I’m not working.

By “resolution mechanic” I’m referring to the behind-the-scenes method by which a game resolves its core gameplay mechanic.

The three I’ve been thinking about lately (there could be more, but I’ve only really been pondering the three) are twitch (resolution through a player’s skill with the interface), fortune (resolution by luck), and karma (resolution by value / stats / strategy). Examples of games based on each of the … Continue reading

On Focus Tests

So I was doing my daily search through gametab.com, as I am wont to do, and I came across this little gem:


Dave Jaffe liveblogged during a Focus test for Calling All Cars. It’s funny to me because I’ve been to a lot of focus tests, and it’s interesting to see how people react to Jaffe’s impressions.

I mean from what I read, it sounds like a pretty normal focus test to me.
All sorts of things going wrong — check.
Frantically scrambling to get everything to work — check.
Players who are very Continue reading

I’ve been playing a lot of adventure games

Recently, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been playing a lot of adventure games. This is fairly unusual for me — I stopped playing adventure games sometime in the mid nineties when they went out of style.

What brought them back for me, I think, was the new Sam and Max episodic content. They really do a pretty good job of bringing them up to today’s game design standards.

I think the main thing that adventure games of yesteryear had that stopped appealing to me has a lot to do with failing. I don’t just mean dying, because … Continue reading

First post!!

Well, this is the first post of (I hope) many on my new blog. My goal is to force myself to update it, so we’ll see how that goes.

As a first post, I figured I’d talk a little about what I’ve been into lately. I just finished Twilight Princess — that game ruled.

I’ve also been playing a bunch of more “Indie” games recently. If you haven’t had a chance yet, go check out what’s going on at Manifesto Games (www.manifestogames.com). They’re doing the lords work there, publishing little games that would otherwise not see … Continue reading