The Kobayashi Maru Is Not Usually Mass Market
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 March 2014, 4:22 pm
On one hand, I am sympathetic to how fast, and how transparently, game developers rip each other off in the casual and mobile space. It’s particularly galling when the company


My Review(s) of Call of Duty 4 and Battlefield 4 Single-Player
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 January 2014, 7:42 pm
It’s my own fault, I suppose. CoD4 and BF4 both came out in Autumn of last year, but in both cases, I deferred my purchase of them to the Winter,


SimCity Engineer Describes Tough Technical Effort
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 January 2014, 6:05 pm
One of the things that programmers hate are designers who can kinda sorta code, and then use that to float wildly optimistic estimates for how long it will take to


What’s Wrong with Game Journalism?
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 January 2014, 4:31 pm
Here’s a good example:  SimCity launched with technical problems, to be sure, but what offended many people was that the game was designed to be online-only, not just technically but


Sticker Shock
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 January 2014, 1:42 pm
Lost in the noise of the holidays was news that Mechwarriors now sells solid gold mechs – for $500 bucks.  Despite the fact that these appear to be mostly cosmetic


The Evils of Up-front Payment
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 January 2014, 2:27 pm
This is a good article on Gamasutra that challenges the notion that the $60 box price necessarily creates better industry practices.


Policing Your Own Pool: Netflix, Google and Reddit
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 January 2014, 1:14 pm
Three articles that are not strictly game design related, but interesting nonetheless.  First off, here’s an article that discusses how Netflix has reverse-engineered Hollywood in order to categorize all of


Assassin’s Creed 4 Design Review: Oh The Random Directions You Will Jump
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 January 2014, 3:20 pm
It’s odd, but the worst part about Assassin’s Creed 4 is the part that theoretically has gotten the most iteration and polish, which is to say the movement model of


More Candy Crush Data
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 December 2013, 3:23 pm
Tommy Palm gave more interesting data about Candy Crush: The game has been downloaded and installed half a billion times. 69% of UK fans play while commuting. 78% of US


Collectibles Design
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 December 2013, 3:26 pm
Extra Credits did a couple of great pieces talking about collectables design, discussing for example how Magic: the Gathering is brilliant and Rage of Bahamut is effectively ‘game design strip


Design Review: Ryse: Son of Rome
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 November 2013, 4:27 pm
Well, I had to get SOMETHING on launch day with my XBone because, as is well-documented, I’m a well-documented Playstation Hater.  In fact, one of my great joys about my


Ender’s Real Genius
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 November 2013, 1:19 pm

ender's real genius




Tomb Raider is Really, Really Good
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 September 2013, 2:13 am
Here’s a great example of me wondering if I’m having a contrarian opinion just to have one, but here it is anyway: I thought Tomb Raider was a much better


Goodbye, Diablo 3 Auction House
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 September 2013, 2:48 pm
The trick with playing with real money is when you start letting that real money drive game design decisions – or even give the appearance of doing so.  When Diablo


Penny Arcade is Still Mostly A Force For Good
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 September 2013, 9:00 pm
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: it’s pretty much criminally stupid to put out a t-shirt of what effectively has become the spirit animal of the worst


Free 2 Play is Not a Cancer (Unless It Is)
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 September 2013, 9:28 pm
Sometime ago, someone sent me this article, in which a Free-to-Play designer described how he is not a ‘cancer’ on the games industry.  I read it, but I didn’t fully agree


More F2P Fisking
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2013, 2:07 am
There sure is a whole lot of wrong going on over in this debate. We both know that someone, somewhere has to pay for the game’s development, and for that idea


Candy Crush Not As Unbeatable As You Might Suppose
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2013, 1:42 am
Candy Crush Saga is used frequently as an example of Free 2 Play gone awry.  Critics argue that Candy Crush Saga is insidiously designed to force monetization, which can be


“The Loss of an Online Home”
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 August 2013, 3:11 pm
Remember yesterday, when I suggested that the person who thought that WoW should be shut down anytime soon was smoking a big ol’ bag of crack?  It turns out that


So Blizzard has confirmed what everyone who has actually seen the numbers behind a free to play game have actually suspected – they are in the process of debating whether


Those Unwilling To Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 August 2013, 2:32 am
At least Wildstar is willing to try something different.  While I’ve been on the plane to GamesCom, both Final Fantasy XIV and Elder Scrolls Online were kind enough to elaborate


Yer Killin’ Me, Wildstar
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 August 2013, 2:14 pm
It probably comes as no surprise that I have discovered religion about Free 2 Play in a big way.  It’s very clearly the way that the future of the genre


XBox One Announces Self-Publishing Program
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 August 2013, 11:46 am
Color me cautiously optimistic: Microsoft said there are no application fees, no certification fees and no title update fees…. Registered developers will receive two Xbox One development kits at no cost,


Design Review: Last of Us
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 August 2013, 2:23 am
I just finished “Last of Us”, or as my wife likes to refer to it, the “Dumpster Moving Simulator”.  It is good — very good — but I found it


Design Review: Don’t Starve
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 August 2013, 1:03 am
Don’t Starve is a fascinating little game available on Steam.  The best way to describe it is that it’s a crafting game with the soul of a Rogue-like.  Your character


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