Elder Scrolls Ditches the Subscription Model
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 January 2015, 2:43 am
Well, they didn’t TECHNICALLY go Free-to-Play, so I can’t say I told you so.  It looks more like they are going with the Guild Wars model.  I can’t say I’m a fan yet – from what I’ve heard the game would sincerely benefit from the massive influx of population that would happen if they ditched all […]


‘Built From the Ground Up for DLC’ is Not a Selling Point
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 January 2015, 11:49 pm
Jimquisition has something to say about Evolve’s monetization schemes.  Go ahead and watch, I’ll wait here. Here’s one example of Turtle Rock saying that Evolve was built to support DLC “more than any game ever before.”  Now, I want to be clear: it’s great to hear of a team that had that foresight and that […]


The Orphans of GamerGate
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2015, 3:24 am
As the temperature around GamerGate continues to fade, the various forums and threads about the subject have been cooling.  Many people around the industry seem to be warming to the idea that the worst is finally over.  KotakuInAction is slowing, GamerGhazi is encouraging discussions of other topics, NeoGAF is looking to let its gamergate thread […]


Pornhub Metrics are Deeply Fascinating Look at Worldwide Trends (SFW)
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2015, 2:21 am
If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t get offended by the notion of porn, then you’ll likely be as intrigued as I am by PornHub’s annual statistical review, which gives in-depth analysis to the trends of their viewership.  The report is here, and is, at least visually, safe for work.  The previous year is […]


The Best and Worst Board Games
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2015, 3:49 am
538.com is long one of my favorite sites, as it was founded by Nate Silver, who is of course the statistics savant who made a name for himself pretty much nailing the last two presidential elections based on a lot of disparate polling data.  Since that time, they’ve left their home on the New York […]


Wardell on Diversity
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 January 2015, 1:39 pm
Brad is far more sympathetic to GamerGate’s goals and tactics than I am, so I’m not totally surprised that he calls bullshit on Intel’s diversity announcement (which I discussed previously here).  That being said, there are a couple of fallacious arguments that should be brought up. During the event, Intel even featured the Feminist Frequency […]


Pentagon Wars, Foldable Humans and Other Miscellaneous Stuff
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 January 2015, 11:14 pm
It’s been a while since I did a grab bag of stuff, but there was a convergence of minor stuff that merits a mention. * Remember the GamerGate 8chan child porn story?  People who aren’t horrible human beings will be pleased to know that the journalist who found, documented and reported on the child porn, […]


Intel Steps It Up On Diversity
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 January 2015, 5:18 am
Yesterday, Intel made a major announcement, effectively setting a dare up for other tech companies by declaring a $300 Million dollar investment in Diversity, including the goal of a fully representative workplace by 2020. This is a pretty staggeringly ambitious goal for a large, major international company, and by at least this account, we largely have GamerGate […]


Design Features I Love: Saboteur
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 December 2014, 3:40 am
The first single-player open world game of the post-Playstation era that I ever loved was Saboteur.  I realize that may seem to come a little late, but to be honest, if you’re used to the wide open worlds of MMOs for your entire career, GTA and the like actually seemed kinda … empty.  After all, […]


Endless Legend Revitalizes the Civlike by Rethinking the City Expansion Game
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 December 2014, 12:20 am
Well, when Civ:BE failed to grab me, what I reached for instead was a different 4x game that was recommended to me: Endless Legend. This is a Civ-like set in a fantasy universe, similar to a Masters of Magic. And man, does it scratch the Civ itch in ways I find new and different for […]


GamerGate Hits Rock Bottom, Keeps Digging
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 December 2014, 2:30 pm
GamerGate has chosen a peculiar hill to die on.  Yes, this Christmas is the Christmas that the cause to fight for ethics in games journalism is best served with a spicy discussion of child pornography.  Because of course it is.  People who want to read a more in-depth analysis can go here. GG has a […]


Operation ZenRescue Completed
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 December 2014, 9:52 pm
During my time off, I have been devoting a fair amount of my time and energy to rescuing my old blog content – a couple of years ago, I had an incident with my hosting that resulted in me needing to start over with a clean state, which put about 8 years of content in […]


Added New ‘Published Articles’ section
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 December 2014, 4:57 pm
Between 2008-2013, I wrote a column for Game Developer magazine called “Design of the Times”.  As part of me enjoying my time off, I created a new Page for these articles – you can find them from the Published Articles … Continue reading


On Progressive vs. Normal Criticism
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 December 2014, 2:10 am
Erik Kain of Forbes Magazine says that on the topic of GamerGate, I understand it among the best.  Which is high praise, as he’s been fairly plugged into the controversy from the outset, and is actually reasonably sympathetic to some of … Continue reading


MMOs and the Fall of THQ
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 December 2014, 1:33 am
The AAA games industry has hysterically overreacted to the failure of anyone to capture the lightning in the bottle that World of Warcraft.  It’s weird – AAA studios seem completely and totally oblivious to the fact that EverQuest was quite successful … Continue reading


Civilization: Beyond Earth, and Resonance’s Role in Game Design
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 December 2014, 1:15 pm
I won’t lie – when I was planning on when my last day with Bioware would be, the idea of coinciding it with the release of Civilization: Beyond Earth was pretty damned serendipitous.  I expected to go into a six month … Continue reading


GamerGate Now Beating Up on Gamers With Disabilities
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 December 2014, 8:28 pm
AbleGamers is a charity that I have some familiarity with.  I actually spoke on a panel for AbleGamers in 2012 at PAX, when I also accepted the award for Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year on behalf of the SWTOR … Continue reading


Perversely, the Target GTA V Kerfuffle Represents Progress
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 December 2014, 3:55 am
Target Australia’s decision to pull GTA V from shelves is surprising for a few reasons, the least of which being that the product has been on shelves with nary a buzz since September 2013.  Not much has changed since then, … Continue reading


Updated Breaking In Page
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 December 2014, 6:04 pm
I’ve updated it, so it has working links, and now has a section that talks about watching your social media footprint.  Here’s a link.


Yes, GamerGate Still Exists- Just In Petty Drama-Oriented Form
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 December 2014, 3:50 am
So, how is #GamerGate going, you might ask?  I’ll be honest – I went out of town for five blissful days for a board game convention, which is pretty much as close to a religious experience as I get.  During … Continue reading


“Framed” Design Review (and the concept of Design Space)
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 November 2014, 2:29 pm
“Framed” is a brilliant experimental iPhone game, built on one incredibly genius design idea, but appears to run out of room quickly. First off, I love the look and the style of this game.  The character design is strong, given … Continue reading


That Stephen Seagal Moment
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 November 2014, 8:25 pm
About a year ago, I decided to lose some weight with the Rock Band Exercise program.  In short, Rock Band on Expert Drums will totally and completely kick your ass.  Along the way to losing about 40 pounds, I gold … Continue reading


In The Process of Trying to Find a More Comment-Friendly Theme
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 1:59 am
I’ve changed the theme to be more readable than the previous, particularly in the reply chains.  I’m still looking for potentially better layouts, particularly for comment threads.  If you have feedback, or better ideas on WordPress templates (keep in mind, … Continue reading


Guitar Hero Finally Gets a Bad Review
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 November 2014, 6:21 pm
This guy’s complaint: “Guitar Hero broke my knee!” We were neck in neck in points… I had to do something special. I needed STYLE points. I breathed deep, my rock


Sarkeesian Effect Duo Reanimates Defeated Corpse of Jack Thompson
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 November 2014, 10:18 pm
Dear GamerGate, I know that you guys are starting to think about the Holidays, and what Black Friday stunt you can pull.  I know, in particular, game developer outreach is top


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