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Archive for the ‘Developer Rants’ Category

Against the cult of simplicity

If you’ve spent any significant time going through my archive of design-focused articles, you probably know that I am allergic to dogmatic declarations about how to design games. Over the past four years, I’ve responded to calls to remove text from games, calls to remove story and attractive visual art…

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Quantum interpretation and art as a Rorschach test

Back in April, Dutch indie studio Vlambeer was embroiled in a controversy over the use of Nazi-style imagery in its 2D dogfighting game Luftrausers. Rami Ismail (the business half of Vlambeer, and a fellow developer whose company and conversation I quite enjoy) took to the Vlambeer blog to defuse the…

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In defense of John Walker’s copyright article

John Walker of RockPaperShotgun wrote an editorial today that has worked the internet into one of its customary tizzies. As I sometimes do, I feel obliged to weigh in here. I can understand why some people are upset. For one thing, the piece focuses on the tiny minority of artists…

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Telepath Tactics, PAX and the Indie MEGABOOTH

This PAX Prime was my first PAX Prime. It was incredible. We won a Drool Award from Twinfinite.net, one of only 10 they give out at the event; TotalBiscuit stopped by my booth and played a live 1-v-1 match against the AI for 30 minutes; I got to do interviews…

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Why I’m using female lead characters

Back in October, you may recall me writing a bit about the challenges I’ve faced in writing female lead characters. Today, I’d like to talk a bit more about why I have chosen to have female leads–and in the process, hopefully convince some of my fellow developers to follow suit.…

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Unpredictability and control in turn-based combat: an examination

Unpredictability makes art interesting. Twists of plot, unconventional characterizations, and surprising character development engage a reader’s imagination; unique instrumentation, sudden shifts in time signature, or an unexpected chord progression delight the ear. So is it with games. Exploration, experimentation, discovery: all of these depend upon unpredictability, on gaps in the…

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