A note before I start: This is a list in jest to make fun of archetypal people you could possibly run across in the game industry. I know firsthand because I have been, and still am, some of these. So if you feel offended because you identify with one of these description, take solace in knowing that we are all that annoying person to someone at our studio. The Prestigious Career Transfer Ever wonder what a game designed by a Banker is like? Me neither. This is your classic Management Consultant, Lawyer, Investment Banker or Private Equity Analyst that is stepping down to join the game industry because… they think they like games sorta. Equipped with an ivy-league degree, they[…]

“Masters of Doom”, or the obligatory extended title “Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture”, tells the story of two game industry legends, taking the reader from the childhood of John Romero and John Carmack to the founding of id Software all the way through to the departure of Romero and the launch of the infamous Daikatana. The meat of the book takes place over a 7-year period that includes the development and release of Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake. Author David Kushner delivers a first in class video game novel that blends non-fiction with narrative retelling and will appeal to developers, players, journalist and basically anyone with a passing interest in[…]

I took an interview with a game consultancy to earn part-time income while I finish my current project. After a phone interview and a zoom interview, they gave me a take home “test”. The “test” was estimated to take 4-7 hours. I needed to use their slideshow template and make everything “as if it is a final delivery to a client”.  Here were the requirements: Personal Breakdown my work history over the last 5-years include companies, games, positions and skills as it relates to F2P product management Breakdown what I think the elements that make up F2P product management are and what my strengths are in each one Game XYZX (it is an actual live mobile game) Technical Stack Break[…]

Florence is a mobile game that captures the fleeting feeling of new love and how temporary moments in life can feel. Backed by an assortment of mechanics, Florence tells a slice of Florence Yeoh’s life during her mid-twenties as she finds herself. I truly love games that don’t involve combat, or murder, and try to capture human emotion through gameplay without overt narrative. Florence is one of those game; it is themed towards romance but still a successful attempt at capturing the key moments and emotions in life through interactive gameplay. From falling in love at first sight to the mundane existence of office life; the game communicates as much through gameplay as it does through visuals and music. PLAY[…]

Creating unique content is hard. Smart developers will find a way to reuse content without players even noticing, disguising it as all new obstacles. These has two benefits: 1) it gives the illusion that you’ve created two unique pieces of content 2) in the instance of skill based puzzles, it gives players another challenge to reinforce the same puzzle skills. In a previous post I outlined the core puzzle of the game (link) and how I reused the idea of solving logical gate equations for a world puzzle (link). But how could I reuse the core puzzle for a world puzzle without the players knowing it? The answer is in slightly changing the equation, not the components of the puzzle.[…]

Which game genre has been beaten to death by entries that bring nothing new to it? MOBA, Match-3, Battle Royale, Hero Shooter, Survival, Sandbox, Mobile Strategy, CCG, Metroidvanias, Platformers? No matter the platform or development budget, if a game is very successful, than fast follows are guaranteed to well… follow fastly. But why do strings of companies attempt to capture the success of a genre leader by shallow-copying it? And more importantly, does this fast follow strategy ever work? The why is easy to explain. Professional level games are very difficult to make and even more difficult to forecast revenue generation. Making a game with a completely original game design is risky both financially and executionally. Coming up with games[…]

“Blood, Sweat and Pixels”, or its much longer full title “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made”, is a book that covers the development of 10 different video games; each chapter featuring a different game. The overall content of the book is lifting the veil behind game development at different scales (solo-dev, small team and high end AAA) to show how grueling game development is. Jason Schreier has stated that he wanted to answer the age old question: Why is it so damn hard to make video games? Overview Each chapter of “Blood, Sweat and Pixels” covers a different game’s development. Like mentioned above, there are 10 in total: Stardew Valley by Eric[…]

Leaving off from the last devlog, I have basic novel gameplay (link) and an overall design north star (link). This leads to developing the first part of the game. The game starts with an anti-virus program, anthropomorphized as the playable character of the game, arrives at the infected computer. After a tutorial location, the player enters the first dungeon, the Ethernet Card. Ideally every dungeon in a game has its own unique personality. Taking a note from The Legend of Zelda, each dungeon can separate themselves by providing a unique mechanic only found in that dungeon. What is the unique mechanic within an Ethernet Card? I have no clue. When I’m making a dungeon there are generally two design methods:[…]

“Console Wars”, or its robust full title “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation”, documents the fourth generation of video game consoles through the eyes of Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske, with occasional perspectives provided by Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President Howard Lincoln and Sony’s Olaf Olafsson. Overview The book starts in 1990, after the home console crash of the early 80’s and subsequent revival by Nintendo with the Famicom/NES in the late 80’s. The book’s main plot follows how Kalinske took the then unknown Sega from a 5% market share to 55% of the home console market through marketing the Genesis as an edgy, more adult video game console in-contrast to Nintendo’s family[…]

In my previous developer update (Link), I showed off the “core” experience of my current game. It can be summarized by solving logical gate problems (AND, OR, XOR, etc.) horizontally and vertically where each bit can impact multiple equations, changing one bit to solve an equation left could un-solve an equation right, or up, or down. But what to do with a novel puzzle that is both dull and complex at the same time? How do I containerize puzzles? How does the player feel progression? What is the overall reason to play this game over the 500 other games released that month? The best place to start looking for answers is at how your contemporaries solve the problem of framing[…]