Game Design, Development and History

How Process Changes You

I’ve been struggling with the start to the book I want to write. The urge to write it hasn’t faded, and I have the opening scene in my head. The problem is that I’ve changed in the many years since I used to write regularly. When I used to write,

Read More »

Virtual Life in Crags

I was hired at Media Station, Inc. (MSI) in 1997 as Senior Producer/Designer for multiple game titles. At the time, MSI specialized in children’s titles developed for Disney and Hasbro, among others. Although they had just finished a core game title (Extreme Tactics), they wanted to make improvements in the

Read More »

Music from Shadows

I found an archive of Shadows, which included the music. It was great (and sad) to hear it again after all these years. The Main Theme was especially moving for me, since it was closely tied to the game’s story as well as our development of the game. You can

Read More »

Confessions of a Total Blog-Slacker

@Laralyn Yeah you are a total blog-slacker!!! –@cuppy OK, so it’s been a while. I admit it. A whole bunch of things happened within a couple months and then, look at that: it’s the end of August! I’ll post an update soon with my new work information, but I didn’t

Read More »

The Past Is Nothing But Whispers… And Shadows

It’s the perfect title for the first game postmortem post, and it’s also the tag-line from the game Shadows. Background I’d always wanted to make games, but my self-taught programming skills were simply not good enough to code graphics and audio. So I did a bunch of other stuff for

Read More »

Losing History, and Gaining Perspective

As I sort through all my accumulated game debris to prepare for our upcoming move, I keep finding old design documents, cinematics scripts, flow charts, .ini files, screen shots, and even a softball team tee shirt from games I’ve worked on. Video games suffer a uniquely short memory when it

Read More »

Thoughts on Dead Space 2

Two 99% unrelated facts: I’m playing Dead Space 2, and @mjayg tweeted a question to me: do I blog somewhere else, since this blog is so inactive? What makes these two facts 1% related is that you could call my blog “dead space” lately. So here’s a belated new year’s

Read More »

Have Games Evolved?

There’s an interesting blog post at Armchair Arcade that discusses an evergreen debate: are modern games better than old games, or are they simply different? I don’t think there’s an absolute answer to that, even if you discount technology changes (the main point of his blog post). There’s one thing

Read More »

In The Works

My first posts on the site talked about making an adventure game. I said I’d post more when I had details on it, then… nothing. What happened? I changed my mind about what I wanted to make. I love adventure games, especially games like Myst. The first game I ever

Read More »

Realism in Games

The topic of realism in games comes up pretty frequently, about a wide range of specific areas like design, art, and physics simulations. I’m going to talk specifically about realism in design for this blog post. What do I mean by realism in design? Here are some examples, from RPGs

Read More »

GDC Presentation Slides

Slides from my GDC presentations are available at the links below. Using Progression to Motivate Casual Players Running a Live Game If you have access to the full GDC Vault, the videos are a lot better than just the slides. I usually have light slides, with most of the “meat”

Read More »

Irrevocable Player Choices

Fair warning: this blog post talks about choices players can make while playing a game that block off or change subsequent game choices or content. It’s impossible to talk about that without significant spoilers. If you don’t want to get spoiled on Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins and a

Read More »