A Brief Tutorial on Tutorials

I recently got asked about my thoughts on how to create a great tutorial. This is something I’ve talked a lot about but never written a post on. That time has come. Summary Make them Curious: Curiosity is the motivation to learn something. Lots of people talk about the need to provide an obvious value […]

How to be a Great Collaborator

“You want to be someone that people are excited to share their ideas with.” Whenever a new designer asks me for mentorship, this is the first thing I tell them. Many people instinctively point out problems with ideas, and problems often don’t have easy solutions that can be invented in the moment. If you do […]

How Do You Win a Creative Debate?

“How do you win a creative debate?” I got asked this once during an interview and my brain just froze. I didn’t know how to answer. I finally said, “By asking questions.” My proudest moments in development are when we make something that’s better than any of our individual visions. On Faeria, I pitched an […]

Who counts as a Real Game Developer?

I’ve seen some people in QA, Community Management, Project Management, IT, and other vital roles at game studios be reluctant to take credit for being “game developers”. The test is simple: If we can’t develop or support the game without you, you’re a game developer. It’s that simple.

Making Travel Interesting in TTRPGs

A lot of people ask about how to make travelling fun in TTRPGs. Sometimes I end up writing my thoughts on this question twice in the same day. I thought I’d repost one of my recent answers here for reference. The journey must be as fun as the rest of the adventure. A problem arises when […]

How to Make Great Random Encounters (for RPGs)

I love practicing game design in TTRPGs (tabletop roleplaying games). I’ve run D&D summer camps for kids, games for friends, games at work, games in most major systems, and systems of my own design. I’ve also run hundreds of sessions in random-encounter-heavy sandboxes. Many of my players have loved the open-ended experience and wanted to […]

Why Spend $500,000 on a Free Game?

The $185,000 Toy In November 2019, Hake Auctions in York sold an ancient artifact for $185,850. That artifact? A plastic action figure of Boba Fett, standing just 3.75 inches tall. The prototype Boba Fett is one of the rarest and most desired toys in any star wars collection. When its missile launching rocket pack was […]

What TTRPGs can learn from Videogames

Running and working on tabletop RPGs is one of the best ways to practice game design. It’s how I started learning how to do videogames. Now that I’ve been a videogame designer for years, I’ve been going the other direction – pulling ideas from videogames and using them to level up my tabletop RPGs. I […]

How do I get a job as a game developer?

I get questions about this from recent graduates all the time. Here’s what I tell them. First: Treat your dream job like a quest log. Pick a dream job you want to have in 10 years, maybe a lead designer or creative director, and look at job postings for it. Check their requirements. Follow them […]

How to Bake a Color Pie

The Question “Why don’t I just put all the best cards in the same deck?” “Why don’t I just use all the best abilities on the same RPG character?” “Why don’t I just use all the best units in the same army?” Many games with a variety of gameplay options run into this question. When […]