Intelligent Design – Castlevania (Finale!)

It’s time for the epic conclusion with the final boss! We explore how the designers gave this fight depth and a process of evolving discovery, as well as creating a sense of paranoia with a few simple mechanics. A fitting climax to an extraordinary game. Why couldn’t the other bosses be this good?  

Tis the Season for the TSA

Games are processes. Designing processes interests me. Designing a security screening process for airports is similar to designing a game. It just has different design goals. Looking at complaints against America’s TSA security process reveals some design lessons. First off, a lot of people think the process is stupid. It’s inconvenient and repeatedly misses things. […]

I Was Wrong, I Didn’t Know That

One of the hardest phrases for a lot of people, myself included, to say is “I was wrong”. Closely followed by, “I didn’t know that” or, “I don’t know”. I’ve often found myself making excuses or not wanting to admit a mistake, or even feeling a completely irrational sense of resentment when someone ends up […]

Mixed Martial Arts – Free Print and Play

Mixed Martial Arts is a shuffle-building head to head fighting game. It’s a love letter to one of my favorite games growing up, Star Wars – Epic Duels. The rules can be taught in under 5 minutes (I usually teach them in less than 2) and games are lightning fast. There’s also a wealth of […]

Different isn’t Enough

A lot of designers, writers and artists I work with often have an impulse to do things differently. Differently than what? Differently than whatever is normally done of course. Why? Because it’s more creative! Imagine applying this thinking to fields where success and failure are more clear and objective. Why are you trying to cure this […]