A Simpson Lesson in User-Oriented Desing

  This is not a joke. If you’re giving people direction, just give people direction. Tell them, “Press Enter”. Then if they press something else, you can still start the program anyway. When you ask people to make a decision in something they’re unfamiliar with, all our evolutionary instincts to avoid making decisions before we […]

Be Worried if Someone Likes it All

Many games offer focused, simple experiences. Other games, like CCGs, miniatures games, fighting games, RPGs, mobas and more tend to offer a diverse menu of playstyles. This is one of their strengths, as lots of different players can enjoy the same game together. They can also provide variety for players, offering the option to change […]

Intelligent Design – The Legend of Zelda (NES)

The original Legend of Zelda on the NES was one of the first open world games. I played it for the first time last year, and it shockingly still holds up very well. So I made a video analyzing the design of the opening section and the core combat/movement mechanics. There’s a LOT of surprising […]

It’s Not Always Mechanics

There’s a tendency I’ve noticed in myself and other designers to try to fix everything in a game by focusing on the core mechanics, the basic rules of the game. When I was working on the Kayn Somos expansion for Star Wars: Imperial Assault, my first instinct in designing my mission was to look for […]