It either matters or it doesn’t

People often ask me why I tend to use “she” and other female pronouns when talking about players in my design articles. The answer is the same as when people ask me about my views on replacing classically male characters with female remakes, or other examples of gender representation. Here it is: Either gender representation […]

Why I love collaboration

Over the last five years every personal project I’ve worked on has been a collaboration. I expect the next five years to go the same way. Collaboration is the most fun part of design for me. You get to talk about the game or story with passionate people. You can share the thrill of solving […]

How to Know the Unknowable

There’s a simple technique to figuring out stuff that people usually get incredibly wrong. Here’s how it works. Let’s say I give you a complex question with a bunch of moving parts and unknown factors. For example, “Is it feasible to create an original pokemon-style game with an additional mmo-like quest system, using a team of 7 […]

Bad ideas are mold, they flourish in the right environment

It’s helpful to think of BS, incompetence, bad ideas and so on like mold spores. They’re always around looking for an opportunity to take hold. The harder it is to determine objectively who is right/wrong or who is to credit/blame for something, the more the mold flourishes. I work in a creative, team-driven field with […]

What is “fun” anyway?

Fun = Satisfaction + Flow State. It’s that simple. Think of it like that and you’ll have a useful, actionable and practical definition for the classic definition of game-generated fun. People use the word ‘fun’ for lots of things (notably any positive experience with no clear long-term value, such as a ‘fun movie’), but nearly […]

The Misunderstanding of “Say Yes”

Basically everyone has heard of the common improv rule of “always say yes”. This is because improv theater can’t afford to slow down and solve a conflict, it’s designed to run full speed ahead and often creates hilarious results. There’s a reason why improv comedy is rampant but improvisational drama doesn’t work quite as well. […]

A Blasphemous Improvement to Pokemon

I grew up playing Pokemon. It’s an incredible series. The games are brilliant in many ways. Let’s just assume I’m not hating on the series and move on. Pokemon has a simple problem: Catching Pokemon is largely pointless. Higher level pokemon gain absurd advantages over their less powerful counterparts. The game also provides better stat […]