February 2010
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Month February 2010

Quadradius

The computer game concepts that most interest me, and most engage my computer game design time, are those that bridge the paper game world and the traditional computer game world. If you play a game like Scrabble, or Bridge, or Magic online your experience is vastly different than Starcraft or Counterstrike or World of Warcraft. Why are there so few games in the gulf between these designs?

There are a few, and one of my favorites is Quadradius. It feels like a board game, but is not at all a mere transliteration of a board game. It brings the strengths of the computer to more traditional game design without the burden of trying to be a simulation.

The Man with the Plan

I often get told that I am a bit of a loner. I hear this every so often from my friends. I would probably hear it more often if I had more friends I guess, or maybe not. It is a conundrum that keeps me up for a few extra seconds every night. At various times it can be an advantage. In game design there are several approaches that companies use when developing new games. Each of the styles has its weaknesses and strengths, and not all styles work for all designers.

Whether these styles come into play often depends on the method the company uses to acquire new games. There are a lot of game designers in the field, although many of them are now huddled around something called Facebook. Because there are a lot of designers, many larger companies use a submission process, where they basically let the designers play in their various sandboxes and make their creations and then look them over when the designers bring the finished or “sufficiently finished to prove concept” games to their doors. Since larger companies usually have a proven track record of bringing these to market and several have proven track records for success, there is generally an abundance of submissions going for a smaller number of spots, and the really successful ones often have more submissions than they want to receive.