Ramping Up

…and away we go! Look for an explosion of content in the coming weeks. In addition to general blog posts – book reports, short observations, game criticism – I have a long list of ‘to add’ including various games I’ve created, articles, speeches I’ve given, interviews with various game designers, an ‘idea blog’, and Virtools tutorials (a middleware package we use for rapid prototyping.)

When posting games I’ll talk about things that might be useful: my design goals, the creative and executive process, what conclusions or lessons I can share, and what questions I came across (some of which I’m still looking to answer – feel free to chime in!)

Articles for this site are focused on providing useful, practical tools for game innovation. I have a list of over 30 things I’ll address in future articles; In the pipeline right now I have an article titled ‘Principles of Reactive Motion’ and another tentatively titled ‘The Mystery of Mario 64.’

For speeches, I’ll post my Powerpoint slides. These are primarily lectures from the various classes I teach, though I do a fair amount of speaking at the local IGDA chapter and elsewhere. Most of my slides have relatively high notes per slide ratio, so they should be mostly self explanatory. If not, feel free to email me with questions. In the future I’ll find an integrated solution for playing back slides and videos concurrently.

On this site, interviews will be focused on design innovation. By way of process, philosophy, and insight, my goal is to get as in depth as possible, to get to the meat of various designers’ approaches. One thing I often notice when game designers are interviewed is a general reluctance to articulate process, philosophy, or important lessons learned. Big surprise, then, that these interviews aren’t very helpful at a practical level. I’d guess that many times this is simply a product of design being so internalized, so instinctual. Other times designers are clearly concerned about ‘giving away the farm’ or of revealing ‘trade secrets.’ Are we so insecure? Sharing best practices, methodologies, and creative insights benefits us all. If our industry is to have a future, we need more great games that appeal to more and more types of people. Great games are designed by great game designers. If every person who has the potential to design a great game has to learn everything from scratch, we’ll have a lot fewer great games. It’s as simple as that. Don’t you want to play those games? :)

Finally, the ‘Idea Blog’ is a journal of interesting, innovative game ideas. Chris Crawford, in Chris Crawford on Game Design, provides a chapter full of ‘games I’d like to make.’ The Idea Blog is essentially the same thing, but public. I’d like to create a public repository of interesting, provocative ideas for games as a resource for game innovators. After all, ideas are worthless.

Stay tuned!