Two Turnarounds
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I was really impressed by Luke in week five of So Play We All. He built a playtestable game fast and, more importantly, he learned from it. He’s decided to completely rework his gameplay. Player interaction wasn’t what he wanted and he realized it would be a huge amount of work to write. It’s not easy to decide you’ve spent time building the wrong thing, and that maturity impressed me.

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Small Steps
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In Week 5 of So Play We All, things were pretty quiet. I bugfixed and laid groundwork. Luke… uh… did something. I read his post and it sounds like he added some helpers but otherwise mostly just rewrote his story. It’s more enjoyable now (seriously, play it), but it doesn’t really feel structurally any different. There’s no added mechanics that I can see. I’m curious where he’s going, though.

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SPWA Week 2: Funding and Forms
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So Play We All is partly a motivation hack, with teammates/competitors and penalties to make sure we each put in time towards our games. Luke’s job sent him to a conference for almost all of the week, so he didn’t get to do any of his hours. He’s paying us both $20. To keep anyone from falling behind, we’ve tweaked the rules to say that anyone who pays the penalty for missed hours can make them up when they have the time.

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SPWA Week 1 Response: Code Hassles and Kittens
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This week in So Play We All our topic was “Signup” and our budget was 4 hours. I originally pushed for more time, but I ended up glad that it was short as I hacked things out on the last day. I don’t need to belabor that, let’s look at how Luke and Jim did with their games.

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SPWA Week 0 Response: A Strong Start
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As mentioned in the rules for So Play We All, we’re required to respond to each other’s progress update. I’m going to be doing the Oaqn progress updates on that blog but the feedback here, mostly to keep that blog focused.

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Grind Without Progression in Die2Nite
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I’ve been playing the game Die2Nite with a few friends, and I’m fascinated that it has no character advancement — no levels, no skills, no upgrades — but it has a terrible grind.

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Social Pastimes
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In a previous post I wrote:

I look at the most popular Facebook games and only see pastimes, idle toys requiring action with little thought, minimal direct competition, and even rarer losses. Oh, and tens of millions of players.

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Yomi vs. Nash Equilibria
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I was rereading David Sirlin’s World of Warcraft Teaches the Wrong Things as part of a conversation with a friend and I got to pondering his concept of yomi. I’ve previously mentioned it as having an influence on my game designs, so I’ll just quote his short definition:

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Competition and Bluffing
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Direct competition is when a game is decided by how the opponents interact, how well they stop each other from succeeding. Indirect competition is when opponents can’t influence each others’ successes, like in a sprint.

I love the way that poker straddles the line between the two. The contest of who has the best hand is indirect, I can’t take cards out of your hand, you can’t prevent me from drawing, we make our separate choices and win solely by ranking.

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Game Influences (7/6): Warstorm
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I thought I’d finished the six post series on games that influenced Athenge, but I soon saw a game that changed my plans. This post is about how I analyze games by verbs, decision timing, and business concerns.

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