Player vs. Player in TTRPGs

In other kinds of games, PvP often means pure competition. Kill, invade, outbid, defeat. The opposition is defeated and you win, or you didn’t perform at your best today and you lose. It’s straightforward either way. But in the land of pens, papers, dungeons, and dragons, it’s not straightforward at all. Competing player against playerContinue reading “Player vs. Player in TTRPGs”

Game Design Philosophy

My design philosophy comes from thinking that games are fantastic tools for creating experiences rather than telling stories. There are many design philosophies you can have that will let you make fantastic games, but this one is mine. The Demonstrable Cool It was industry veteran Ian Stephens who phrased this in his sadly defunct blog.Continue reading “Game Design Philosophy”

A Love Letter to Cyberpunk 2077

In July 2010, the Nolan film Inception premiered. It has since been said that the film was “A multilayered, self-reflexive action film that fires on all cylinders, manipulating time through meticulous editing to deliver a hard-hitting cinematic experience.”(1) Others felt, “[T]he real cause of wonder […] is why Nolan should have embraced technocratic complexity inContinue reading “A Love Letter to Cyberpunk 2077”

Future Game Story

For years, I’ve told friends and colleagues that I think game stories suck. A perspective that most can relate to, but only as an intellectual topic far from practical reality. People nod their heads, then happily play and continue making story-driven games anyway. I believe that there’s room for a discussion about game story, whatContinue reading “Future Game Story”

Devs Just Want to Have Fun

Game development curriculums around the world—especially ones that teach game design—tend to focus on what’s fun for the students rather than on what they need to know to do the job. Rapid in-engine prototyping, short projects, high level game design theory, boardgame development, etc. But focusing on the fun stuff sometimes means you forget what’sContinue reading “Devs Just Want to Have Fun”

Gamifying the Faustian Bargain

I started playing boardgames when I was nine or ten, and whether writing rules for role-playing games or adding necromancy spells to HeroQuest, I explored the making of games almost from day one. My fate had been sealed. Fast forward to adulthood through a brief stint as a journalist, a couple of “real” jobs, andContinue reading “Gamifying the Faustian Bargain”