Archive for category: Pages

Make Bad Games

March 3, 2017 at 6:29 pm

My rant at the 2011 GDC Social Game Developers Rant Session received the 2012 Duct Tape Award for best rant. The acceptance rant I gave when receiving that award then itself won the Duct Tape Award the following year. This is my acceptance rant for my acceptance rant for my rant, originally presented in March of 2013. So, this was me 2 years ago on this panel. I gave a rant about social games. It went well! And, this was me last year, accepting the coveted duct tape award (I was feeling a little… full of myself). I gave this […]


Value Propositions in Free-to-Play Games

November 24, 2016 at 8:04 am

We often take for granted the player’s ability to intuitively understand transactional moments in free-to-play games. For a player, these transactional moments occur whenever they are evaluating the exchange between their time, real money, and access to gameplay or content. This is important for building and tuning both monetization through microtransactions, as well as through ad revenue. If the player is asked to spend money for something they can earn in the game, they will evaluate whether the amount asked for is fair, given the amount of time it would take to otherwise acquire that content. They will also evaluate […]


How to Have a Good Meeting

August 4, 2015 at 10:15 pm

I’ve been in a lot of bad meetings over my years in the game industry. You can tell a meeting’s bad when it seems unnecessary, runs long, and people leave feeling cynical and exhausted. Meetings like that are the reason people hate meetings. As a game designer, I began to come up with rules for good meetings, thinking of the meeting itself as a game that can be played well. After all, game design is about imposing structure on boundless play, and structureless meetings are often the ones that go off the rails the quickest. A successful meeting is well-run and […]


Why casual games are addictive: an unordered list.

February 19, 2007 at 7:24 pm

No instruction necessary: learn as you play; the game won’t eat you alive if you don’t know what you’re doing. You only need one hand: you can play casual games while riding the subway, or eating a sandwich. Simple controls also make them less intimidating to newcomers. You’re not gonna die if the phone rings: a lot of the action is dependent upon the player, so if you need to walk away for a minute you’re not jeopardizing hours of gameplay. Plus… If you lose, it’s not the end of the world: casual games don’t penalize you too hard for […]