I don’t want a rockstar. Rockstars are arrogant messes who steal the spotlight, trash hotel rooms, and leave the rest of the band to apologize and clean up. I don’t want a ninja. Ninjas are dishonorable and would sooner stab their enemies in the back than face them in battle. I don’t want a wizard. Wizards are fictional; they’re an impossible promise. I want a game designer. Game designers know when to talk and when to act. Game designers look at difficult situations and smile. Game designers thrive within constraints, and love making things. And game designers recognize they can’t […]
Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been loudly encouraging independent game developers to begin playing with Facebook and social games. Out of 568 entries for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, a handful are playable on or with Facebook. And while this might seem paltry, I think it’s an important first step, and I’d like to bring attention to these few games. (If I’m missing any, please let me know and I’ll amend the list). Age of Defenders, CUKETA, s.r.o.; Multi-Platform (including Facebook) Fighting Cube, GAMEWORKS, CO., LTD; Facebook Hero Generations, Heart Shaped Games; Facebook Nightmare Cove, Evil Plot Games; Facebook […]
This is the image that appears when you use Color, illustrating what I can only assume is the ideal user behavior from the perspective of the developers. It’s captioned “Take photos together.” But this isn’t an illustration of people taking photos together. It’s an illustration of a bunch of snobbish white people more preoccupied with taking photos and posting them to “elastic social networks” than actually being “together” — than being present in the moment and enjoying the company of those around them. They all look like assholes to me. Is that who this app’s for?
One of my goals for 2011 is to make significant progress towards publishing my first non-digital game. So as this year moves forward, I’ll be putting more and more thought into designing Billy Pilgrim, my tentatively-titled card game about love and unintentional time travel. What feels like a hundred years ago, I talked about playing cards — ubiquitous decks of 52 which comprise the toolset of countless games. I’ve known from the beginning that Billy Pilgrim was meant to be a card game. As vehicles of widespread gameplay, cards are undeniably important. But I think it’s easy for us, as […]
2010 turned out to be a difficult year for me. Over a period of 14 months, I had a lot of what I believed thrown into question — about privacy, about my career, about my passion for games. I spent countless mornings wondering what I should’ve done differently. It’s over now, but for a long time I couldn’t see what that end was going to be, or when it was going to happen. It became very important for me to solidify my understanding of what I was trying to do in the game industry. I needed a reason to stick […]
Dear Apple: kthxbai.
Been quite busy these last few months, but the fruit of my (and a whole lot of other people’s) labor has finally been revealed. I am quite proud to be Design Lead on City of Wonder, Playdom’s latest social game, which has been receiving quite humbling reviews. Today I’m leaving for a very different kind of city of wonder to attend Burning Man 2010. I’ll be delightfully Away From Keyboard from 8/29 through 9/6. If you find yourself on the Playa, come visit me at 6:30 & Baghdad. I’ve designed two games in keeping with this year’s theme — they’re […]
Ian Bogost created Cow Clicker, according to this tweet, as “a Facebook game about Facebook games.” And I do get it. It’s funny. Ha ha. Okay now but seriously, it could be better. Ian, if you’re paying attention, here’s how to improve your Facebook game about Facebook games. 1) Reduce the Click Window: Currently I can only click my cow once every six hours. MouseHunt lets me sound the hunter’s horn every 15 MINUTES. And I can cook cheeseburgers in Café World in only five. Procrastination and distraction operate on fairly tight cycles. How often do we refresh our RSS […]
In a recent video, Zero Punctuation’s Yahtzee Croshaw described Nintendo’s 3DS — first introduced at E3 — as “a concept that is literally impossible to demonstrate in picture or in video, which rather shoots the advertising potential in the foot.” A snicker-worthy comment, but one that touches upon an interesting problem that’s been increasing in relevancy over the last decade. The earliest I remember it was on some of my favorite VHS tapes: ads “showing” the impressive sights and sounds available on those fancy new DVD things. More recently it’s television commercials “showing” us the superior color and clarity of […]
Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the link-bait. I worked alongside Dennis Crowley at area/code over the summer of 2007, so it’s been fun for me to watch the meteoric rise of Foursquare. From its debut at SXSW in early 2009, to its $20 million Series B round announced just last week, I’m incredibly happy for Dens and his growing Foursquare family. (I also feel slightly vindicated for all those times my friends poked fun at me for “checking in” wherever we went last year. So there’s that.) Foursquare is an incredibly fun service, improving dramatically over […]