Category Archives: Game Design

Checkers has been ‘solved’

New Scientist reports that Checkers has been solved and joins the ranks of Tic Tac Toe and, apparently, Connect 4. Computer games expert (in a different sense than usual within the context of this blog) and spoilsport Jonathan Schaeffer worked on the problem for 18 years! (Via BoingBoing.)

More complete, produced game design documents

I just got some more links from Tobi (thanks again). Radical Entertainment, a very well-organized developer in Canada, cooperated with the Computer Science department of the University of Calgary for a computer game programming course. As part of the course, they provided various game documents from their titles: game designs, high concept documents and technical […]

AIIDE 2007 proceedings

As someone with a background in technology and game design, AI programming excites me like few other subjects, and it is a continuous source of surprise and frustration to me that I have done so little of it. Somehow, by the time gaming hardware was capable of serious AI I was already on my way […]

More on Aufbaustrategiespiele

It always surprises me which posts here get commented on and linked to, and which ones don’t (although I am no longer surprised at the amount of traffic I get from people googling ‘everquest porn’ or ‘wow nude patch’). Greg Costikyan commented on my recent post about the Anno and Settlers franchises. I could write […]

Ubisoft buys Sunflowers: Commentary

As reported earlier, Ubisoft has bought Sunflowers, who own the rights to Anno, probably the most successful game franchise to come out of Germany ever. They also bought a 30% stake in Related Designs, the developers of the most recent game in the Anno series.

Complete, produced game design documents

A friend of mine just asked me if I had any complete game design documents of released games lying around. Since I happened to know of a few, and this is not the first time I get asked this question, I figured I might as well turn the answer into a blog post.

Emotional input

Some time ago, I was thinking of a problem that Aubrey touches on in one of his recent comments: how can you make emotional input emotional? It’s not that difficult to create an intellectual system for inputting emotions. Say, the mood-o-meter: select ‘happy’ from a menu to indicate you’re happy. It’s been tried a couple […]

Short feedback loops

So I have this half-written blog entry lying around, and somewhere in it I write: One useful way of looking at a game is to separate the presentational (what things look like) from the functional (how things work). The brain has a way of absorbing the functional, of creating a model of it. Think of […]

GDC 2004: Game Design Methods of ICO

Kenji Kaido and Fumito Ueda gave a lecture on the development of ICO, one of my favorite games ever. The slides were often quite complex and went by really quickly. Luckily, my friend and esteemed coworker Gunter Piringer took really good pictures, which he gracefully allowed me to post online (public Dropbox link to 20MB […]

Breaking the fourth wall

Over at Gamedevleague, Jamie has written a post about games breaking the fourth wall, and how it tends to spoil his experience. (Breaking the fourth wall is a term from theater. The actors can pretend there is a fourth, invisible wall between them and the audience, or they can ‘break’ it by talking directly to […]