Posts about game design


Video Games And The Door Problem

Game design is one of those nebulous terms to people outside the game industry that’s about as clear as the “astrophysicist” job title is to me. It’s also my job, so I find myself explaining what game design means to a lot of people from different backgrounds, some of whom don’t know anything about games.


The Problem with Video Game Luck

In fully digital video games, luck is even more deeply baked into the experience, and must be actively simulated. When the soccer ball sails past the goalkeeper in FIFA, or when, inexplicably, a herd of race cars slow down to allow you to catch up, a game designer’s hand has just acted to provide some ghostly rigging. The effect of this manipulation is to flatter you and thereby keep you engaged. But it’s a trick that must be deployed subtly. A player who senses that he’s secretly being helped by the game will feel patronized; after all, luck is only luck if it’s truly unpredictable.

The Problem with Video Game Luck