Author Archive

Enduring the Grind – Crunching as Company Policy

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by bruce

Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, has come under fire recently for remarks about quality of life issues in the videogame industry made during the “Studio Heads on the Hotseat” panel at the IGDA Leadership Forum ’08 (video here).

The remarks which brought about the controversy were made at about 21 minutes into …

Review – World of Goo

Thursday, February 26th, 2009 by bruce

What a strange and intriguing little beast this is. I’m hesitant to call it a game. It most certainly is a game in the sense that it places a series of challenges before you, with rewards meted out along the way, and then a credit sequence plays. But in some ways that are intangible, and …

The promise of motion control

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 by bruce

Who wrote this unspoken hardcore gamer law that we can’t enjoy a game that engages more than just our brains and fingertips? Just because our hobby has been sedentary in the past, a lot of people seem to want to treat this as some kind of necessary condition to enjoyment of a game. I’ve wondered …

Another design mechanic that should die – Remaining lives

Thursday, May 29th, 2008 by bruce

This one has been on my mind lately after finishing the New Super Mario Bros. game on the DS. The little icon reminding you how many Marios remain with which to complete the rest of the game remains ever present. I guess it’s there because, well, it’s always been there, and this is a game …

A design element that deserves to die: The time limit

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 by bruce

Ahh, our old enemy the time limit. Is there a lazier way for a designer to increase the difficulty of a game?

The latest object of my scorn due to this lazy design element is Star Fox Command on the Nintendo DS. Before you get to the Star Fox part of the Star Fox game, you …