July 2, 2011
As you almost certainly noticed I haven’t posted a lot of opinions on my blog lately. The likely culprit is Twitter, where you’ll find my current state of mind updated daily in 140 characters of less. It only seems right to add a feed in the sidebar to the left – feel free to follow me for frequent updates!
April 9, 2011
I presented a short, 7 minute session at the IGDA SF’s “Pecha Kucha Night”, talking about level design, how it fits into game design, and when we’re doing it wrong. It’s 22 slides, which you can download right here. (2MB)
April 4, 2011
I will be doing a quick game design rant at the IGDA San Francisco’s ‘Pecha Kucha Night‘ this Wednesday. Stop by if you’re in the area!
March 13, 2011
Dead Space 2 was released just over a month ago! If I haven’t posted about the game yet it’s not because of a lack of love – I’m absolutely stoked with how the game turned out. I just got sucked into my new job at LucasArts and GDC talk preparations. I might post a more complete postmortem later, but for now I’ll leave you with the information that I was the senior level designer on the project and worked on chapters 2, 3 and 6. In other words, everything from the hospital to the church, and the mall/school spaces after the church. I hope you enjoyed the game!
March 5, 2011
Description: Who is the actor in a game? Is it the person holding the controller in the real world, or the player-character who moves through the game-world? The answer is Both, and the game designer must work carefully to keep the interests of these two consciousnesses aligned. This session presents a design approach for reconciling developer-defined and player-derived character identities. Games often feature strong pre-authored characters and story arcs, while trying to give the player the feeling of uninhibited agency. The practical techniques presented here show how to design stories that dont simply provide a context for the players actions, but instead create impulses and motivations within the player that are in alignment with those of the avatar. Player and avatar float along in unison inside an identity bubble, working towards a common goal.
Takeaway: Attendees understand how games establish a high level of character identification, and they acquire techniques that can be used to achieve similar results. Writers (and developers working with external writers) gain insight into the design and identity concepts that should guide the development of character, story and mission objectives in games.
Intended Audience: Game designers, writers and developers working with external writers.
Download the annotated .PDF slides (3mb).