So we are nearing the end of another generation of consoles. This is a good time to look back on the games that have been released over the last few years. I came up with a list of 26 games released after 2006 that had interesting game design lessons or innovations, I want to talk a little bit about each one. Way more after the break

...continue reading 26 games of the 7th console generation that changed the way I think.


The Story is not the whole story! I'm serious.

One of the first things you learn in game design is that every game has a narrative. Pacman is about some weird hungry creature and his survival in a haunted world. Tic-tac-toe is a battle between two powers, and the narritive for hangman is in the name.

People perceive things in situations and stories. When they describe their experience with your game they'll tell a story of what happened when they were playing last night. Telling and hearing stories is something we are wired for.

In games story is almost perceived as a separate part of the game. A game often has story segments where players just watch. People enjoy the game-play but don't like or want the story. I want to talk about the story that happens outside of the obvious cut-scenes.

...continue reading Story isn’t the whole story!


An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

In a sense everything you do in a game is a choice. It's my choice to sit down and play the game, and it's my choice to press up. But the more interesting choices are the ones made during game-play that have impact on future game-play or narrative.

Choice can be used in a game's story to really make it a player's own. My play thru of Mass Effect trilogy is surely different than yours (at least up until the botched ending.) Choice can be used to get the player thinking instead of just going along for a roller coaster ride. Choice is really important!

...continue reading Taking a Look at Choice in Games