Category Archives: Game Design

Like Call of Duty? You’ll Love FarmVille

So, you’re a gamer. This seems a reasonable assumption given the website you’ve chosen to read. That means that you’ve likely played Call of Duty, judging by the sales of Black Ops and its two immediate predecessors. You may even have spent two hundred hours earning its many weapons, unlocks, and badges. Congratulations, you’ve killed […]

Watching a “Non-Gamer” Game

During the recent holiday, a Christmas gift exchange provided a chance to learn something. Being me, I embraced expectations of what a geek and a game designer considers a good gift, and I delivered a 360 copy of Red Dead Redemption to someone who is a bit of a gamer, but not much of a […]

Need for Speed’s Autolog: LeaderBoards & Achievements from the Future

I’ve tired of achievements. For me, the novelty has worn off, and there’s simply too many of them, distributed on so many platforms: Xbox, PS3, Steam,, etc. External opt-in systems like Raptr can’t remedy such fragmentation. As it stands, I don’t doubt the power of achievements to be a psychological motivator. They will remain […]

WoW Talents and the Illusion of Decision

The update to WoW’s talent system: While leveling, you will get 1 talent point about every 2 levels (41 points total at level 85) […] As another significant change, you will not be able to put points into a different talent tree until you have dedicated 31 talent points to your primary specialization. If you […]