Tag Archives: thoughts on

Thoughts on User-Friendly Mechanics

As game designers, we have to be careful to not let our own sense of “cleverness” turn into a poor experience for players. Often, we approach this line by making fiddly dice mechanics. When it comes to making games, here’s my philosophy: what’s easy for you to do isn’t inherently easy for everything, especially when

Thoughts on Language as Fashion

The idea that language is fashion comes up constantly, and a recent event brought it back into the nerdgeist: the creator of GIF, Steve Wilhite, receiving a lifetime achievement award. In that, Wilhite chimed in on his soap box: “The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Mr. Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft

Thoughts on Choice Paralysis

Many years ago, I played Spycraft. I loved the first edition, and when Spycraft 2.0 came out, I snapped it up. And promptly never played Spycraft again, and not because I stopped loving the idea. See, there were somewhere around a hundred little dials the GM could tweak for any given campaign, and many of

Examining the Stavro Principle

A bit ago, Daniel Solis posted this image on his blog, about an observation on RPG design from intent to play, which Luke Crane titled the Starvo Principle (after the guy who came up with this, John Stavropoulos): I’m having a complex reaction to John Stavropoulos’ model, because I agree with the base ideas, but

On Success, Unpredictability, Patience

Success is unpredictable. Enough said. Wait, you need more? Heh. I did as well years ago, before I crossed into the Fog of Achievement. I saw some stuff lately that’s caused me to write about this. First, the image to the left, reading “i do not fail, i succeed in finding out what does not

What Publishers Can Learn From Netflix/Qwikster

After hearing about the ending of Qwikster before it even began, and watching my Twitter feed on it, I had some thoughts. Gareth-Michael Skarka said it first, in a tweet: “Clever” cynics snarking about Netflix/Qwikster — Ability to change direction to course-correct quickly is an ASSET in a company, dumbass. He’s totally right. Being a