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Bart Stewart's Blog


Avid game design theorist; experienced programmer and software project manager; first (noncommercial) game developed was a real-time multiplayer space combat sim for IBM mainframes in 1985. Gaming-related interests include "deep" gameplay, Explorer/Simulationist gameplay, psychology of gamers, player-centered design, massively multiplayer game design, and industry trends. Personal game design blog at:


Member Blogs

Posted by Bart Stewart on Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:33:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
A month before its release, Watch Dogs is being described as having a highly dynamic world conducive to thoughtful exploration, but also as having simplified mechanics better suited to exciting action. Which impression is more accurate? Both? Neither?

Posted by Bart Stewart on Tue, 17 Jan 2012 01:41:00 EST in Design
In which we consider how the careful selection of gameplay elements can burn a game into our hearts and minds.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Sat, 20 Aug 2011 01:13:00 EDT in Design
Game developers often try to find and remove all unexpected interactions in the belief that anything not intended is likely to be a bug. But this may be unnecessarily preventing the development of games in which surprise is a necessary feature.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Fri, 23 Jul 2010 05:51:00 EDT in Design
Since Warren Spector demonstrated Epic Mickey at E3 2010, there's been a microburst of gaming media coverage of his design philosophy that "play style matters." It's about time.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Sat, 13 Mar 2010 03:41:00 EST in Design
At GDC 2010, Blizzard EVP of Game Design Rob Pardo described a number of design concepts behind Blizzard's games. While these are obviously successful for Blizzard's games, they can be seen as working only for simple action games. There are other kinds.

Posted by Bart Stewart on Mon, 01 Mar 2010 06:11:00 EST in Design
The online reaction to Jesse Schell's DICE 2010 presentation can be understood as a reaction to computer gaming becoming a mass entertainment form. Where early gamers enjoyed intangible immersion, today's typical gamer now expects tangible rewards.

Bart Stewart's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 03/20/2015 - 01:42]

duplicate ...


Comment In: [Blog - 03/11/2015 - 12:55]

It 's hosted now at ...

It 's hosted now at -- enjoy :

Comment In: [Blog - 03/12/2015 - 01:54]

I may have missed it, ...

I may have missed it, but I didn 't see Richard Bartle 's Designing Virtual Worlds in the otherwise good list.

Comment In: [News - 03/13/2015 - 03:32]

If the post-mortems for Deus ...

If the post-mortems for Deus Ex and System Shock 2 had not been included here, it would have been necessary to invent them. : r n r nGood to see all of these again

Comment In: [Blog - 03/06/2015 - 07:16]

A thoughtful, honest, and helpful ...

A thoughtful, honest, and helpful post-mortem. Thanks for doing this. r n r nOne thought on the question of sales comes to mind. This is just a dumb guess on my part, but I wonder how many people passed on Human Extinction Simulator for two reasons: Human Extinction and Simulator. ...

Comment In: [News - 03/05/2015 - 07:51]

Firaxis was too concerned about ...

Firaxis was too concerned about alienating players of previous titles in the Civilization series when creating the most recent, science-fiction themed entry. r n r nI watched the panel discussion from the designers of this game talking about its backstory. Too conservative is definitely not a thing they were. r ...