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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 Thu, 12 Nov 2015 12:20:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
As a game designer, what can you do with a huge open world filled with thousands of different kinds of objects? You can tell stories with the environment itself.

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.

Bart Stewart's Comments

Comment In: [News - 06/27/2016 - 04:03]

Raph Koster 's Tweetstorm is ...

Raph Koster 's Tweetstorm is also very much worth reading.

Comment In: [News - 06/23/2016 - 01:33]

I was one of those ...

I was one of those inspired to create a computer version of Othello. r n r nThe fun wasn 't in the presentation, but in crafting the opposing player. A two-move lookahead plus board analysis heuristics was all I could eke out of my 0.89 MHz Color Computer, even with ...

Comment In: [News - 06/21/2016 - 05:24]

Tim, I 'm confident I ...

Tim, I 'm confident I speak for everyone who writes games journalism and games criticism when I point out that we suffer from a regrettable lack of diversity in our employment ranks. r n r nWhile sites like Gamasutra should continue to provide criticism of games, the gaming industry, and ...

Comment In: [News - 06/21/2016 - 02:23]

I admit to being a ...

I admit to being a little curious as to why do this. r n r nI can think of two explanations: 1 some players complained the game was too hard and persistently demanded hints, or 2 some players complained the game was too easy and bragged that they solved it ...

Comment In: [News - 06/13/2016 - 03:27]

I 'm not much interested ...

I 'm not much interested personally in CCG, and very cautious about F2P. r n r nThat said, Gwent -- inside the world of The Witcher 3 -- is as these things tend to be two kinds of fun: 1 Exploring the world to build a strong deck, and 2 ...

Comment In: [News - 06/13/2016 - 03:55]

Bear in mind Gamasutra 's ...

Bear in mind Gamasutra 's own report from October 2015 that Microsoft would stop reporting console sales in its quarterly earnings reports, and instead would report Xbox Live user counts. shifts to touting Xbox Live user counts over console sales.php r n r n Christian, your comment to that ...