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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: [Blog - 07/20/2016 - 01:03]

Jacob, this point is not ...

Jacob, this point is not related to inherent complexity -- it 's about gamers not yet having a set of conventions about how to play AR games. r n r nPC/console games after 30 years, and mobile games to some extent, now have many such conventions that help new players ...

Comment In: [News - 07/22/2016 - 02:01]

I had the reactions of ...

I had the reactions of both of the preceding comments. I don 't think they 're incompatible.

Comment In: [News - 07/21/2016 - 02:17]

September 12, 2007: a New ...

September 12, 2007: a New York Times article points out that older people have more money and more time, and would play non-twitch games if anybody actually made such games.

Comment In: [Blog - 07/18/2016 - 01:07]

This is both useful and ...

This is both useful and timely as my current independent project benefits from a typeface that 's both visually appropriate and not encumbered by unnecessarily restrictive licensing. r n r nExo 2 from Google Fonts was actually a contender for the the clean but distinctive science fiction font I wanted, ...

Comment In: [News - 07/14/2016 - 05:46]

I might add that I ...

I might add that I 'm not anti-roguelike. One of my semi-recent projects was to convert the 1985 PL/I version of the 1970s-era Super Star Trek -- which predated Rogue -- to a JavaScript version playable in today 's browsers: . r n r nThis was a pretty enlightening ...

Comment In: [News - 07/13/2016 - 03:10]

Pokemon Go: The hot new ...

Pokemon Go: The hot new game for urban extroverts who have no expectations of data privacy r n r nWhich has long been an underserved market.