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May 27, 2017
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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: http://flatfingers-theory.blogspot.com/

 

Member Blogs

Posted by Bart Stewart on Mon, 15 May 2017 09:40:00 EDT in Design
4X games often have unsatisfying endgames because their tactics-oriented mechanics get in the way of strategic fun. This article suggests several ways game designers can emphasize strategic play to keep 4X games enjoyable all the way through.


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.



Bart Stewart's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 05/15/2017 - 09:40]

Fair points, and good ideas. ...

Fair points, and good ideas. r n r nCiv 's this game is going to end no matter what after a fixed number of turns solution feels a little tacked-on. I wouldn 't call it a bad choice as it does solve the problem of the game starting to get ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/10/2017 - 09:14]

I 'd suggest that the ...

I 'd suggest that the magic words for the best way to score a strategy game came about halfway through this article: victory conditions. r n r nThere is nothing whatsoever wrong with a binary result as the mark of completion for a strategy game. This is because strategy tactics. ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/05/2017 - 09:32]

This makes a valuable contribution ...

This makes a valuable contribution to the discussion of storytelling in computer games because the SETTING/PLOT distinction offers a way to understand why storytelling and choice/consequence gameplay don 't always mesh satisfyingly. r n r nThat setting usually enhances gameplay seems pretty unremarkable. I 'd think most game developers would ...

Comment In: [News - 05/05/2017 - 04:02]

Fair enough on the five ...

Fair enough on the five pieces of advice. r n r n1. I 'm not sure I 'd say System Shock depended fully on the success of Wolf3D. System Shock was the follow-up to Looking Glass 's Ultima Underworld, the first-person textured 3D game that was released before Wolf3D. It ...

Comment In: [News - 04/27/2017 - 07:46]

This is where I gush ...

This is where I gush again about how outstanding Alex Wawro 's writing can be. r n r nThis story delivered factual information of interest to the community it included context Microsoft 's Xbox business model that enhanced understanding of the story and it did this in the neutral language ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/25/2017 - 10:32]

As Derek says, when the ...

As Derek says, when the first two and subsequent paragraphs here pretty much dismiss as stupid and/or evil anyone with whom you disagree, it doesn 't give much hope that this product will persuade anyone who isn 't already convinced. r n r nI 'd say the same thing to ...