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Daniel Cook's Blog   Expert Blogs


Daniel Cook is a veteran game designer who runs the popular game design website He writes extensively on the techniques, theory and business of game design. He is the Chief Creative Officer at Spry Fox, was a professional illustrator in his youth and managed to collect both a degree in physics and an MBA. Some of his games include Triple Town, Steambirds, Tyrian and Leap Day.


Expert Blogs

How to manage risk as a sustainable indie game company.

Posted by Daniel Cook on Sat, 27 Dec 2014 09:11:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
What design topics can we leave in the trash heap of history? What modern questions are more interesting to discuss going forward?

Posted by Daniel Cook on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 01:49:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Serious, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
A look at the best practices for loot drop systems.

Posted by Daniel Cook on Wed, 28 May 2014 01:52:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Indie
Why are short form, content focused games like Monument Valley or Gone Home thriving at this moment in time? A look at how the current socioeconomic environment impacts the form of games that succeed.

Posted by Daniel Cook on Sat, 04 Jan 2014 03:32:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
How do we get players to play together in a manner that fits their schedules? Veteran designer Daniel Cook (Triple Town, Realm of the Mad God) goes in depth on the logistical challenges a designer faces when building multiplayer games.

Do you finish one game and then move onto the next? This is the dominant pattern of play for gamers. What happens when players stop consuming and starts investing in a single evergreen computer game for years on end?

Daniel Cook's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/20/2015 - 11:39]

The idea of a loan ...

The idea of a loan with interest is a great way to thinking about crunch r n r nFor what it is worth, the original productivity studies were done with factory workers doing 'repetitive assembly-line activity '. That 's where the 40 hours comes from. 60 hours over the long ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/30/2015 - 03:20]

True. Less a cry for ...

True. Less a cry for help than Stockholm syndrome where the abused person proudly carry a sign saying My situation is great As they rock back and forth grinning. r n r nOne of the more difficult parts of existing in any abusing culture or company is even acknowledging that ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/20/2015 - 12:00]

There is a 5th phase, ...

There is a 5th phase, which is live support of your game. And a 6th phase of porting your polished game to other platforms to get another swing at bat. And maybe a 7th phase, which is shutting the game down and moving onto another project. r n r nThe ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/07/2015 - 12:16]

The pragmatic answer is that ...

The pragmatic answer is that yes, it means hiring people with industry experience. r n r nThere are absolutely exceptions. There are 1 in a 1000 people that don 't have 'industry experience '. However, they often have an incredibly robust portfolio of personal work that makes them stand out ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/10/2015 - 02:20]

For whatever it is matters, ...

For whatever it is matters, Jeff 's articles are some of the only ones worth reading on this topic. r n r n- It is completely reasonable to observe that the market is growing slowly and yet more indies are failing than ever before. This is just simple supply and ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/08/2015 - 01:36]

I wonder if we 'll ...

I wonder if we 'll get a cult of True Indie Believers that keep the faith as the market shifts around them. r n r nThere 's a classic study on this type of cognitive dissonance. Ironically, it is anti-cataclysmic, but the same psychology prevails. r n Prophecy Fails