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October 21, 2016
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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 - 09/01/2016 - 10:50]

When the phrase 'multiplayer game ...

When the phrase 'multiplayer game ' is used here, it generally means match-based, player vs player titles. This particular style of game which emerged out of local couch play and LAN parties is only sustainable for very large, very popular games. It is highly prone to audience fragmentation friend lists, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/25/2016 - 11:53]

So we 've got a ...

So we 've got a sample of self selected gamers taken from game review sites. Sites that at the very least don 't traditionally cover either f2p, a breadth of f2p genres or their associated communities in any depth. The data shown here likely represents the views of a very ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/17/2016 - 01:42]

Multiplayer design and single player ...

Multiplayer design and single player design often feel like two very different disciplines. Perhaps as separate from one another as board game design and single player. Or painting and movies. There 's some overlap in controls and feedback systems, but why people play motivations and when they play logistics tends ...

Comment In: [News - 03/09/2016 - 04:24]

Super bizarre that an article ...

Super bizarre that an article whose subtitle contains the term 'Hard Fun ' didn 't reference Nicole Lazzaro who did much to research and popularize the term. More here in the hope of not letting our incredibly weak collective memory simply forget entire careers worth of excellent research :

Comment In: [News - 03/07/2016 - 04:01]

Loved the game. The anti-mobile ...

Loved the game. The anti-mobile bias on Steam is very real though I thought your art style managed to bridge the cultural gap better than many game. r n r nI 'd be wary of putting too much weight on the downsides of appearing too much like Don 't Starve. ...

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 ...