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Josh Bycer's Blog


Over the last seven years, I have been researching and contributing to the field of game design. These contributions range from QA for professional game productions to writing articles for sites like Gamasutra and Quarter To Three. My goal as a game theorist is to analyze past and present game design trends to better understand and forecast the future development of the industry

With my new site Game-Wisdom our goal is to create a centralized source of critical thinking about the game industry for everyone from enthusiasts, game makers and casual fans. To hopefully continue improving our industry and provide an easy to understand explanation on the concept of game design.


Member Blogs

Today's post examines the challenges of finding another company capable of competing with Steam and despite so many people hoping for a competitor, Steam is going to remain #1 for a very long time.

Today's post looks at the concept of player agency or how much impact the player actually has when it comes to affecting the narrative and the problems with too much or too little agency.

The hit science fiction show Doctor Who is the foundation for today's discussion on episodic storytelling and what game designers can learn about how the show has altered its narrative structure and pacing over the years.

Last week's post on Gamasutra regarding the cheating going on in Destiny was inspiration for this post taking a closer look at the difference between exploiting and cheating when it comes to game design.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:09:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Serious, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Understanding how to build up and release tension is an important part of developing a horror game and today's post looks at the problems with this where there is too much or too little action.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Mon, 05 Jan 2015 01:17:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Serious, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Following up my last post's look at Rise of Nations. Rise of Legends is another interesting RTS game that while raising the bar, also was the nail in the coffin for Big Huge Games

Josh Bycer's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/14/2015 - 02:49]

re: Cheat codes r n ...

re: Cheat codes r n r nYou are right that we don 't see cheat codes today except for rare exceptions but they would still be considered cheats as you are modifying the game, but again their use is so limited that we can ignore them for the purpose of ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/09/2015 - 01:32]

Interesting post, I haven 't ...

Interesting post, I haven 't played Destiny but I 've seen enough online games to know the repercussions of letting intentional cheating go. Those million players who now have raid tier content through cheating are going to make whatever next raid Bungie designs imbalanced by the fact that they already ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/30/2014 - 02:04]

The genre has definitely fallen ...

The genre has definitely fallen on hard times with exception to Starcraft. There 's a post waiting to be written up about that but the short story is that too many RTS games tried to become the next big E-Sports craze and altered their design and focus to micro play, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/31/2014 - 01:28]

Interesting post. The idea of ...

Interesting post. The idea of building the tutorial into the level design is important and something that I know Nintendo and Valve have made use of in the past. It 's good to have those safe havens while explaining a new mechanic to someone as it gives them a chance ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/29/2014 - 02:17]

I was originally going to ...

I was originally going to wait before buying the Amiibos, but after the shortages and the three figures that have disappeared, I 've gone on an ordering spree and pre-ordered as many of them as I could. Right now the only one I 'm missing is the Roselina one as ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/23/2014 - 01:40]

Good points about Bravely Default, ...

Good points about Bravely Default, I played it on hard in order to get some difficulty out of it but it proved to be more tedious than interesting. As you said, it was very easy to break the job system and that 's always a risk when you just unload ...