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Brendan Vance's Blog


I am a videogame developer by trade, but I like to spend my leisure time writing games criticism. You can find my favourite/most current work here.

I graduated from SFU’s SIAT, which is an experimental program intended to target the emerging intersection between computing, design, and Art with a capital ‘A’. Though primarily a programmer, I am also a sort of prototype for a new kind of creative professional who understands every facet of new media projects and how they interrelate. If you’re curious about my experiences in SIAT you should check out my weird/interactive university portfolio! Its pants are notable for their fanciness.


Member Blogs

Posted by Brendan Vance on Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:30:00 EDT in Programming
I recount a few of my experiences programming Flash games (which I loved!) and touch on the political nature of the 'Flash is dead' meme (which fills me with sorrow!)

Posted by Brendan Vance on Mon, 06 Jan 2014 04:43:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
A story about the slow death of the videogame manual. Examines the history of interaction design both in academia and the games industry. Explores the downsides of our relentless drive towards usability. Begins with a teapot and ends with peacock.

Posted by Brendan Vance on Fri, 27 Sep 2013 02:41:00 EDT in Design
Thie post explores what game histories are and why we love them through the lens of the Diablo series, arguing that the third instalment loses sight of the aesthetics that made its predecessor so engrossing.

Posted by Brendan Vance on Mon, 20 May 2013 08:20:00 EDT in Design
An analysis of the first principles of the platformer genre through the lens of NES classic "Super Mario Bros".

Brendan Vance's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/06/2014 - 04:43]

It is definitely true that ...

It is definitely true that the metered pace of heavily-tutorialized games can do significant damage to their tone, especially in the early going and ESPECIALLY for sophisticated players . And I too find it distressing that we developers face pressure to both adopt the metaphors, control schemes, tropes, etc of ...

Comment In: [News - 12/19/2013 - 09:40]

It is indeed cool that ...

It is indeed cool that talks like that exist at PAX, and that PAX makes some effort to attract them. When I talk about the system, though, I 'm thinking bigger than just PAX or the PA organization I 'm referring to the whole culture in which PAX exists game ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/23/2013 - 11:36]

I would claim that to ...

I would claim that to push state is essentially to introduce a runtime dependency forming a one-way connection between two systems while it is true that replacing this with function calls such as that boolean expression in the article does us one better by moving the dependency from runtime to ...

Comment In: [News - 04/05/2013 - 07:56]

Say, this wouldn 't happen ...

Say, this wouldn 't happen to be one of those situations where a public company 's shareholders hire slash-and-burn executives at the top level to 'downsize ' the company and therefore cause the share price to skyrocket as everyone in Wall Street begins speculating on the micro-bubble that is the ...