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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

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?

Posted by Daniel Cook on Mon, 13 May 2013 03:41:00 EDT in Design
What are some pragmatic means of creating more inclusive games?

Posted by Daniel Cook on Sun, 05 May 2013 05:07:00 EDT in Design
What sort of designs can we make if we focus on player expression?

Posted by Daniel Cook on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 03:58:00 EDT in Design, Indie
The game industry was started by rebels and rejects. This is easy to forget.

Daniel Cook's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 10/30/2014 - 03:49]

Love this approach. Society design ...

Love this approach. Society design is a completely valid topic for game design. And user complaints are debug / playtest errors that let you know your rules are running poorly on the target platform: Aka players. Aka human beings. A good designer finds the root causes and fixes the system ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/17/2014 - 12:02]

Often games are treated by ...

Often games are treated by governmental agencies as an industry first and foremost. The questions they face are more along the lines of 'how do we grow the economy ' 'How do we increase our tax base ' 'How do we decrease unemployment ' 'How do we publicly look like ...

Comment In: [Blog - 08/19/2014 - 02:48]

What a great essay. I ...

What a great essay. I particularly liked the insightful note that game design can be an act of designing mediums. r n r nBroadly, it seems game design is the act of designing human processes. Art can be seen as one specific game or cluster / genre of games . ...

Comment In: [Blog - 08/04/2014 - 01:49]

I find old and admittedly ...

I find old and admittedly vitriolic forum posts like this one fascinating: r n r n r nThe short of is that MOBA was one of many terms used in the early days of DOTA1. Then Riot adopted it and began promoting. Whatever the other reasons, I suspect being able ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/22/2014 - 11:15]

You may be falling into ...

You may be falling into a common fallacy. Often we see something that reminds us of a thing we know and miss the elements that make it unique. For example, one might look at a car and see it as 'just a horseless carriage ' or see an airplane as ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/09/2014 - 12:45]

For Thought 1: r nI ...

For Thought 1: r nI 'd file this idea under the 'if you build it, they will come ' fallacy. Enthusiasts are actually incredibly difficult to reach and keep. r n r nPeople targeting traditional PC gamers create a marketing funnel. You talk to a ton of people, press, hubs, ...