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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 - 04/15/2015 - 02:28]

That 10 million is a ...

That 10 million is a nod to 'F You ' money, a term bandied about in start up circles. See for more on the topic. There are indeed very livable lower numbers, but the point of that section was to state the essay was not about the extreme financial ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/24/2015 - 01:54]

Think of it more as ...

Think of it more as knowing which knobs make a difference and which knobs have little impact no matter how much you turn them. r n r nThere 's 40 knobs in that article. Surely some of them are under control of the team. r n r nIf not, maybe ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/20/2015 - 01:01]

A very good point. Steam ...

A very good point. Steam is a big distribution channel, but ultimately just a fraction of this 80 billion business. r n r nThere 's a fascinating and generally unacknowledged bias towards Steam and console within press and dev writing that doesn 't completely reflect where games are making money ...

Comment In: [News - 02/16/2015 - 12:07]

Creative tool companies are often ...

Creative tool companies are often rather weak businesses. Relatively low selling point on software compared to enterprise , demanding niche audiences with poor growth potential. You get the occasional breakout, but that is usually only available to a single dominant company. Note the massive consolidation in 3D and 2D. Not ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/11/2015 - 03:39]

I might gently suggest that ...

I might gently suggest that if someone reduces the wonderful scientific research above to 'hire a token diversity person ', they may simply be taking refuge in random emotional talking points. Instead of engaging intellectually. But I know that someone as smart as you would never miss the point of ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/27/2014 - 09:11]

It is all cool. I ...

It is all cool. I 'm in the club too ...casually reveals secret Casual membership ring previously hidden behind folded hands...