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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: [News - 08/06/2015 - 04:11]

Contingencies planning is a real ...

Contingencies planning is a real skill worth building games around. Great point.

Comment In: [News - 07/23/2015 - 01:22]

The Amiga was my first ...

The Amiga was my first computer. r n r nIt had games, it let me make art. Unlike other computers of the era, it had wild innovations like competent 'color ', 'animation ' and 'sound '. r n r nI would spend thousands of hours drawing pixel art in Deluxe ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/22/2015 - 06:35]

Wonderful r n r nAs ...

Wonderful r n r nAs a small clarification on the skill atoms concept: What you describe as strategies are indeed skill atoms. The same action, rules, feedback, modeling occurs. Skill atoms by their nature reference or in Raph 's version of them, 'contain ' other lower level skills. So strategies ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/20/2015 - 02:13]

'Strange attractor ' is modern ...

'Strange attractor ' is modern consulting speak, but the concepts from 30 years years ago that are being referenced here are completely valid. r n r nAnother common chart to include in this area of discussion is the classic product lifecycle chart. There are lots of these, but this is ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/18/2015 - 06:54]

I demand more diagrams. - ...

I demand more diagrams. -

Comment In: [News - 05/11/2015 - 04:00]

I find I go nuts ...

I find I go nuts if I only work on one project. All the ups and down of the project take a toll emotionally because 100 of me is invested. By having a couple or 5 projects going at once, the other projects act as a buffer. When one goes ...