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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 Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:31:00 EST in Design, Social/Online
In many online multiplayer games, players enter as strangers and remain strangers. We can instead design systems that actively encourage friendship formation. A Project Horseshoe report.

Posted by Daniel Cook on Mon, 21 Nov 2016 12:49:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet, VR
Game markets follow predictable patterns of growth, harvest and if youve been lucky enough, stockpiling for the coming frost. Here is what happens when game markets mature.

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.

Daniel Cook's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 03/31/2017 - 09:17]

It is helpful in these ...

It is helpful in these discussions to consider where a game like Dear Esther actually comes from. It is by no means a radical divergence from video games tradition, but instead a work that shifts the focus to an existing cultural language that have been in gradual development for decades. ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/27/2017 - 04:50]

Benchmarks can also be a ...

Benchmarks can also be a creative trap. They are a great way to make incrementally higher quality version of someone else 's games. Maybe that is your team goal.

Comment In: [News - 11/28/2016 - 09:57]

So many interesting lessons from ...

So many interesting lessons from NMS. We 've got: r n- A relatively traditional hype campaign as has been practiced for decades. Some over promising. Some ambiguity. In the grand scheme of things minor remember when Quake was described in press as an RPG with the main weapon being Thor ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/21/2016 - 12:49]

One of the fun things ...

One of the fun things about digital distribution and the maturing of games as a craft a topic much larger than a single market is that good stuff accumulates. This includes games, business practices and talent. r n r nWith each cycle, a few people with the ability to stockpile ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/01/2016 - 10:50]

When the phrase 'multiplayer game ...

When the phrase 'multiplayer game ' is used here, it generally means match-based, player vs player titles. This particular style of game which emerged out of local couch play and LAN parties is only sustainable for very large, very popular games. It is highly prone to audience fragmentation friend lists, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/25/2016 - 11:53]

So we 've got a ...

So we 've got a sample of self selected gamers taken from game review sites. Sites that at the very least don 't traditionally cover either f2p, a breadth of f2p genres or their associated communities in any depth. The data shown here likely represents the views of a very ...