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Bart Stewart's Blog

 

Avid game design theorist; experienced programmer and software project manager; first (noncommercial) game developed was a real-time multiplayer space combat sim for IBM mainframes in 1985. Gaming-related interests include "deep" gameplay, Explorer/Simulationist gameplay, psychology of gamers, player-centered design, massively multiplayer game design, and industry trends. Personal game design blog at: http://flatfingers-theory.blogspot.com/

 

Member Blogs

Posted by Bart Stewart on Mon, 15 May 2017 09:40:00 EDT in Design
4X games often have unsatisfying endgames because their tactics-oriented mechanics get in the way of strategic fun. This article suggests several ways game designers can emphasize strategic play to keep 4X games enjoyable all the way through.


Posted by Bart Stewart on Thu, 12 Nov 2015 12:20:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
As a game designer, what can you do with a huge open world filled with thousands of different kinds of objects? You can tell stories with the environment itself.


Posted by Bart Stewart on Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:33:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
A month before its release, Watch Dogs is being described as having a highly dynamic world conducive to thoughtful exploration, but also as having simplified mechanics better suited to exciting action. Which impression is more accurate? Both? Neither?


Posted by Bart Stewart on Tue, 17 Jan 2012 01:41:00 EST in Design
In which we consider how the careful selection of gameplay elements can burn a game into our hearts and minds.


Posted by Bart Stewart on Sat, 20 Aug 2011 01:13:00 EDT in Design
Game developers often try to find and remove all unexpected interactions in the belief that anything not intended is likely to be a bug. But this may be unnecessarily preventing the development of games in which surprise is a necessary feature.


Posted by Bart Stewart on Fri, 23 Jul 2010 05:51:00 EDT in Design
Since Warren Spector demonstrated Epic Mickey at E3 2010, there's been a microburst of gaming media coverage of his design philosophy that "play style matters." It's about time.



Bart Stewart's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/10/2018 - 09:49]

Excellent article Some great ideas ...

Excellent article Some great ideas here for building cities in games. r n r nSome other thoughts on urban processes over time: r n r n1. Pre-science fiction cities depend on sources of water for drinking and sanitation. In early cities, residential areas are nearest water Indus River and Nile ...

Comment In: [News - 01/12/2018 - 09:59]

Exactly right. The one point ...

Exactly right. The one point consistently excluded from industry-oriented stories about targeted tax breaks or grants is that these wealth transfers are always temporary. What one government giveth, the next can taketh away. r n r nIf you 've hired staff or leased office space based on special financial benefits, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/05/2018 - 10:27]

Nice piece. This is another ...

Nice piece. This is another facet of what 's really the fundamental challenge for all CRPGs: responding to player choices as capably as a human GM running a tabletop RPG. r n r nIt 's also worth noting that the perceived cost of the player not experiencing some expensive-to-create content ...

Comment In: [News - 11/20/2017 - 11:17]

This seems remarkable. r n ...

This seems remarkable. r n r nFallout Shelter, just from published reports, seems to have done very well for Bethesda. But apparently this wasn 't enough to keep Behavior Interactive profitable enough to survive. r n r nI 'd be very interested in reading a deeper dive into this result. ...

Comment In: [News - 11/20/2017 - 07:46]

Star Command did the same ...

Star Command did the same thing. Its developers created a Kickstarter for the PC version, then used those funds to complete development of the mobile versions. The last update for the PC version Kickstarter was December 23, 2016 as of late November 2017, the full PC version was still not ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/13/2017 - 09:06]

This article is also relevant ...

This article is also relevant to my interests, although I 'm more drawn to games by design than to gamifying existing systems. r n r nFrom what I 've observed, there 's a deep connection between a small number of primary neurotransmitters see Helen Fisher 's work: https://www.edge.org/response-detail/10528 and fundamental ...