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January 23, 2018
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Ernest Adams's Blog   Expert Blogs


Ernest Adams is a freelance game designer, writer, and lecturer. He is the author of six books, including Fundamentals of Game Design, a popular university textbook in three editions, Game Mechanics: Advaned Game Design with Joris Dormans, and Break Into the Game Industry: How to Get a Job Making Video Games. Ernest was most recently employed as a lead designer at Bullfrog Productions, and for several years before that he was the audio/video producer on the Madden NFL Football product line. He has developed on-line, computer, and console games for everything from the IBM 360 mainframe to the present day. He is the founder of the International Game Developers' Association, and a frequent lecturer at the Game Developers' Conference. Ernest would be happy to receive E-mail about his columns at, and you may visit his professional web site at The views in this column are strictly his own.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Ernest Adams on Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:56:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet
An all-new compendium of egregious game design errors for 2014, 15th in the series that began in 1998.

Posted by Ernest Adams on Sun, 09 Feb 2014 07:29:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
In which Ernest learns how not to introduce someone to a game.

Posted by Ernest Adams on Sat, 21 Dec 2013 01:42:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
The 2013 edition of Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!

Posted by Ernest Adams on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 08:00:00 EDT in Design
A hostile and vocal subset of gamers is threatening to boycott the game industry if it makes hardcore games more accessible to women. This article examines the numbers to see if this warning represents a serious danger to game sales.

Ernest Adams's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 03/21/2016 - 02:19]

Knowing something about how talks ...

Knowing something about how talks get selected from among the thousands that are submitted... and how the applicants tend to slant their descriptions... I suspect that the full details were not presented in the application. I 'm not sure you can blame this on the GDC selection panel. r n ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/09/2015 - 02:22]

Handy for people who make ...

Handy for people who make those kinds of games, maybe. ALL developers is overstating the case, however. Some people make board and card games and can 't track this stuff. Others make works of art and really don 't give a damn how long people play.

Comment In: [Blog - 12/22/2014 - 11:56]

I 'm not into learn-by-dying. ...

I 'm not into learn-by-dying. Can I jump off the mountain into lava is pretty self-explanatory if you try it, that 's your lookout. Can I walk into this dark room is not, and instantaneously shooting the player through the head for walking into a dark room is punishing curiosity. ...

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

Nice analogy. r n r ...

Nice analogy. r n r nThe company that is welcoming to all sources of talent is going to find better people than the company that creates a hostile or exclusionary workplace. Driving away talent is just foolish. You wouldn 't tolerate a branch of the Klan operating with your company ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/28/2014 - 01:43]

I disagree. This kind of ...

I disagree. This kind of attention to detail is precisely what separates the great from the merely OK. It 's what separates Tolkien from all his cheesy sword-n-sorcery imitators. Yes, a big chunk of the audience is unaware that BioShock is a satire on Ayn Rand 's nincompoop theories. But ...

Comment In: [News - 06/11/2014 - 03:21]

Unmitigated hogwash. A feeble and ...

Unmitigated hogwash. A feeble and false excuse for failing to manage the project properly in the first place. r n r n