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January 18, 2018
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Mike Stout's Blog   Expert Blogs


Who am I?
My name is Mike Stout and I've been a professional Video Game Designer for more than 13 years.

What games have I worked on?

With Insomniac Games:

  • Ratchet and Clank 1, 2, and 3 (Playstation 2)
  • Ratchet: Deadlocked (Playstation 3)
  • Resistance: Fall of Man Multiplayer (Playstation 3)
  • Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus (Playstation 3)
  • Ratchet and Clank (Playstation 4)

With Activision:

  • Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
  • Skylanders: Giants
  • Skylanders: Swap Force
  • Skylanders: Trap Team

What am I doing nowadays?

These days I'm producing educational materials about Game Design via my Patreon campaign ( ), and making games in my spare time.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Mike Stout on Mon, 19 Oct 2015 01:57:00 EDT in Design
One thing I need to do a lot is come up with ways to get players to do what I want them to do. For example, if I design a game about exploration and find that players are not focusing on that -- I need to give them a reason to change.

Posted by Mike Stout on Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:17:00 EDT in Console/PC, Design
Best practices for letting the player know what questions your enemies are asking.

Posted by Mike Stout on Wed, 12 Aug 2015 01:04:00 EDT in Design
There are a lot of “things” that make up a game, and I like to break them down into three categories – like smashing an atom into a proton, a neutron, and an electron. They apply at every level of my decision making process...

Posted by Mike Stout on Thu, 06 Aug 2015 12:43:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
This installation is on a concept I call “Paths” (one or more Ramps connecting parts of a game). I’m going to need this concept to explain something else further down the line, so I wanted to outline it now.

Posted by Mike Stout on Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:50:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
In this article, I'm going to show you a trick I like to use that helps me create good pacing in my designs.

Posted by Mike Stout on Tue, 14 Jul 2015 02:53:00 EDT in Design
This week I'm going to introduce the subjects of "Intensity" and "Ramps," which I'll define later on. I'll be developing these concepts further next week when I talk about how knowing about these helps you decide what Archetypes go in a Setup.

Mike Stout's Comments

Comment In: [News - 09/08/2015 - 04:01]

I love that video. His ...

I love that video. His analysis a perfect example of what I was talking about. I was going to put a link to it, but I was a bit uncomfortable recommending it without a content warning -- and man, does it need a content warning.

Comment In: [Blog - 08/12/2015 - 01:04]

Thanks for catching that. I ...

Thanks for catching that. I 've gone in and fixed it.

Comment In: [Blog - 06/15/2015 - 05:44]

A dimension can be a ...

A dimension can be a spectrum or a binary choice. For example, if you added a shielded/unshielded sort of mechanic, that would be a binary choice and not a spectrum.

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

Just wrote a pretty long ...

Just wrote a pretty long reply and I think Gama ate it, so in case it doesn 't post -- here 's the gist of what I was saying. r n r nGood point on the all-combat examples I 'll try to use more non-combat ones in the future, after ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/05/2015 - 01:14]

I will get into that, ...

I will get into that, yeah. In short form it 's basically because there 's a lot of lists of three in it and because at the end it reduces to 3 recursive principles, if I do it right. :

Comment In: [Feature - 02/10/2012 - 04:00]

It seems to me like ...

It seems to me like there are at least two types of players who want different things. One type likes to FEEL smart, or powerful. The other wants to solve problems that require them to BE powerful or smart, or whatever. I've seen these groups over and over again in ...