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Curtiss Murphy's Blog


Be careful what you do in your spare time - you may become good at it. 

Curtiss Murphy won “Best Tutorial” at I/ITSEC 2011 for “Why Games Work”. He presents with a unique blend of energy, science, and story-telling, that has earned him invitations to conferences across the country. He gives the yearly keynote at the National Science Foundation’s Edugaming workshop, has decades of development experience, and is widely recognized as a thought leader in serious games. As a twelve year veteran of the gaming industry, his career spans AAA, military, and Indy development. Curtiss has numerous publications on game development, including chapters in Game Programming Gems 6 & 7, and Game Engine Gems 2. He is an award winning speaker, author, and game designer. He is also the moderator of Unity’s Game Design forum (as Gigiwoo). Curtiss holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, is the founder of Gigi Games, and is the Technical Director of Alion’s Modeling and Simulation Operation. 

He is also the host of the Game Design Zen Podcast

Mantra: Try; Improve; and Repeat - Level up to Zen. 

LinkedIn Contact:


Member Blogs

Posted by Curtiss Murphy on Thu, 11 Feb 2016 02:00:00 EST in Design, Serious
Everyone was staring at me, waiting for me to finish my sentence. Unfortunately, my mind had blanked. I could not recall the ingredients of Flow. This began my quest for a new way to think about Flow and Simplicity in games. Quest Accepted!

Posted by Curtiss Murphy on Wed, 28 Oct 2015 03:19:00 EDT in Design
Last weekend, I was in Korea. And somehow, during a random lunch conversation, League of Legends came up. 6000 miles from home, LOL was still relevant. With two Koreans in the final championship match, it's a perfect time to break it down.

Worth it? My wife threw the gauntlet - "6 episodes by Christmas!" So, I researched, got some equipment, and set to work. Last week's Ep4 was hugely popular, "Good Communication, Better Games". Ep5 covered a favorite story, by request. You be the judge!

Posted by Curtiss Murphy on Fri, 01 Aug 2014 01:53:00 EDT in Design, Indie
'Seven Constants of Game Design' was a catchy title, until I realized it was yet another compilation of inactionable, half-baked pet theories. In the spirit of Tonya Short's "Share Your Crayons" challenge, here's my response.

Posted by Curtiss Murphy on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EDT in Art, Indie
When our artist backed out, we were in a jam. So, my wife offered to do it, and I said, 'I didn't know you could draw.' She replied, 'I can't.' And now, 10 months later, her work is seen by thousands. Deliberate practice is rarely this easy to see.

Posted by Curtiss Murphy on Thu, 28 Feb 2013 12:11:00 EST in Design
Do you remember Roger Ebert? That jovial father figure from the Siskel and Ebert movie show. Sometimes, Mr Ebert talks about stuff other than movies. For instance, he wrote, 'Video Games Can Never Be Art'. But I never really gave it much thought, until...

Curtiss Murphy's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 02/25/2016 - 07:39]

Comment In: [Feature - 03/22/2012 - 04:55]

Seen Flow Space It 's ...

Seen Flow Space It 's a new visual guide for flow - also on Gamasutra. r n r n Accepted A Visual Guide for Flow and Simplicity in Games.php

Comment In: [Blog - 02/19/2016 - 02:51]

Love this article and your ...

Love this article and your journey toward the final product. Thanks for the practical design tips. r n r nAlso, loved the flow link. You might also enjoy the article on Flow Space. r n r n Accepted A Visual G uide for Flow and Simplicity in Games.php r n

Comment In: [Blog - 02/11/2016 - 02:00]

What 's the real harm ...

What 's the real harm Devs get a chance to interact with their community, gauge support, and possibly gain a small income boost to help them finish. Players get a chance to see products they might be interested in, before they would otherwise. r n r nOn the whole, Valve ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/09/2016 - 01:52]

It 's a long journey. ...

It 's a long journey. Thanks for sharing.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/04/2016 - 02:14]

Why is LoL better than ...

Why is LoL better than Heroes of the Storm I was in Seoul, Korea, just weeks before last year 's world cup. I got to see first hand just how much reach LoL had. When I got back, I put them head to head in episode 11 of the Game ...