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Greg Costikyan's Blog   Expert Blogs


I design games. I rant about games. I read books to small children. I cook. That's about it, really. Oh, at present, I'm a senior game designer at Playdom's San Francisco studio.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Greg Costikyan on Tue, 29 May 2012 09:22:00 EDT in Design, Indie
Unmanned is a boring game. This is not a criticism; it's part of the point. The slowness and tedium of the game says something about drone warfare, but also about the lives we lead, and what we've lost by relying on telepresence at both work and home.

Posted by Greg Costikyan on Mon, 08 Aug 2011 11:52:00 EDT in Design
ETC Press, the publishing arm of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, has just released a book I co-edited with Drew Davidson, entitled Tabletop: Analog Game Design.

Posted by Greg Costikyan on Mon, 08 Nov 2010 07:56:00 EST in Design
"Game poems:" Short roleplaying exercises that build a bridge between theatrical improv and tabletop roleplaying.

Posted by Greg Costikyan on Tue, 05 Oct 2010 01:10:00 EDT in Design
A discussion of the Fluxus art movement, the "games" Maciunas, Ono, and other practitioners created, and what we can learn from their oeuvres.

Posted by Greg Costikyan on Tue, 20 Apr 2010 12:39:00 EDT in Design
The metrics-driven nature of social network games undoubtedly improve monetization, but are in a way actually deleterious to them =as games=.

Posted by Greg Costikyan on Mon, 01 Mar 2010 04:51:00 EST
Social network game providers earn 100% of the consumer dollar, less a small percentage for transaction fees. With FaceBook credits, the network takes 30%. Is this the start of a revenue landgrab by the social networks?

Greg Costikyan's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 07/01/2013 - 03:00]

It 's an interesting analysis, ...

It 's an interesting analysis, but the keep dollars constant constraint is problematic. Dropping prices for most goods increases unit sales whether or not this increases margins depends on the price elasticity curve for the good in question. Consequently, depending on the price elasticity curve for games, dropping prices may ...

Comment In: [Feature - 05/24/2011 - 04:35]

Sure. PBM games typically require ...

Sure. PBM games typically require some mix of trade, negotiation, alliance, and so on. Communication, like gameplay, is typically asynchronous letters or email rather than chat . To put it another way, corresponding by mail is social, but asynchronous conversation is social and synchronous. It's not the synchronicity or lack ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/14/2009 - 12:29]

Matt: You have a point ...

Matt: You have a point -- in a sufficiently large niche, being 3 or lower isn't so bad. But I think the brass ring is in finding something novel that appeals rather than cloning something, since I think the space of possible successful game styles on social networks is much ...

Comment In: [News - 11/13/2009 - 01:10]

Actually, doing a game of ...

Actually, doing a game of a bunch of people in a room talking isn't that hard. It's called tabletop roleplaying.

Comment In: [Blog - 05/20/2009 - 03:25]

Oh, for Christ's sake. The ...

Oh, for Christ's sake. The shmup is alive and well, and living in indie gaming. For example: Jets'n'Guns: Squid Yes Not So Octopus : The Adventures of Rick Rocket: Alien Abduction: Warning Forever: hikoza/Archive/wf107.exe Everyday Shooter: area app AppId 16300 ....etc., etc., etc. This ...