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Jason VandenBerghe's Blog   Expert Blogs


I am currently shepherding designers at ArenaNet.

I have been doing this for a while - my first game was back in '96, for a little company called Hyperbole Studios.  I've worked at EA, Activision, Ubisoft, and now ArenaNet. So far, no one has seen fit to eject me from the industry, so I keep makin' while the makin' is good.

In secret moments, I'll admit to being a bit of a philosopher, and a "let's-goof-around-with-game-design-theory"-type person, but don't tell my friends. They are all convinced I'm just a corporate hack. 

My personal musings can be found at


Expert Blogs

Posted by Jason VandenBerghe on Fri, 02 Jun 2017 01:25:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Production
Relic Entertainment has been using the Engines of Play, a method of identifying your audience's motivation described at GDC 2016. What they learned is very much the same as what Jason learned while using those methods at Ubisoft.

Posted by Jason VandenBerghe on Mon, 02 May 2011 05:30:00 EDT in Design
A long, rambling analysis of the meaning that lies behind popular entertainment, and how games express their meaning.

Posted by Jason VandenBerghe on Sat, 16 Apr 2011 10:22:00 EDT in Design
Several someones made some very strong counter-arguments to my last post on this Brian Moriarty talk (see "The Performance of Play"). I attempt to respond to said arguments without having to admit I was wrong.

Posted by Jason VandenBerghe on Sun, 10 Apr 2011 11:28:00 EDT in Design
Brian Moriarty may or may not have been right to apologize for Ebert... but, either way, his presentation had one or two ideas that look to be crystalline diamonds of philosophical awesome. I'm gonna ramble about two in particular.

Posted by Jason VandenBerghe on Tue, 20 Apr 2010 06:06:00 EDT in Design
This post discusses Ian Bogost's "Persuasive Games" - to do that, Jason needs to dumb it down enough that it can fit in between the tiny cracks in his brain, but at the end, he's going home with a new designer gem.

Jason VandenBerghe's Comments

Comment In: [News - 07/09/2013 - 12:00]

That 's simply not the ...

That 's simply not the case. I have worked in 'large commercial gaming outfits ' for the better part of two decades, and I can tell you that devs are just as culpable for what goes into their games as the communications people, as often as not. r n r ...

Comment In: [News - 07/02/2013 - 12:02]

Finally, someone expresses the gift ...

Finally, someone expresses the gift the game gave, in clear and simple terms. This is exactly what I saw when I played it, but I would never have been able to say it this clearly. Thank for this, Leigh. Excellent.

Comment In: [News - 06/19/2013 - 05:56]

Yes. Excellent. Reading this well ...

Yes. Excellent. Reading this well after you posted it, but still. A .

Comment In: [News - 07/01/2013 - 02:28]

I 'm sharing my experience ...

I 'm sharing my experience with the statistics on the games I have exposure to, not trying to update the official statistics. I don 't have stats on the whole industry. r n r nSee, that isn 't the point. : The point is that finish rates are low, and ...

Comment In: [News - 03/08/2013 - 01:11]

Why, thank you. ...

Why, thank you.

Comment In: [News - 07/18/2012 - 08:57]

Thanks, David, for another clear, ...

Thanks, David, for another clear, insightful presentation of the facts. SING IT