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November 12, 2019
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Joel Christiansen's Blog


Hi there! 

Thanks for taking time to check out my blog!  I have been playing and loving video games for 25+ years, and working as a pro game artist, designer and educator for the last 7.  I want to dedicate this blog to documenting all my thoughts and ideas on the current and future direction of electronic gaming.  Thanks for keeping an open mind, and I hope you find this intriguing. 


-Joel Christiansen

[email protected]



Member Blogs

Posted by Joel Christiansen on Mon, 28 Nov 2016 09:51:00 EST in Design, Art, Indie
From the wasteland of Greenlight to the nirvana of Steam release—a year in the life of an indie arcade shooter about a block that shoots blocks at other blocks in a world made of blocks. Experience abstract minimalist destruction in Disastr_Blastr!

Posted by Joel Christiansen on Mon, 31 Aug 2015 01:07:00 EDT in Audio, Design, Art, Console/PC, Indie
Thoughts and observations on my 2-year solo indie game project Disastr_Blastr. Now available on XBLIG (Xbox 360 edition) and (PC edition). Vote now for Disastr_Blastr on Greenlight:

Posted by Joel Christiansen on Mon, 10 Jan 2011 08:09:00 EST in Design
Is the pursuit of perfection a heroic quest for inner purity, or a self-destructive exercise in futility? Let's weigh the pros and cons of pursuing an unattainable ideal, and consider the question, "when we pursue perfection, do we damage ourselves?"

Posted by Joel Christiansen on Sat, 25 Dec 2010 03:14:00 EST in Design
"If you could not die, it would be a real problem for you". I think this is true in life, and lately I have come to wonder if it might not be true in games as well.

Joel Christiansen's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 11/28/2016 - 09:51]

Hey Michael, thanks for commenting ...

Hey Michael, thanks for commenting r n r nGreat insights here wonderful example of the potential pitfalls of taking player feedback at face value. I guess instead of asking are your testers being honest with you the question I should have asked is: does your design sense agree with what ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/02/2014 - 08:48]

Really great article Sarah, thanks ...

Really great article Sarah, thanks for writing this I have been a lone wolf indie designer for a few years now, and based on my experiences every word of this piece rings true. Love your philosophy of keeping the focus on learning, innovation and enjoyment--remembering why we started designing games ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/21/2012 - 01:51]

Great article Javier. I spent ...

Great article Javier. I spent a couple years as a solo indie developer/online game arts instructor and I can certainly relate to the feelings of loneliness and detachment you describe here. r n r nLiving and working in near total isolation in the backwoods of East Texas for a year ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/10/2011 - 08:09]

Hey Jonathan, thanks for your ...

Hey Jonathan, thanks for your comments I can definitely relate to the conundrum of wanting to make a great concept drawing, but having trouble finding the right direction because nothing I am coming up with seems great enough . The only way I know to work around this is to ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/27/2010 - 10:53]

Awesome article I found it ...

Awesome article I found it especially interesting that you chose a multiplayer FPS Left for Dead to illustrate the flow of Yomi in real time... I play a lot of turn-based strategy games, and after reading this I can really recognize all the layers of Yomi happening in every round ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/27/2010 - 02:11]

Fascinating article Michael I am ...

Fascinating article Michael I am a big believer in cross-disciplinary thought/learning, but it has never once occurred to me to think about animation principles as applied to design until now... When reading your discussion of guns I immediately thought of the Mega-buster, and how its squash/stretch action affects the gameplay ...