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Lewis Pulsipher's Expert Blogs

Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 01:53:00 EDT in Design
Author Robert Heinlein says this about the nature of jokes: "Funny once, funny twice, or always funny." Games follow this pattern. E.g. I know people who have played my Britannia 500+ times. Which kind of game do you want to make?


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 29 Jun 2015 01:49:00 EDT in Design
I don’t use the word “theme” any more, because there are so many different meanings. These meanings are not even close to the same things. If you cannot know how your reader/listener understands a word, you can’t use it (if you want to be clear).


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 04 May 2015 01:51:00 EDT in Design
Look at the history of games (both video and tabletop) and you'll realize that "great innovations" games are very rare. Moreover, it's unlikely that the designers were deliberately looking for "great innovation," it just happened. Just make good games.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 20 Apr 2015 01:22:00 EDT in Design
The big difference in game design is between games with human opposition, and games without – two or more players versus one player. I briefly discuss the difference between games, puzzles, and "contests".


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 30 Mar 2015 01:30:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Modern gamers often mean "variety" (breadth) when they say "depth;" in fact gameplay depth is disappearing from games in general, led by "games" that you cannot lose (puzzles, many single-player video games).


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 09 Mar 2015 06:48:00 EDT in Design
What makes for a good game? In this two-part screencast I discuss elements that help make any game for hobbiests ( as opposed to a party or family game) a good game. It's a summary, not grondbreaking, of course.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 26 Jan 2015 03:41:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
While we usually think of boards in conjunction with boardgames, many video games also use the equivalent of boards, "fields of maneuver". This is a discussion of options.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:09:00 EST in Design
This is primarily for beginners, not for experienced pros. There are many ways to start learning game design (which is different from game production). You can pursue more than one route simultaneously, even all seven at once.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 22 Dec 2014 02:36:00 EST in Design
Why should game designers go to Cons? I’m mixing video game (conferences) and tabletop game (conventions) in this discussion. Meet publishers and and funders Learn new techniques Stimulate ideas Find collaborators Find playtesters


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 01 Dec 2014 01:17:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie
Follow-up to the original 10. This was created for the benefit of relatively inexperienced game designers, as "pros" know it already. But summaries are often useful. The video (screencast) is more than 12 minutes long.


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