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July 7, 2020
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Mike Stout's Blog   Expert Blogs


Who am I?
My name is Mike Stout and I've been a professional Video Game Designer for more than 13 years.

What games have I worked on?

With Insomniac Games:

  • Ratchet and Clank 1, 2, and 3 (Playstation 2)
  • Ratchet: Deadlocked (Playstation 3)
  • Resistance: Fall of Man Multiplayer (Playstation 3)
  • Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus (Playstation 3)
  • Ratchet and Clank (Playstation 4)

With Activision:

  • Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
  • Skylanders: Giants
  • Skylanders: Swap Force
  • Skylanders: Trap Team

What am I doing nowadays?

These days I'm producing educational materials about Game Design via my Patreon campaign ( ), and making games in my spare time.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Mike Stout on Mon, 19 Oct 2015 01:57:00 EDT in Design
One thing I need to do a lot is come up with ways to get players to do what I want them to do. For example, if I design a game about exploration and find that players are not focusing on that -- I need to give them a reason to change.

Posted by Mike Stout on Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:17:00 EDT in Console/PC, Design
Best practices for letting the player know what questions your enemies are asking.

Posted by Mike Stout on Wed, 12 Aug 2015 01:04:00 EDT in Design
There are a lot of “things” that make up a game, and I like to break them down into three categories – like smashing an atom into a proton, a neutron, and an electron. They apply at every level of my decision making process...

Posted by Mike Stout on Thu, 06 Aug 2015 12:43:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
This installation is on a concept I call “Paths” (one or more Ramps connecting parts of a game). I’m going to need this concept to explain something else further down the line, so I wanted to outline it now.

Posted by Mike Stout on Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:50:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
In this article, I'm going to show you a trick I like to use that helps me create good pacing in my designs.

Posted by Mike Stout on Tue, 14 Jul 2015 02:53:00 EDT in Design
This week I'm going to introduce the subjects of "Intensity" and "Ramps," which I'll define later on. I'll be developing these concepts further next week when I talk about how knowing about these helps you decide what Archetypes go in a Setup.

Mike Stout's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 06/29/2015 - 01:49]

Hi Peter, r n r ...

Hi Peter, r n r n Thanks for the kind words I only just saw this all these years later, so I thought I 'd leave an answer for your questions in case you check back or if anyone else is wondering the same thing. r n r n1 The ...

Comment In: [News - 09/08/2015 - 04:01]

I love that video. His ...

I love that video. His analysis a perfect example of what I was talking about. I was going to put a link to it, but I was a bit uncomfortable recommending it without a content warning -- and man, does it need a content warning.

Comment In: [Blog - 08/12/2015 - 01:04]

Thanks for catching that. I ...

Thanks for catching that. I 've gone in and fixed it.

Comment In: [Blog - 06/15/2015 - 05:44]

A dimension can be a ...

A dimension can be a spectrum or a binary choice. For example, if you added a shielded/unshielded sort of mechanic, that would be a binary choice and not a spectrum.

Comment In: [Blog - 06/22/2015 - 06:35]

Just wrote a pretty long ...

Just wrote a pretty long reply and I think Gama ate it, so in case it doesn 't post -- here 's the gist of what I was saying. r n r nGood point on the all-combat examples I 'll try to use more non-combat ones in the future, after ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/05/2015 - 01:14]

I will get into that, ...

I will get into that, yeah. In short form it 's basically because there 's a lot of lists of three in it and because at the end it reduces to 3 recursive principles, if I do it right. :