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October 22, 2018
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Sina Shahbazi's Blog


Hi, I'm a game designer from Tehran, Iran! I've been a modder and mapper for a number of RTS games in the past and have since founded a team while occupying the role of the designer, producing our first game. Studied Materials Science and Engineering for my undergraduate degree and now in business school studying Entrepreneurship for Masters. First commercial designed is a CCG. I'm interested in the philosophy surrounding games, design principles and analysis that gives us a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms in games. I believe that a rigorous language can help us better create and analyze games, which I currently find lacking in the world of games. 

Areas of interest include:

  • Game design theory, particularly systems design
  • Philosophy of games and schools of thought in games particularly formalism
  • Differing monetization models and their link to design
  • Crowdfunding
  • Studio growth and business progress

Member Blogs

Posted by Sina Shahbazi on Thu, 26 Apr 2018 09:29:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production, Indie
In this first post of a multi-part series, we will look at what causes are creating problems for emerging game territories. This first part focuses on the common aspects most of those inside such territories are familiar with.

Posted by Sina Shahbazi on Sun, 01 Apr 2018 01:27:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production, Indie
A postmortem of the financial disastrous, but well-received game Amazia created for the mobile platform. Read on how a single pivot and decision in development ultimately changed the fate of the game.

Posted by Sina Shahbazi on Tue, 02 Jan 2018 03:53:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC, Indie
8 years ago industry veteran and observer James Portnow wrote a post titled "Ludus Florentis: The Flowering of Games" predicting a drastic change in our industry. With sufficient time having passed since, let's recap and see how those predictions went.

Posted by Sina Shahbazi on Thu, 02 Nov 2017 09:54:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production, Console/PC
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice was released to widespread acclaim. As an independently made and published game with high production standards it has since been heralded as a role model for games. In this article I'll be challenging that idea.

Posted by Sina Shahbazi on Fri, 04 Nov 2016 01:45:00 EDT in Design
In this post I break down randomness by its objective features that exist in all random elements and examine how these fields and parameters may interact and be balanced without adhering to a singular rule.

Sina Shahbazi's Comments

Comment In: [News - 05/31/2018 - 04:00]

It does not generally reward ...

It does not generally reward merit r n r nA personal beef I have with this entire industry is just how unmeritocratic it is. It 's an industry that rewards connections, loyalty and nationality above else.

Comment In: [Blog - 05/22/2018 - 10:10]

Creative Inertia is extremely key ...

Creative Inertia is extremely key to indies that have other commitments. A couple of months ago I went on a 2 week vacation and after getting back home I had lost all momentum. It 's far too easy to lose this momentum and hard to gain it back.

Comment In: [Blog - 04/26/2018 - 09:29]

Yes, these are all true. ...

Yes, these are all true. Point 2 wasn 't just sanctions though and not all countries face sanctions. Iran 's the example I used here because it 's where I live and have the most experience with, but access is much more broader with some examples I provided earlier than ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/01/2018 - 01:27]

That wasn 't my intention. ...

That wasn 't my intention. My co-founder had unreal levels of efficiency, but as organization theory teaches us, efficiency must be partnered with effectiveness i.e the correct decisions for great results. While we 're not as close as we once were anymore, we still hold positive relations.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/16/2018 - 08:19]

I swear, this right here ...

I swear, this right here is a seminal piece of work on game design. First, identifying that the nature of play is fundamentally social is very important. Second, the trust spectrum as you named it, is a newly discovered axis to dissect games which to me seems just as fundamental ...

Comment In: [Blog - 03/14/2018 - 10:16]

Reading this feels almost like ...

Reading this feels almost like deja vu for me. So many of these issues were exactly the same issues I have faced over the past year, and oh look now we 're getting defunct. Choosing the right team members is what makes or breaks an indie team, and having no ...