Every week I try to learn something new from people who have done what I want to do already. I read articles, watch videos, or listen to podcasts about games, game design, programming and self improvement. Every month I will try to create a summary of the articles and such which didn’t get individual posts.
Sid Meier’s keynote at GDC 2010 does an excellent job of going into some odd and unexpected psychological behavior of players and how it is important to the design of the game. It is about listening to a player and using their psychological tendencies to make their overall experience better.
I think I will be mining David Sirlin’s articles for a while. He has quite a few good articles on game design and his article on game solvability is no exception. He discusses the importance of hidden information or surprise to keep a game from being completely solvable so that it will remain interesting and maintain replayability. A game where you just have to memorize a certain pattern and do that to win will not remain fun.
Rob Pardo gives a talk about some of Blizzard’s game design values and process. The main part of the talk is sort of a summary of how Blizzard’s values affect the process of game design and what is good about that. He also talks about expanding a game audience and avoiding certain game design mistakes like not play testing early enough. A lot of good game design advice here.
This is a really long talk (about 4.5 hours) but it is a gold mine of personal development advice. The major theme is if you want things to change, you have to change. Jim Rohn fill this talk with different small things you can do to improve your life that will significantly change the destination you are headed in 5 to 10 years. Topics include health, psychology, finance and suggestions for your personal library. You may need to break it up over a few days, but I definitely recommend watching it and taking notes.
More Next Month
I think this will become a regular monthly posting and hope to be able to provide a nice little aggregate of useful information for anybody trying to learn about game design, programming and self improvement. In the future, I may also add drawing and writing articles since these are also important in game design.
Now, go read about making games so you can make your games better.