ongoing since 2006
A weekly video game radio show I co-host with Alon Waisman. I like to talk about design issues, psychology, things that provoke more thought than the usual type of content found in the games media. New shows are typically available for download Tuesdays.
2012 July
web; Gamasutra
A word like "repetition" is usually bandied about in negative ways. Here I discuss not only the good things about repetition, but why the concept is absolutely essential in accessing nothing less than the greatest potential of video games.
2012 February
magazine; Game Developer
This is the second aggregate analysis I have performed for Game Developer. Here, I take all the raw data from the past decade of salary surveys to present a picture of how our industry has been trending in terms of our salaries, gender distribution, experience in the industry, benefits and more in almost 70 graphical visualizations.
2011 December
magazine; Game Developer
The print version of a piece that I originally delivered as a talk at the Phoenix IGDA Meeting in October 2011. I discuss the psychology of interacting with physical and game interfaces, how everybody inexorably brings with them a set of expectations (what I like to call cognitive baggage) to every new video game experience, and how that very baggage helps or hinders your understanding of such new experiences.
2011 February
magazine; Game Developer
Published in the Feb. 2011 issue of Game Developer and reprinted in Gamasutra, this is the output of a detailed examination of all of the postmortems published by the magazine over the past two years. In this article, I explain and analyze the various characteristics of game development cycles, like team sizes, project durations, the nature of problems reported and lots more.
web; Gamasutra
A piece I wrote for Gamasutra that explores the relationship between noninteractive narrative devices and gameplay devices in games. Here, I attempt to explain why and how narrative devices historically have not mixed well with gameplay, and why this kind of narrative is in fact not compatible with gameplay. I also explain under what circumstances the two can play nicely together, and what compromises are necessary to make such combinations work.
web; 4 color rebellion
4 color rebellion interviewed me in 2009 about how we designed The Red Star, how it came to be published several years after it was finished, and various philosophical design issues.
paperback book
I was one of several contributors to this very interesting book who wrote their answers to a series of basic questions about video games. So the questions aren't really "difficult" per se, they just get at fundamental issues that are rarely addressed so explicitly. I guess the difficulty is evidenced by the immensely broad range of answers on each topic =].
76 k.pdf
Co-authored with Erik Dickelman, this is a continuation of my previous article. The main focus here is on how one might adapt specific designs that are characteristically found in video games to make business software more effective. Published in the Nov./Dec. 2002 issue of Performance Improvement Journal.
1.2 MB.pdf
Another version of the same article directly below, modified for publication in the Aug. 2001 issue of Performance Improvement.
29 k.pdf
This is my original version of the article above, before it got to the chopping block. This one is better to read, while the other one is nicer to look at because it includes pictures. In this article, I make the case that good interaction design principles can be applied to all kinds of interactive software, regardless of whether we deal with games or business software. Furthermore, one should be able to successfully apply the principles used in game design to business tools. I also talk about what I think are important game design principles and illustrate several cases where game interaction rules have been implemented especially well or poorly.
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A satire on the writing style of many game journalists, who work in an industry that all too often lacks accountability, professionalism, and copy editing. This was published in Pat Reynolds' fanzine, Control Freaks. I lost the original text so all you get here is a black and white reprint as an image.
internal link
A user interface study that I did in my last undergraduate year, primarily conducted by myself and David MacCormack. The time and resource constraints were intense, but I think it came out pretty well. Note that all of the email addresses on the linked pages are outdated because I have left the whole site intact since it was completed.