perfectly spherical

Game Design In Theory

Big News

I’m Moving! Those of you who follow my twitter account might’ve noticed that I quit my job recently. Let me explain some more things about that. First: I got a job. I’m not sure how many details I wanna give out at the moment, but the plan is I’m gonna go work for a startup/incubator type place. It’ll be interesting, partly because I won’t have the job security of working for a company that’s already making big money, but also partly because they’re doing some crazy shit.
Schmovement. It is absolutely essential to me that the movement mechanics feel good to use. More than that–given the time-attack-esque mechanics of serum and serum consumption, it’s important that the player not be limited by movement. It would absolutely suck if the player got lost in a level, and was unable to make it back to a nearby group of enemies before their Serum runs out, due to not having a quick way to get around.
Sounds Of Death This week, I got a couple important things done, but the one you’ll probably wanna hear most is the firing sound I added to the gun! The gun makes sound now. #HellwaveRoadkill — DanBreez (@dan_breez) July 8, 2021 As mentioned in the tweet, this was synthesized from three CC0 sounds. I wanted to do something similar to what Quake 1’s sounds were built out of, and I think this came together nicely.
Okay but why though Look, League of Legends is huge. It’s the game that popularized the model of spending millions of dollars to run an international tournament so that a bunch of impressionable young nerds will spend hundreds on commemorative hero skins and dream of Hitting It Big. League has, rather infamously, 200 years of collective game design experience behind it. It is a household name, either because you play it or because you avoid it like the plague.
Progress: Slow and Steady Right now I’m working part-time at Amazon–yes, that Amazon. Luckily, I work in an airport warehouse, and it’s slightly less hellish here than it is in the dreaded Fulfillment Centers, which are exactly as dreary and dystopian as you’d expect. Unluckily, it’s still modern capitalism, which means it’s still fucked. The good news is, I’m making steady progress, despite the time I’m having to spend away from development.


There are two ways to deal with feedback, and they are both wrong. Broadly speaking, you probably fall into one of two groups. The first group is people who believe that the Customer Is Always Right. Sometimes it’s because you haven’t run into a particularly bad customer yet; sometimes it’s because you’ve seen all too many games fail because they did something utterly mind-bogglingly stupid; but you firmly believe that players will never lead you astray, because who better to tell you if something is fun than the people playing the game?
I’m working on a game, in case you didn’t know. This might not be as surprising as you’d think, depending on how well you know me. I’m basically always working on something. That said, a little while ago THIS happened: Combination — El Oshcuro (@DaveOshry) June 20, 2021 In case you didn’t know, that’s the guy who runs New Blood Interactive, which is one of the few publishers I genuinely would love to work with.
Minecraft is kind of a big deal. It’s one of the most popular and most profitable games of the 2010s. It lost the status of Most Popular Ever to Fortnite, but it’s still going strong, with a rabidly loyal fanbase and new content constantly on the way. Its simple premise of a world that can be built and broken on a whim drove it to the height of pop-culture awareness early on, and pretty soon it started getting things like monsters, survival mechanics, dungeons, villages, more monsters, more ways to fight those monsters, new dungeons, new treasures, new bossfights…


Why, exactly, should this gun reload? I want to start by saying that, even though I fucking love boomershooters, this isn’t coming from a “Doom didn’t have reloading so neither will I!” point of view. This is not about cargo cultism. This is not about elitism. This isn’t about whether or not games have gotten worse over the past 20 years (maybe) or why they’ve gotten worse (it’s not any one thing).

Small Games

STOP MAKING SUCH HUGE GAMES. HOLY SHIT. A little while ago, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart launched. The folks announcing it were proud to say that they got it done without crunch. They rolled the game out the door (to the tune of 70 dollars) without a single case of pushing their workers too hard to make up for a bad schedule. And then people started complaining that tiny details were missing.