I Watch Anita Sarkeesian So You Don’t Have To. But You Should.
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 September 2014, 11:37 pm
So, my Twitter feed has been full of people who believe that Anita Sarkeesian wants to corrupt my brain, and convert me into being an SJW zombie, thus ruining every


My Artistic Freedom is Fine, Thank You
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 11:58 pm
There is a movement afoot in the universe that insists that #gamergate is ALL FOR THE DEVELOPERS.  All for me and my ilk!  Protecting our freedom of speech!  Trying to


XX Chromosome Cannon Fodder
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 September 2014, 5:00 pm
Most modern armed forces, including those in the US, now recruit women as well as men.  So do most terrorist organizations – 15% of all suicide bombers in groups that


Games Are Really Not Like Cars
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 September 2014, 3:18 pm
As things cool down on the GamerGate morass a little bit, the various press outlets have started to voice their own opinions and declarative statements on where they stand.  As


Reclaiming ‘Gamer’ and Defending Our Tribe
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 September 2014, 12:31 am
In the movie Office Space (a film that should be required viewing for anyone who work in games), the unfortunately-named Michael Bolton is asked why he doesn’t go by ‘Mike’


Simyopia
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 September 2014, 12:24 pm
Among the various other ludicrous claims I’ve seen come from the gamergate truthers and Sarkeesian bashers is a fear, a deep, unsettling fear: if the Social Justice Warriors win, the


How UO Changed The Culture of MMOs
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 September 2014, 7:47 pm
There are those who think that perhaps Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian are lying about the campaigns of terror, hacking, and bullying that they are currently encountering (and thanks to


Our Growing Fuckwad Culture Problem
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 3:08 pm
I am not a perfect ally of the progressive/feminist forces inside the game community.  I started to list out examples at the start of this post, and then realized I


Being Too Greedy Too Early
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2014, 5:28 pm
One of the things I’m very proud of when we monetized SWTOR, is how generous we were to the new users.  Players don’t get asked for any money before level


The Kobayashi Maru Is Not Usually Mass Market
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 March 2014, 4:22 pm
On one hand, I am sympathetic to how fast, and how transparently, game developers rip each other off in the casual and mobile space. It’s particularly galling when the company


My Review(s) of Call of Duty 4 and Battlefield 4 Single-Player
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 January 2014, 7:42 pm
It’s my own fault, I suppose. CoD4 and BF4 both came out in Autumn of last year, but in both cases, I deferred my purchase of them to the Winter,


SimCity Engineer Describes Tough Technical Effort
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 January 2014, 6:05 pm
One of the things that programmers hate are designers who can kinda sorta code, and then use that to float wildly optimistic estimates for how long it will take to


What’s Wrong with Game Journalism?
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 January 2014, 4:31 pm
Here’s a good example:  SimCity launched with technical problems, to be sure, but what offended many people was that the game was designed to be online-only, not just technically but


Sticker Shock
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 January 2014, 1:42 pm
Lost in the noise of the holidays was news that Mechwarriors now sells solid gold mechs – for $500 bucks.  Despite the fact that these appear to be mostly cosmetic


The Evils of Up-front Payment
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 January 2014, 2:27 pm
This is a good article on Gamasutra that challenges the notion that the $60 box price necessarily creates better industry practices.


Policing Your Own Pool: Netflix, Google and Reddit
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 January 2014, 1:14 pm
Three articles that are not strictly game design related, but interesting nonetheless.  First off, here’s an article that discusses how Netflix has reverse-engineered Hollywood in order to categorize all of


Assassin’s Creed 4 Design Review: Oh The Random Directions You Will Jump
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 January 2014, 3:20 pm
It’s odd, but the worst part about Assassin’s Creed 4 is the part that theoretically has gotten the most iteration and polish, which is to say the movement model of


More Candy Crush Data
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 December 2013, 3:23 pm
Tommy Palm gave more interesting data about Candy Crush: The game has been downloaded and installed half a billion times. 69% of UK fans play while commuting. 78% of US


Collectibles Design
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 December 2013, 3:26 pm
Extra Credits did a couple of great pieces talking about collectables design, discussing for example how Magic: the Gathering is brilliant and Rage of Bahamut is effectively ‘game design strip


Design Review: Ryse: Son of Rome
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 November 2013, 4:27 pm
Well, I had to get SOMETHING on launch day with my XBone because, as is well-documented, I’m a well-documented Playstation Hater.  In fact, one of my great joys about my


Ender’s Real Genius
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 November 2013, 1:19 pm

ender's real genius




Tomb Raider is Really, Really Good
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 September 2013, 2:13 am
Here’s a great example of me wondering if I’m having a contrarian opinion just to have one, but here it is anyway: I thought Tomb Raider was a much better


Goodbye, Diablo 3 Auction House
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 September 2013, 2:48 pm
The trick with playing with real money is when you start letting that real money drive game design decisions – or even give the appearance of doing so.  When Diablo


Penny Arcade is Still Mostly A Force For Good
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 September 2013, 9:00 pm
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: it’s pretty much criminally stupid to put out a t-shirt of what effectively has become the spirit animal of the worst


Free 2 Play is Not a Cancer (Unless It Is)
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 September 2013, 9:28 pm
Sometime ago, someone sent me this article, in which a Free-to-Play designer described how he is not a ‘cancer’ on the games industry.  I read it, but I didn’t fully agree


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