Ludomedia #59

February 8, 2019


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Brandon Rym DeCoster & Scott Rubin: Nostalgia vs Game Design

  • “You really have to distill games down to very fundamental components […] to be able to understand what it is about a game that you liked that was fun, that made the game work. […] Kind of like when you make moonshine, some of the stuff that comes out of that still is super poisonous.”

Josh Bycer: The Game Design Trap of the “Zelda Rogue-Like”

  • “The beauty of Zelda’s formula was that the dungeons and points of interest always build on top of the previous. […] The point of a good rogue-like is never about getting to the end, but all the varying ways the middle can turn out differently.”

Keith Burgun: Clockwork Game Design Podcast Episode #52

  • “This is what’s so bad about non-variable match lengths: When you know where the end is coming, that tells you where to invest and where to start cashing out. […] If you look at a game that has a variable match length, you can get all kinds of different arrangements in terms of the strategy space.”

Mark Brown: Should Roguelikes Have Persistent Upgrades?

  • “The random levels mean you can’t rely on memorizing level layouts and permadeath means you can’t rely on accumulating power over time. […] I would argue that persistent upgrades go against that ideal and can minimize the role of player skill, putting much more emphasis on simply how long you’ve been playing the game.”

Raph Koster: What drives retention

  • “Once you have retention, you can worry about how to make money. […] Again, it doesn’t imply a particular business model: a service-based game is not a dirty word, doesn’t mandate constant moneygrubbing, doesn’t mean it has to be free to play. It just means that you the developer and you the player are in it for the long haul.”

Ludomedia #58

January 9, 2019


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Frank Lantz: Y Combinator Interview

  • “In the way that painting is the art form about looking, games are the art form about thinking and doing. […] They are opportunities to carve out a little space separate from the ordinary world, where we solve problems, we think and do, for its own sake.”

Jannick Gänger: Null gespielt, trotzdem toll: Previews sind falsch

  • “Wer radikal umdenkt und die größte, ungenutzte Ressource entdeckt, nämlich Stil, Handwerk, Können, nur der kann sich der fortwährenden Peinlichkeit namens 85-Prozent-Spielspaß-Award und Spiel-XY-hat-Potenzial-Preview entziehen.”

Jon Shafer: How At the Gates took 7 years of my life – and nearly the rest

  • “This is the story of how At the Gates was made, and how it almost destroyed me.”

Michael Ardizzone: Carrot or Stick? Fixing an XCOM Design Problem

  • “XCOM2 does a much better job at putting the player into tough but survivable combat situations. Since this is the core of its tactical combat, I view it as a design success and an improvement over XCOM2012.”

Michael Austin et al.: Constructing Emergence

  • “We believe that viewing games within the space defined by the three axes of Agency, Abstraction, and Complexity, and specifying object interactions via a Component Interaction Matrix (or multiple hierarchical ones) will help demystify emergence and sharpen the designer’s ability to create it.”

“Spaaaaace!”: Räumlichkeit in Spielen

January 7, 2019

Immer wieder schreibe ich von “tiefem Gameplay” und den in diesem Zusammenhang notwendigen “komplexen Verben”, also Mechanismen jenseits von Trefferwahr­scheinlichkeiten, Fortschritts­balken oder Schadens­punkten. Aber wie sehen solche Systeme eigentlich konkret aus? Um eine mögliche Antwort auf diese Frage soll es im Folgenden gehen: den Raum.

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Ludomedia #57

December 10, 2018


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Jim Sterling: Child Gambling Quadruples In UK, Loot Boxes Named And Shamed

  • “If the video game industry doesn’t want to regulate itself, it’s gonna keep drawing negative attention to itself. […] Aggressive monetization is about the only innovation many major publishers care about now.”

Joseph Anderson: Subjectivity is Implied

  • “It makes me recall that saying ‘If everyone is special, then nobody is’. Can’t you do the same for opinion statements? If every sentence needs one, can’t we agree that most of them don’t?”

Keith Burgun: Artifact and the Game-Complexity Overton Window

  • “I think we’re moving towards a more complex idea of what games will be, and not just in strategy games. And this is a really positive thing, because I think our games have been just squarely too simple, which has forced us to rely on execution and bad forms of randomness to create variant outcomes.”

Mark Brown: Building Better Skill Trees

  • “Don’t feel the need to add in crappy skills just to boost the numbers. Some skill tree designers obviously believe that bigger is better. […] But if you ask me, a tightly pruned bush with a handful of truly interesting upgrades is often the best solution.”

Michael Ardizzone: Incentives and Intent: XCOM’s Creeping Forward Problem

  • “The design punishes the player for engaging the most stimulating and interesting kinds of dangerous combat situations. The design gives the player no reason to seek challenge, so the smart player studiously avoids it.”

Artifact und der kalte Entzug

December 3, 2018

Artifact, das neue Sammelkartenspiel von Valve und Magic-Erfinder Richard Garfield, verweigert seinen Spielern den Glutamat-Tropf. Es gibt praktisch keine Progression, keine ständige Karotte vor der Nase, keine regelmäßig garantierten Belohnungen für die investierte Zeit. Und ein nicht unerheblicher Teil des Publikums flippt ob des Fehlens dieser heutzutage absolut allgegenwärtigen Mechanismen völlig aus.

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Zu Gast beim Märchenonkel

November 26, 2018

Ich war zu Gast im Märchenonkel-Podcast und habe mit dem famosen Artur darüber gesprochen, wie Spiele ihre Geschichten erzählen und was sie meiner Ansicht nach dabei beachten sollten.

Den Podcast gibt’s im Web sowie auf iTunes.

Viel Spaß beim Hören!

Ludomedia #56

November 16, 2018


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Emily Grace Buck: The Human Cost of Game Development

  • “Something needs to shift in the way that companies in the US are treating their workers, not just in games, but definitely in games. […] We deserve a lot better than what happened at Telltale.”

Jim Sterling: Black Ops 4 Sneaks Microtransactions In After Launch

  • “This is a classic case of what we on the channel here call a ‘Fee-to-pay’ game. […] There are lootboxes roped into this whole thing as well. This time they’re called reserves, because if you keep changing the name with each game you’ll fool people into thinking you don’t have lootboxes. […] And the fact these were smuggled in after launch only makes this shittier.”

Josh Bycer: The Risks of Making Safe Games

  • “With each console cycle (and sometimes within the same one), we see the trends push developers to focus on a single design or style. […] When AAA games aren’t delivering, it’s up to the Indie space to deliver, and they most certainly have. Over the last eight years, some of the most touching, innovative, and unique games I’ve played have come from indie teams.”

Richard Moss: How bad crediting hurts the game industry and muddles history

  • “Despite their importance, however, it’s not unusual for the credits published with games to be inaccurate, incomplete, overly vague, or even (on rare occasions) downright misleading.”

Tom Francis: Dealing with Scope Change in Heat Signature and Gunpoint

  • “The question I should have asked myself is: What is the core of the game? […] I’m now always looking for things that have a single core.”

Das Rücksetzproblem: Ein Plädoyer für Singleplayer-Matchmaking

October 30, 2018

Die folgenden Überlegungen widmen sich partienbasierten Single-Player-Spielen. In diese Kategorie fallen etwa Roguelikes, Civilization oder auch Tetris. Insbesondere wird es um ein sehr häufig vorkommendes Game-Design-Problem dieser Spiele gehen. Die zugrunde liegenden Analyse-Prinzipien lassen sich auch auf andersartige Spiele anwenden; vorerst sollen jedoch solch exquisite Titel wie Dead Cells, The Binding of Isaac oder FTL im Vordergrund stehen.

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Ludomedia #55

October 8, 2018


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Extra Credits: The Joy of Losing

  • “In games today, we put a huge emphasis on winning. We’ve moved it from being the goal of most games to the raison d’être of most games. […] Losing isn’t actually a bad thing. It’s often how we improve. […] If you’re not playing for the gameplay, the hook you’re playing for is as much of an illusion as any free-to-play treadmill or MMO grind.”

Jim Sterling: The Unfortunate Reality Of Microtransactions, Gambling, And Desperate Publishers

  • “You really can tell the difference between a game without micro-transactions and a game full of the bastards. Because one’s designed to encourage you to play it and the other […] goes against what a video game is because it doesn’t want to be played.”

Mark Brown: Playing Past Your Mistakes

  • “Screwing up causes you to dynamically shift your goal and do something different for a while. Awesome stories can occur when things go horribly wrong. And risky play is far more meaningful if you can’t just rewind and try again. But it can’t be up to the player to enforce this pure way of thinking. […] Given the opportunity, players will optimize the fun out of the game.”

Matthias Kreienbrink: Super wird der Held erst im Spiel

  • “Die Erzählung in Spider-Man wird vorangetrieben durch Zwischen­sequenzen. “Filmisch” nennen Kritiker sie gern und erwähnen sie lobend. Doch was sind diese filmischen Sequenzen anderes, als die Verbannung der Spieler in die Passivität?”

Tom Francis: Desperation Innovation

  • “Challenge pushes you to discover what’s interesting about a game.”

Crimson Company: Ein etwas anderes Kartenspiel

September 24, 2018

Wir sind Fabian Fischer und Dario Reinhardt. Wir sind Game-Designer. Und mit Crimson Company haben wir ein Kartenspiel erschaffen, das in vielerlei Hinsicht neue Wege geht.

Über die Jahre hinweg haben wir unzählige Stunden in alle möglichen analogen sowie digitalen Kartenspiele versenkt. Immer wieder befanden sich darunter herausragende Titel. Allerdings hatten wir auf lange Sicht dann doch stets einiges auszusetzen.

So stellten wir uns irgendwann folgerichtig die Frage: Warum nicht selbst ein Spiel entwickeln? Wir nahmen uns vor, die Stärken der Konkurrenz zu bündeln, ihre Schwächen ausmerzen und das Ganze mit unserer eigenen Note zu versehen. Im Folgenden werden wir die Entstehung der Spielidee nachzeichnen und stellvertretende Design-Entscheidungen auf dem Weg zur neuartigen Kernmechanik des “Board-Drafting” im Detail beleuchten.

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