my-nba-2k15-season

White Label Gaming

I’ve been slogging through My NBA 2k15 on my phone. The game is based on collecting cards to battle other players offline, and its core is identical to that of another game, WWE SuperCard. In fact, they simply reused their game engine, likely built for white-label collectable card games, and release new games by licensing […]

gm

Unearthing an Old Programming Document

The internet never forgets. If nothing else, the Wayback Machine does a dutiful job of saving mostly coherent snippets of the web across an impressive breadth of time. I was reminded again a couple weeks ago, when someone sought me out and pointed me to a guide I authored well over a decade ago. Back […]

hearthstone

Virtually Collectable Card Bits

The story goes, I was tired and slightly bored during a recent business trip, and ended up downloading Blizzard’s free card game Hearthstone from my hotel room. A few hundred games later, I can start to appreciate the game and Blizzard’s game design magic. Hearthstone is a free-to-play game pitting two players in battle, a […]

cookie clicker

When Clicking is Pleasurable and Addictive

Click. Click click. Click click click click click click click click click click click click. One of our company mailing lists brought attention to Particle Clicker, a game that, as the title suggests, is about both particles and clicks. While its goals were around particle physics education, the game itself isn’t that well balanced. But, […]

indie

The Indie Game Bubble

I’ve been meaning to write down my thoughts about the state of gaming and where we’ll go as an industry for the next few years. As we’re in the annual post-E3 lull, this is a good time as any to reflect. The gaming industry has been in transition for years. With a hollowing out of […]

The Troublesome Portrayal of Women in Video Games

Video games are notorious for catering to teenage boys. Puzzlingly, it’s an increasingly outdated focus, persisting mostly in the creative direction and subsequent marketing of games, reflected in big budget titles moreso than in general-appeal casual games. The recent controversy over Assassin Creed’s exclusion of female avatars is just the latest of a long-running series […]

Games as a Service

MMORPGs introduced the concept of games as a service almost two decades ago. It was and remains a straight-forward idea: pay $x/month, and we’ll run the servers that enable the online game to function as well as put some programmers and artists and designers to keep the game fresh by updating content in the game […]

Peak Mobile Gaming

It’s been a couple of eventful weeks for mobile gaming, with some notable releases and twists and turns. In order of completely subjective industry importance: Threes! was released in the App Store. A well-polished, simple but addictive puzzler that everybody likes, which reminds me a bit of the fervor around Dots. Square got around to […]

Exemplary Touch Gaming

Gaming on phones and tablets have certainly come a long way from that poker game that Apple released with the first App Store. There is, if not a particularly healthy ecosystem of games, at least a flood of them of all types and stripes: ports from handheld gaming devices; ports from old consoles; Flash-based games; […]

A Book on a Video Game

There aren’t that many books on video games; I’ve probably read most of them. For a medium and industry that pulls in almost $100 billion, it’s still seen as little more than a casual diversion, with the stereotypical acne-ridden, foul-mouthed teenager as the target audience. It makes Killing is Harmless – a book which tries […]

Game Consoles and their Bet on Software

It’s only a matter of days till the 8th generation of video game consoles launch in the US. Sony and Microsoft are still making the wager that, six years after the modern smartphone has been introduced, a dedicated gaming machine can still set the foundation for a profitable business and that owning the living room […]