The Comfort of an Simple, Enjoyable Routine

Every year, I go out and buy a copy of the latest NBA 2K video game. Every year, I start and finish a season of basketball with a team, usually going through the full 82-game season schedule, playing pretty much every game manually. Despite the tweaks that the developers make to the controls and AI […]


The Chronicles of E-Sports History

E-sports aren’t quite mainstream yet. Despite ESPN airing tournaments on one of its major channels (though not without controversy), virtual sports are very far removed in scope and mindshare compared to physical sports, most of which have had centuries – if not millennia – to mature. One aspect that’s currently lacking is the chronicling of […]


What is there to Talk About Casual Games?

Most of the writing around video games focuses on PC and console gaming: these were the platforms that have been around for decades, which now enjoy devotees in their adult years who have the disposable income to spend. Apparently, someone at TechCrunch believes that coverage should begin to shift to mobile, casual games. The rationale […]


Appreciating the Game Design of Magic: the Gathering

We moved our home office this past weekend[1], and in the cleanup I came across a binder two decades old with a treasure trove of Magic: the Gathering cards. I got into the classic collectable card game (CCG) back in elementary school, and this was the one game that defined and pushed the genre for […]

The Many Buttons of GTA5

I’ve been working through the PS4 version of Grand Theft Auto 5 recently. It’s something like the 7th game in the series (after GTA3 added a number of sequels labeled GTA3 but were fully-fledged titles), and at this point the open-city gameplay formula is well-established. Each successive game builds on the framework established by the […]


The Dying Web

The web is dying? Of course it’s dying. The author of this opinion piece isn’t the first to point out that it seems like mobile apps are taking up a ton of time and attention away from “the web”, defined as the traditional and boring websites that are frequented via a “web” browser. Mobile apps […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, […]


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 […]