Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

7 May, 2011

Weekend Design Challenge: Tutorials
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:53 AM

Most people have a love/hate relationship with tutorials. Without some sort of instructions, unique aspects of a game can frustrate people. But, a tutorial itself can be frustrating if it doesn’t feel right.

For this challenge, let’s take a look at tutorials. What makes a good tutorial, and what makes a bad one? Read on for a few of my thoughts.
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17 April, 2011

Weekend Design Challenge: Create a monster

Since two different people mentioned the weekend design challenge in the feedback thread, I figured I’d relent. Since one of the people asking about it is The Ancient Pokémon Gaming Noob, I figured I’d make something for him. (Make sure to shame him if he doesn’t participate!)

The challenge this weekend is to come up with a monster in the style of the Pokémon games. Read on for more info.
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21 November, 2010

Weekend Design Challenge: Clue Remix
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:56 AM

The game site Rock, Paper, Shotgun now has a weekend feature on board games called Cardboard Children. I really enjoy as I’m a fan of modern board games.

In a challenge reminiscent of my old Weekend Design Challenges, this week the author asked readers to remix Clue (aka Cluedo outside of the U.S.) I figured some people here might miss them and might be interested in the opportunity to stretch some design muscles.

Read on for some brief thoughts.
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14 March, 2010

Weekend Design Challenge: A lack of egomania
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:37 PM

It’s been a while, so let’s play with a design challenge again.

At the GDC, game design deity Sid Meier said something that caught my attention:

People who play games are egomaniacs. It says on the box you get to control armies, discover new technology, and create entire civilizations. So, right away, you’re an egomaniac.

(Tip of the hat to Spinks for the pointer.)

So, here’s the challenge: can you make a game that isn’t for egomaniacs? What really makes it different?
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15 March, 2009

Weekend Design Challenge: The Giant’s Causeway
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:58 PM

One of the game designers I admire and respect, Brenda Brathwaite wrote me to propose a challenge based on her “Irish History Week”. She posted some questions with David Perry who mentions the Giant’s Causeway as a spectacular location. Brenda thinks this could be a great inspiration for a game.

So, let’s get into Weekend Design Challenge mode and consider this challenge. Some thoughts after the break.
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26 January, 2009

Weekend Design Challenge: Taking a bit of a break
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:39 PM

I’ve decided to take a bit of a break from the design challenges for now. I originally did them as an interesting little diversion, and it’s become a crutch for me to make sure to update this blog on a semi-regular basis. I want to write about other topics, so I’m going to take a small break from the Weekend Design Challenge. Perhaps I’ll do an occasional one on a monthly basis.
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19 January, 2009

Weekend Design Challenge: New player experience
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:19 PM

One of the most vital aspects of online games is the new player experience. It becomes even trickier when you consider a person who has never played online games before.

This week, let’s consider the new player experience in an online game.
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23 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Another week for rules
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:03 AM

Given that I was the only person to respond to last week’s challenge, I’ll give everyone another week. But, if I get no more responses, I’ll end this project for now.

16 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Game rules
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:33 AM

Continuing our work from last week, it’s time to start planning out some of the game rules for our proposed board game.
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9 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Initial concepts
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:11 AM

Last week, we discussed the commercial viability of different board game projects. This week, like an inscrutable boss, I’m going to pick one project and tell you to work on it.

The project will be building a hospital as originally suggested by Rik.

Read on for some of my thoughts.
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