The Man Who Built Catan – The New Yorker

Teuber is still somewhat baffled by the popularity of his creation. “I never expected it would be so successful,” he said. Almost all board-game designers, even the most successful ones, work full time in other professions; Teuber is one of a tiny handful who make a living from games. “Going Cardboard,” a 2012 documentary about the board-game industry, includes footage of Teuber appearing at major gaming conventions, where he is greeted like a rock star—fans whisper and point when they see him—but seems sheepish while signing boxes.

Source: The Man Who Built Catan – The New Yorker

(4) Psychology: What are the different types of psychological needs that game developers fulfill to make video games fun? – Quora

There’s an enormous amount of diversity in what people enjoy. We all have different psychological needs for what we find “fun”.

Game developers that understand these needs can gain an advantage in their designs. However, I would argue that these advantages transcend far beyond just video games and are already used in other industries.

via (4) Psychology: What are the different types of psychological needs that game developers fulfill to make video games fun? – Quora.

“It felt like robbery”: Tomb Raider and the fall of Core Design | Ars Technica

“It felt like robbery”: Tomb Raider and the fall of Core Design | Ars Technica.

Tomb Raider developer Core Design appeared untouchable with Lara in tow, and it was thanks to the franchise’s immense success that publisher Eidos had just been named the fastest-growing company in the world at the 1998 World Economic Forum. But the studio’s creative origins clashed with the publicly traded Eidos’ year-in, year-out reliance on the Tomb Raider brand as a money-making machine. By the end of 2003—the year that the disastrous, hellishly developed sixth Tomb Raider in seven years was forced out unfinished—they were laughing stocks of the entertainment world.

GDC Vault

GDC Vault.

All the videos from the Game Developers Conference 2015 are now available online. Highlights include:

  • Advanced VR Rendering
  • Adventures in Text: Innovating in Interactive Fiction
  • A View from the White House: Games Beyond Entertainment
  • Animation Bootcamp: UFC Animation System
  • Anti-Social Behavior in Games: How can game designers help?
  • Art Direction Bootcamp

 

… and many more!

I Search the Body: What Role-Playing Games Taught Me About Writing Fiction, by Harry Connolly § Unqualified Offerings

I Search the Body: What Role-Playing Games Taught Me About Writing Fiction, by Harry Connolly § Unqualified Offerings:

Point two is about where the plot should go. The GM might lay out everything the player characters would need to sneak into an enemy fortress, including scrounged guard uniforms and a supply delivery wagon, expecting the heroes to slip in, steal the stolen relic, then return it to the local villagers quietly. For the GM, that’s the most obvious solution.

Unfortunately, the players have their own ideas. One wants to rally the local villagers to storm the walls. Another wants to stuff a rock into the gullet of a rotting raccoon carcass and drop it into the well. Another wants to spoil the supplies before they’re delivered to poison them that way. In short, GMs learn quickly that flexibility is important because players are unpredictable; you can’t predict what course of action they’ll think is best.

Designing The Best Board Game On The Planet | FiveThirtyEight

Designing The Best Board Game On The Planet | FiveThirtyEight.

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Serious games — whether they be hobby games, boutique games or Euro games — are having a moment. Over the past five years, their market has grown an average of 15 percent a year, to $700 million in 2013. The Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride — popular gateway drugs of the genre — are the third- and fourth-best selling board games on Amazon.1 There’s more to these games than “roll the dice, move your mice.” Games in this broad category are typically characterized by deep strategy, an emphasis on skill and the lack of player elimination. In other words, they’re not Monopoly.

On BoardGameGeek, Twilight Struggle is ranked No. 1. Settlers of Catan: 138th. Monopoly: 10,441st.

Developer Interview: Maryanne Peters « HobbyGameDev – Hobby Videogame Development for all experience levels

Developer Interview: Maryanne Peters « HobbyGameDev – Hobby Videogame Development for all experience levels:

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Q: Has making videogames changed anything else about your life or how you see the world outside of games? (If so, how?)

A: I think about all of life differently – my mind automatically seeks out the structure of how things interact, maps out how to get to any given goal, assesses the risk, and re-evaluates when new information becomes apparent. It makes life seem smoother – there’s less friction, and obstacles are either puzzles to be solved or path markers. I can’t imagine ever wanting to stop.

In fantasy worlds, historical accuracy is a lie – Boing Boing

In fantasy worlds, historical accuracy is a lie – Boing Boing:

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Elves, magic, dragons, shapeshifting and ancient powers of world destruction are somehow totally believable, but the idea that brown people might exist is somehow not. My colleague Zevran Arainai, the Antivan assassin who you encounter after he’s been hired to kill you. There’s also Isabela, the Rivaini pirate who can teach you the Duelist specialization. There’s Duncan, who initially recruits you to the Wardens, whose heritage is mixed with Rivaini. We also can’t forget about the Qunari warrior Sten, who you can encounter in Lothering and rescue, or leave for the Darkspawn to kill.

Punk Games – Boing Boing

Punk Games – Boing Boing:

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The traditional value system around games as a product to be “consumed” has shifted our focus away from creators and their vision to what will test well with the people who will buy your product. When the dominant narrative is intrinsically tied to capitalism and being a good businesswoman, we become risk-averse.

And risk-aversion is cool for people who want to make games in established genres and pre-existing audiences, and lord knows I have a weakness for roguelikes and shoot-’em-ups, but can’t we also have and properly support games that are alienating by intention? Games about unsolvable problems or difficult situations? How independent can you really be when at the end of the day, you have to choose between caving to incredibly narrow avenues of financial sustainability and making something challenging?