Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

Month: September 2008

It’s Like Being There, Only Without the Smell of Nerds

Blizzcon 2008 live and in HD on DirecTV.


The Long Console Wars

A brief console wars history.

Incidentally, we’re now nearing the 3 year milestone of this generation. How soon until the companies start talking about the next round?

And do you consider Wii the winner if it has the best selling hardware, but isn’t selling games at the same pace?

And even though PS3 is the clear loser here, does the expertise they’ve built on PS3’s hardware give them an advantage on the next generation?


Original comments thread is here.


My Wife’s One-Line Rock Band 2 Review

“No one told me there would be Linkin’ Park.”

The Psychology of “Free”

While at GDC, I heard a lot of people who were pitching free games that, well, aren’t. Most of them are free trials of games that hope to monetize quickly. You are only a free game if your evangelists say you are.

Free play games depend on evangelism of the players (usually kids without access to credit cards), in order to build larger and larger audiences. Free play games work by shovelling in as many customers as is humanly possible, and often get any cash at all from a very small percentage of them (I’ve heard percentages in the 1-3% range for some games). But they work because a kid says to his friend, “Yeah you can play for free!” — even if, at a certain point, the player hits a roadblock he has to pay to surpass. Continue reading

Writeups of the Endgame Talk

At ADGC yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Preparing for AGDC and some hard time at work is what I choose my relative lack of posting on.

Here’s a writeup of my talk. And another.  And a third. Slides can be found here.

Overall, I think it went pretty well, especially considering there was danger of Ike knocking out my power before the talk was completely done.  As it is, Ike didn’t slow things down at all.  Sunday’s release of Rock Band II, now that’s another story.

Enter Catman

Sometimes, my wife sends me wonderful things.  Click ‘more’ to see one such thing.

(Original source?)

Football Economics

One of the things that is key is to understand — really and truly understand — the environment that you’re working in. You know, if you live in the YouTube age, don’t give major speeches in front of a blue screen. That sort of thing.

This article is a good example of this: in football, if an average rushing play gains about 4 yards, but the average passing play earns 6 yards, doesn’t it stand to reason that we should see more passing? Currently, according to the Author, quarterbacks pass only 54% of the time. Shouldn’t that be higher? Continue reading

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