Exploratory Design for New User Interfaces.

Yesterday, I gave a talk at the Game Design Conference here in San Francisco, on exploratory design for new user interfaces.

GDC 2012: Impressions.

In lieu of any deep and well-thought-out observations, here are some random impressions from the conference.


It’s not necessarily a question of how hard a game is; it’s often more about how forgiving or unforgiving it is. VVVVVV is crazy difficult in places, but it’s also extremely generous.

Shoffle Roffle

I got a sudden urge to prove that I could make a game from scratch in just one weekend. Here’s the result: Shoffle Roffle. Conclusion? It is very possible to make a game in under two days. Making a good game, on the other hand, probably requires a little more time.

Circuit Drop: Second thoughts.

Here are some vaguely postmortemy notes on the game, mostly for my own reference.

Circuit Drop.

This is one of those projects that started out as a simple exercise and then drew itself out for way too long.

Twagnetic Poetry.

Twagnetic Poetry munges the text of a person’s Twitter posts and turns them into “magnetic” poetry, which you can shuffle and rearrange as if your browser were a refrigerator door.

Slow games: Flower Garden.

There’s very little negative feedback if you don’t play perfectly; flowers wilt if you under- or over-water them, but they never die, and it only takes a single successful watering to get them back to a bright and happy state.

Plants vs. Zombies and GemCraft Chapter 0.

Tower defense games aren’t the sort of game that’s going to change the world and usher in a new age of interactive art and beauty; they are uncut, repetitive, lower-brain fun of the worst variety, in the pernicious tradition of Minesweeper, Solitare, Bejeweled, and their ilk. Good times!

Twitter-based social games.

In the last couple of days, I’ve seen two different Twitter-based games percolate through the stream that act a lot like the more Facebookish variety of social gam.