Game Design

Syndicate (2012): On User Feedback - by Cale Plut Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 7:11am
In my continuing game journal, this time I look at 2012's Syndicate. The game has a lot going for it, but I had issue with one mechanic. More accurately, I really liked one mechanic, but I didn't use it to its fullest because of the presentation.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Penis problems: Designing the erotic user-interface of It is as if you were making love - by Pippin Barr Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 7:10am
A short essay on making an erotic game with classical user-interface elements and the challenges of avoiding a penis-centric reading of the slider.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Basics of Localization, Part 6 - by Michelle Deco Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 7:08am
Machine translation is a readily available tool for localization teams, but it's probably also not the most ideal. In Part 6 of this series, we’ll take a look at why Google Translate (and other machine translation tools) may not be your best friend.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Why the Computer Virus Simulator doesn't have cutscenes, even though it has dialogue - by Dariusz Jagielski Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 7:08am
Originally born out of the necessity, I've since then come to realize that I've struck gold.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Why Dunbar's Number Means Shards are a Good Idea - by Greg Costikyan Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 7:07am
People can sustain relationships with ~150 people. If your mobile or online game exposes your users to the whole universe of players, you are doing them a disservice.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to make Level Editor for 2D Platformer in Unity [15 Minutes] - by Tejas Jasani Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 7:07am
The main objective of this blog post is to make a basic level generator and editor for a 2d plat former in Unity.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Career Guide: How to Become a Game Designer? - by Matt Rowen Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 7:05am
Love Games? You can also be a part of it by choosing Game Design as career. Here's a comprehensive infographic on How to become a Graphic Designer, how it is like to be one and the key skills required for it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Part 1: Unity ECS - briefly about ecs - by Tomasz Piowczyk Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 7:05am
Some thoughts about Unity's ECS
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Paizo Previews Conditions in Pathfinder 2.0

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 June 2018 - 7:00am
I gotta find out what condition my condition is in. Weakened. Sickened. Poisoned. Restrained. Prone. And on and on. Pathfinder has a lot of conditions you can find your characters in. But how will these change in the new edition that’s coming out. In this preview, we get a look at just that. From the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Games Workshop Taking Orders for New Edition of Age of Sigmar

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 June 2018 - 6:00am
While it might feel like it’s still brand new, Age of Sigmar has actually been out for quite a few years. And, in that time, it’s gone through a few changes. But now, it’s getting an entirely new edition. Pre-orders for box sets, rule books, accessories, new units, and more are all available on Games […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

When It’s Time To Say Goodbye

Gnome Stew - 18 June 2018 - 5:00am

My favorite gaming groups are, at their best, a place that feels like home. They are filled with the gaming versions of younger siblings, crazy relatives, loving friends, and supportive people. Each meeting is a chance to tell new stories and deepen friendships. They aren’t perfect but they are honestly valuable in my life. Everyone’s best gaming group looks a little different but they are all equally important and fulfilling.

The problem is that some gaming groups don’t live up to that ideal. Sometimes I am playing with great folks, in a setting or system that I love, but the pieces don’t fit together in the way that’s right for me. It can also be that life gets in the way of playing pretend with my friends and I have to make tough choices. No matter the reason, there might come a day where I need to say goodbye to my gaming group.

Looking at the big picture

Figuring out the style of game and gaming group that best suits your needs can take some trial and error. I signed up for a regular Pathfinder game without knowing the playstyle of the group and ended up in a miserable situation. I’ve invited folks to my game without looking at the big picture of their wants in an adventure and they end up not having a good time.
I’m always excited before the start of a new game and I will often rush in without giving any of the above a single thought. In a perfect world I would always consider the overall goals that I have for games before I start, but nothing about me is perfect. Understanding exactly what I want, what I have to offer, and what the other people you’ll be gaming with are looking for sets everyone up for success. It’s never too late to step back and look at everything.

Complain, listen, act

I don’t like the idea of complaining, of feeling that I’m a whiner or a burden to the group. That has a lot to do with how I was raised. I’ve had those moments as a player where I’ve started to get upset during a game because of the actions of another player. I’ve had times where I’ve nodded off at a table because we were too busy doing math to have an adventure. Those were terrible experiences but I often said nothing.  Those were terrible experiences but I often said nothing. Share39Tweet8+11Reddit1Email In my brain there is a huge difference between advocating for someone else and speaking up for myself.

When I like the people that I’m gaming with on a personal level but I am struggling with the game, it’s time for me to initiate an honest conversation. It has taken me many years and many mistakes to learn this lesson. I’ve stayed in uncomfortable situations because I didn’t feel like I had any other options. I ended up dreading every game and started resenting the people involved, all because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. That always ended up with me getting so upset that I walked away from the group in a rage without trying to work anything out. I imagine that hurt a lot more feelings than an honest conversation would have. Over the years I’ve grown and changed to better support myself and the people around me.

Maybe the right person to start talking with is the host of the group. I’ll contact the host, outside of our normal meeting time, and talk about any logistical or personal problems that I’m having with the game. It gives me a chance to tell them about my struggles and hear their struggles with me as well. If it’s only a specific player that I’m struggling with I’ll reach out to them individually in as nonthreatening a way as possible. Just like in any healthy relationship it’s possible to talk through many of these issues and find a common ground that works for everyone. Other times I need to draw a firm line and say, “No.”

Listening is where the answer between those two situations becomes clear to me. If they are unwilling to listen to me and make compromises, then my experience at the table is not being valued. If I’m not of value then there is no reason for me to stay.

When they say goodbye to you

 Like any healthy relationship, the group needs to work for everyone involved. Share39Tweet8+11Reddit1Email What do I do when I’m the problem and the other gamers are coming to me with complaints? I treat them in the way that I hope that they would treat me. I listen with an open mind, consider what adjustments I can make, and then act on that information. If the problem isn’t something that I’m willing or able to adjust then I leave graciously.

It’s difficult for me to not take those moments personally despite my understanding of the real reasons that it didn’t work out. That said, I can appreciate the trust and honesty that it took to have that difficult conversation even if my feelings are hurt. The problem might be something as simple but insurmountable as my work schedule affecting my ability to attend regularly. Like any healthy relationship, the group needs to work for everyone involved.

People have come to me with blame, toxicity, and anger at who I am. That was a red flag telling me that it was time to walk away immediately. Personal attacks aren’t about honest conversation or finding common ground. Don’t stay in a group that belittles you, your characters, or your ideas. Listening with an open mind doesn’t give permission or excuse people victimizing or abusing you.

Awkward moments

After I’ve made the decision to leave I will probably run into folks from my old group again. I might see them happily gaming with my replacement or have to tell them all about my new gaming relationship. That can be an uncomfortable moment confirming that we’ve all moved on. I try not to let those meetings affect my desire to see my friends. I don’t want 5 minutes of discomfort to ruin the next 20 years of friendship so I push through. Finding a perfect gaming group can be a lot like dating. Seeing each other after breaking up is just as awkward too. If things ended on a positive note then stay friendly and don’t lose important people in your life just because it didn’t work out at the game.

Why you’re important enough to leave

Are you ready to hear some basic truths about yourself?

You matter. You’re a worthwhile human being and you deserve to be happy, appreciated, and respected. The stories that you have to tell are important and you should feel safe sharing them with your group. You’re not perfect and you still deserve kindness, joy, and support.

Time is such a finite resource that I do my best not to waste it. Every person that takes time to play a game with me has given me an irreplaceable gift.  Every person that takes time to play a game with me has given me an irreplaceable gift. Share39Tweet8+11Reddit1EmailIt’s not ideal for any of us to throw that gift away by not taking the opportunity to find our best chance at joyful gaming.

When you take the time to complain you are making gaming better and safer for yourself and those around you. If you don’t feel safe talking to your group about your issues I would invite you to ask yourself why you’re returning to what feels like an unsafe situation. You deserve better than that.

Walk away when it becomes clear that you’re not heading towards your best gaming life.

Finding something new

There are many options out there when it comes time to try again. Websites like,, and offer options to connect with gamers in your area. Facebook, G+ groups, and can be a great resource to find online games if you live somewhere that local gaming is a struggle to find or completely unavailable. Online gaming communities like The Gauntlet offer a chance to connect with like-minded gamers to increase your chances of getting what you’re looking for. If it doesn’t work out the first time then please keep looking. You’re worth the effort.

What would your perfect gaming group look like? Who would you invite and why? Have you ever had a tough gaming group breakup?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Game Design in Real Life: Gamification - by Caleb Compton Blogs - 18 June 2018 - 12:29am
For years, companies have been trying to use game design principles to change user behavior or get them to buy more products. In this article I look at some of the techniques used, why they don't usually work, and how they can possibly be done better.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fuzzy Thinking: Set Phasers to ...

RPGNet - 18 June 2018 - 12:00am
Fuzzy jokes.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: Another Grim E3 World

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 17 June 2018 - 9:06pm

This week's highlights include lots of E3 news, a Grim Fandango reading to remember, and a stellar analysis of Another World/Out Of This World. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Review Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 June 2018 - 11:00am
It’s very early on Saturday morning. Well, not as early as it was when I first got up (Now: 6am. Woke up: 3am). I’d love to know why, on weekdays, my brain is all, “man, I dun wanna get up!” while on the weekend it’s like, “3am, homebear. Be awake now!” Maybe I’m just so […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Australian Releases Available For Team Yankee

Tabletop Gaming News - 15 June 2018 - 3:00pm
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Though they might be from a land down under, the Australians are taking part in WWIII along with their allies. These Bruces are hitting the fields of Europe along with NATO in Team Yankee. You can check out these new releases now over on Battlefront’s website. From the announcement: This week over […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Jasco Games Opens Jasco North

Tabletop Gaming News - 15 June 2018 - 2:00pm
It gets hot in Las Vegas. Like, really hot. Nobody really wants to be there in August. It’s much nicer up in Canada. And while that’s not the actual reason that Jasco Games is opening up Jasco North, I’d like to think that it had something to do with it. From the announcement: Jasco Games […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Weekly Jobs Roundup: Rabbit, Digital Extremes, and more are hiring now!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 15 June 2018 - 1:25pm

Whether you're just starting out, looking for something new, or just seeing what's out there, the Gamasutra Job Board is the place where game developers move ahead in their careers. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Secret Agents of CROSS For Savage Worlds Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 15 June 2018 - 1:00pm
It’s Jesus Time! CROSS is a secret organization that’s all about making the Pope’s wishes come true, by any means necessary. This secret strike force is what you join in Secret Agents of CROSS, a new RPG that’s up on Kickstarter now. About the game: The world of Secret Agents of CROSS is similar to […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Review manipulators aren't as sneaky as they think they are, warns Valve

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 15 June 2018 - 12:37pm

"We ban games and partners all the time for this," said Valve's Tom Giardino. "It's really easy for us to see when you do, even if you you do it slowly." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design


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