Prey Bethesda

Creating the game space for the player to explore is another aspect of game development that can prove daunting. Despite all the games we’ve played, it can be hard to actually break down what makes a good level or environment. For today, we’re going to try and shed some light on this topic, and explore how there is a difference between level design and environment design.

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owlboy-4

Last week, an interesting discussion happened on Twitter following Cuphead’s win at the DICE awards. The executive producer talked about the challenges of designing the game and how they went all in; taking a second mortgage out on their house to finish the game. Many indie developers talked about how this is not the norm of what it means to develop a game over a long period of time.

For today’s post, I want to talk about something that no game designer wants to hear: How do you know when to stop working on your game?

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Clockwork Empires (11)

When people talk about issues impacting game designers, one of the most popular terms is the “imposter syndrome”: Where after completing a project, the person is unsure if they were really good enough to do it, or if it was just a matter of luck. For today, I want to touch on something that could be even more dangerous to someone wanting to make a career as an indie developer, or what I’m dubbing: The Fast Burn Syndrome.

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Binding of Isaac Rebirth (3)

Persistent systems have become an effective way of smoothing out the difficulty curves of rogue-likes, and provide replayability and progression to many video games. Despite their popularity, there are ways to cause the player to lose interest in replaying a game.

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