Category Archives: Game Design

What I Did and Why: Homing Shots

Hello internet! Recently got around to [finally] writing the starter gun for Elements of Magic.  The friendly, nice gun that the player starts out with, to introduce them to the game.  It had some design challenges, and since the whole process was kind of interesting, I figure I’ll document it, and see if I can’t […]

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Let me tell you why I love Twilight:Eclipse the 8-bit game

This is a headline that I will freely admit I never thought I would write.  But this is too good to pass up.  It is genius.  For a couple of reasons. Let me list them for you! But first, here is what it is.  It is a youtube video or several.  Also, the best twilight-themed […]

Also posted in Cool People, Other Peoples' Games | 2 Comments

Escapism at its Finest!

There is a very nice piece up on the Escapist today, about the role of bosses in modern games.  It features thoughtful insights from Team Meat‘s own Edmund McMillen!  Also, a bunch of random and self-contradictory statements from yours truly!  But then, on the last page, we totally combine our powers for a thrilling conclusion! […]

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Case Study: Risk/Reward in Imperishable Night

I’m trying to avoid having Touhou games take up too much space here.  I don’t want to turn into “another guy on the internet who won’t shut up about ZUN’s Shmups.”  But deconstructing them lately has been fairly fascinating stuff, and I wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about what seems like […]

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Player-tuned SHMUPS or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

I’ve been thinking a bit about the role of bombs in SHMUPS, and why they are always there.  While I have never been a fan of doing things “because all the other games do them”, the more I have thought about the bombs, the more I have realized just how many problems they solve in […]


Imperishable Lessons – What I learned from Touhou

I had the chance recently to sit down with Tim and Hal of Final Form Games, and talk shop on shmups. I mentioned that there were at least a couple of good lessons that I felt I head learned from playing Touhou games, and Hal asked what some of those might be.  While I was […]

Also posted in Other Peoples' Games | 4 Comments

Other Peoples' Games: Tanaka's Friendly Adventure

I recently played a game called Tanaka’s Friendly Adventure. It is a very good game!  So good, in fact, that I do not completely understand why it is so good.  But I have me some theories!  Read on, and my theories, I will tell them to you!

Also posted in Other Peoples' Games | 1 Comment

Playtests: Encountering Difficulties

So as a designer, I have a problem.  In a game where a large part of your score is “how long you survived”, I need some assurance that the game-time is finite.  That eventually, no matter how good a fight they put up, the player will lose eventually, and the game will come to an […]

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