• The Lazy Designer

    Making Monsters

    Overview A while ago I discussed designing areas. As with areas it is vital to understand the purpose of the creatures you are designing. What will they will do, how they will be used, and why they are needed? Not only do artists and audio and animation need to have the time and resources to build the required creatures but the game engine needs to be capable of rendering and using the creatures in the way you intend. A boss monster that players fight once in a grand, blood-splattering final battle has significantly different cost than the lowly goblin they’ll fight horde after horde of. Even Monsters Have a Reason…

  • Game Reviews

    Indy Alpha

    Just a quick post to direct your attention to Mark Barazzuol’s blog. Indy Alpha Mark is a former BioWare designer who’s now forging ahead into indie game development. He has a lot of experience (we worked together on Dragon Age) and I’m curious to see what he’ll be working on. His latest post is looking at some of the setup costs for an Indy developer. Check it out.

  • My Life,  The Lazy Designer

    Be Careful What You Wish For

    As a game designer I spend a lot of time thinking of ways I can encourage players to act in particular ways. Some are obvious – drop a few expensive & cool items into stores at a particular place I want the player to return to because I know the items will encourage most players to travel back there once they’ve earned the gold for it. Some are less obvious like making the cost of using a visually impressive fighting ability slightly lower than it should be (balance wise) because it increases player engagement and the likelihood of them continuing to play the game early on. So I wonder sometimes…

  • My Life

    Online magazines, I'd love to read, but cannot

    There are a number of fine online magazines containing high quality stories from both established pros and writers who will be pros in the future. Beneath Ceaseless Skies*, Fantasy, and Strange Horizons are just a few of the titles I’d like to read. But I don’t.** Okay, Brent must be one of those old fashioned tree-hugging, dead tree book-loving, technology haters, right? Well, no. I have a huge collection of eBooks and I love reading them on my iPod Touch (though I do have some complaints about the current state of things in regards to eBooks, DRM and available hardware). While there are many other improvements that need to happen…