• Video Game Design

    Neverwinter Nights

    Almost twenty years ago I began my game development career at BioWare. My first title to do design work on was Baldur’s Gate 2. My second… Neverwinter Nights. I eventually become co-lead designer on the game, which was both a RPG as well as an online Dungeons & Dragons campaign “facilitator”. In the hands of players it was used as a small-scale MMO, a teaching tool, and many other things. I have always been really proud of the game. Last month Beamdog released the Enhanced Edition for Neverwinter Nights. I have been busy on other projects and have only been tangentially involved with NWN:EE but at home, I’ve been playing…

  • Game Reviews,  The Lazy Designer,  Video Game Design

    Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition

    As many of you have probably already heard, Beamdog is on the verge of releasing an enhanced edition for Planescape: Torment. I started in the games industry at BioWare, working on Baldur’s Gate 2. During that time Planescape: Torment was released — the first game that licensed the Infinity Engine from BioWare. It immediately drew well deserved praise for its story and characters. I’m very pleased to have had the chance, many years later, to finally be involved with the Planescape franchise. This enhanced edition is fun to play. I thoroughly enjoyed the playthrus I made of the game during our testing phase. Improvements like being able to zoom the…

  • Video Game Design

    Game Hauler Version 4 (Part 5 / ?)

    If you want to play the latest build before reading the commentary then scroll down to the end of this post. PROTOTYPE 4 (BUILD# 0.0.5.0) This time around I’m lumping a couple releases and discussing them together. In the previous post I highlighted a few issues that I wanted to address next. These included a better feedback system for picking up and depositing energy and improved level design. However, as I hinted in that post, I changed my mind (though I partly address the latter issue still). Mainly, I ended up increasing the number of players from two to four and putting in the rudiments of a proper “player/control” selection…

  • The Lazy Designer,  Video Game Design

    Game Hauler Version 3 (Part 4 / ?) “The Big Design Change”

    Note: This post has previously appeared on Gamasutra and via my newsletter. Jump to Part 1 (if you have not read it previously). (If you want to play the latest build before reading the commentary then scroll down to the end of this post.) PROTOTYPE 3 (BUILD# 0.0.4.0) When I started building my prototype I had a general idea of where I wanted to go with it. Unfortunately my initial ideas didn’t pan out into anything I thought I could make fun. With this prototype I began the process of developing a rather different sort of core gameplay. The components of the game remain similar to the previous prototype (placeholder-art…

  • The Lazy Designer,  Video Game Design

    State of Things

    Okay, I haven’t been around much. Here’s a quick update! What’s Am I Doing? I’m finishing novel #7 (8? I’m starting to forget how many I’ve written). I wanted to participate in Nanowrimo this year so I’m ALSO working on another novel at the same time. Yes, writing two novels at the same time is very silly. I’m very silly. (This novel is my first attempt at writing fiction geared towards children, specifically middle-grade readers. We’ll see how it goes. I didn’t have time to complete a full plan, like I normally do, so I have a cast of oddball characters and a weird situation and I’m just letting it…