Tags and Sections

With this blog I'm going to try to harness the power of Tags, and writing out different "sections" of updates instead. Assuming that the "Cloud Tag" widget works the way it should, you'll start seeing it to the right of this blog. Here's a quick rundown of the tags and what they should be about:

- "Gaming Past" is a category detailing my previous gaming history.  Personally I think it's a fairly important topic that anyone who talks about games should think about.  What we've played in our past greatly contributes to the things we see in games.  If I grew up on nothing but platformers, my appreciation for the latest Mario game will be much different than someone who's only played FPS games.

- "Quick Impressions" should be a short, quick writeup of a game I've started playing (I'll say no more than 4-5 hours).  While true discussions of games should never be coloured by quick impressions, it's human nature that we all judge books by their covers.  Sometimes, analyzing the first few moments of a game can show interesting things on how people perceive new ideas and mechanics.

- "Post Play Analysis" is the opposite of a quick impression.  I'll still stay away from full-on reviews, and I'll try to analyze the game with a focus on gameplay discussion in mind. I'll probably avoid panning a game no matter how bad it is (unless it's exceptionally bad), as there's always something to learn from a bad game.  Unlike Quick Impressions, this one is going to be spoiler heavy, so if you want to avoid spoiling the game, don't read these post unless you've beaten the game.

- "Lets talk Achievements" is all about achievements: What works? What doesn't? Why were things done that way?  What if we were to make achievements for games didn't have any, how would those work? This section will be similar to Post Play Analysis in that some of the discussion will potential spoil the game, so read at your own discretion.- "Bad Game/Good Idea" on the other hand, is about the terrible games I play and the redeeming features in them.  I've been a strong advocate of playing bad games as a designer, because it's easy to point to a bad game, yet to pinpoint specifically why it's bad, and how you can remedy it is a much harder task.  These pages, however, highlight some interesting ideas or design that were buried, possibly in a pile of miserable crap.

- "In The News" and "On My Mind" are probably the fluffiest articles I'll write here.  They're the most blog like in that they're more opinionated pieces directed at either a)something current or b) something I've run into that warrants me writing about it.

- "Designer Notebook" is a even shorter form of any other sections, they're quick observational posts (probably and often without context) about any random observation I see with games and such.

- "Design Teardown" is in a way similar to post play analysis, but instead of reviewing a game, I'm going to dig deep into a certain feature or mechanic and examine it.  The short form of this discussion might as well be "What if?": Given what the developers did, "what if they did something else?". Looking at other games as examples, creating and analyzing the outcomes of such decision.

- "Analog Games" is for articles where I'll talk through some of the boardgames I'm playing/working 
on, the ideas, mechanics and numbers behind them.  Boardgames shares quite a lot in common with video games in the way approach creating tension and conflict, but the format also allows it to do more with player interaction and social dynamics.  

- Jonathan Chan, an fellow ex-coworker and game designer and I have started doing a podcast on games. Hopefully they have a slightly more designed focus discussion than your typical "here's what we played podcast".  You can find these posts tagged with "GameOverRetry Podcast".  We also have specific segments 
  • Rolling Start is a specific design exercise where we use a set of dice to randomize and determine a game idea. Using the randomly chosen themes and mechanics, we would have to come up with a high level concept of game creation, and potentially discuss and analyze the smaller components that could be involved in the process.  You can read more about the specific rules and setup that we used here.
- Game Dev Story is a fantastic little management game, and a fairly abstracted view of game development. "GameDevStories", on the other hand, more about the things I run into on daily basis working on my own games, whether it'd be an iOS game that I'm working on right now, or drawing up design docs for random stuff.

Sometimes I may mash two or more sections together if it makes sense.  Hopefully it won't be that confusing.