Category Archives: Game Development

Kerbal Space Program has Cleared the Tower!

Image from publicly available images page of the Kerbal Space Program website

That’s one small step for Jebediah Kerman, and one giant leap for Kerbal-kind!

This past Monday, one of the prodigal sons of indie game development has finally left the confines of Early Access and has found its way into the wilds of full release. Kerbal Space Program has launched version 1.0, closing the book on one of the most remarkable examples of a playable beta since Minecraft. With a strong core concept, endless replayability, and a strong community of gamers, modders, and streamers, you have a formula for indie greatness.

So, in honor of Kerbal Space Program’s momentous release, let’s take a look at where it came from, what it is, and to what galaxy it may be going next.

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Playing Like a Designer – Stealth in Mark of the Ninja

Image captured by Rob

As I delve further in to game design, I find that they way I approach a game is beginning to shift. The common idea that I’ve heard bandied about is that ‘the magic disappears’ once you know how to make games. This statement is true, but also barely scratches the surface. Yes, that starry-eyed wonder and easy engrossment may fade somewhat, but it doesn’t simply leave a hole in your experience. Instead, it is replaced by a deeper understanding and appreciation for well crafted mechanics, narratives and experiences. It becomes less of “Look how awesome this game is!” and more of “Look how well the designer pulled this off!” This is what can be referred to as Playing Like a Designer – the act of seeing how the disparate game elements function and work together – to see the Man Behind the Curtain. With this column, I hope to take you for a bit of a trip behind that curtain, and talk in detail about the nuts and bolts behind some of my favorite games.

So with that, let’s get started! Let’s take a look at how Klei Entertainment crafted a top-notch stealth system for Mark of the Ninja.

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So You Want to Make Games: Motivation and Goals

Image by Flickr user: jeroen_bennink (cc)

Creating something – no matter what it may be – is a noble endeavor. It takes no small amount of passion, dedication and perseverance to see a project to completion, and games are no exception. I’ve been at the process of making my own games for a while now, and I can truly say that it has been some of the most rewarding work of my life. But it hasn’t come without its fair share of missteps and trials, and I’ve learned an enormous amount along the way. This is what I hope to share with you through this column.

I can’t teach you to make the next Minecraft. I can’t tell you the secret to making a game sell. I can’t guide you to a job in the AAA games industry(because I’ve never had one). But what I can do is share my thoughts and experience with the hope of helping you – even a little – with the process of designing and making your own games.
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