Counterplay & Balance – Part 1

What is balance? What do we mean when we refer to “balance” in games? We often hear the complaint from players and critics that a game is ‘imbalanced’ or has ‘balance issues’ and most people have a sense of what that means. But it’s important to remember that “balance” is a metaphor that describes a […]

Why are Mobas so Toxic?

“Players generally don’t AFK/troll when they’re winning.” I think players become toxic mostly when they’re losing. And the worse they’re doing (relative to the opposing team) the more likely they are to become toxic. Isn’t losing always bad? Why are moba’s different? Someone might think that’s not a relevant piece of information. “Of course people […]

Skills systems in Moba’s part 2

I already wrote a bit about why I don’t think the skill progression systems in Mobas doesn’t really deliver on their goals. Here’s a bit on what I think are some helpful things things to consider when approaching this problem. No false choice. One solution is just to remove this aspect of the character leveling system. Give […]

Coupling in Game Design

I wonder sometimes how many game designers are familiar with the concept of “coupling” from software engineering and how that applies to games. Coupling is a concept that (broadly speaking) measures the degree of interdependence between elements of a system. When two components are very closely linked such that the implementation of one is strongly dependent on […]

Skill Systems in Mobas

So here’s a thing I wanted to write for a really long time but never really got around to writing. I know I’ve written a lot but given that I’m criticising a pretty fundamental feature I figured “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Also, this is a little less formal and a lot more specific about […]

Bad Game Design

In my first post I wrote a little about Good Game Design and the things that I think are valuable when designing games. I talked about games as “a series of interesting decisions” and how using that definition can lead to making better games. But what about Bad Game Design? What do we look for […]

Interesting Decisions

Many aeons ago, when I wrote the first article, I wrote that I prefer thinking about games as “a series of interesting decisions”. I like to look at games through this lens because I think it helps to focus on the things that are interesting and unique to games. I wrote that I think the best […]