And as long as we're at the lists for game design students, this one might come in handy as well: A list of 20 game design blogs that students will love:
As video games continue to rise in popularity, game designers are being asked to create even more challenging and satisfying user experiences. Game design students are looking for information on the latest tips, tricks and techniques to help you take your games to the next level. Fortunately, there are several high-quality game design blogs to help guide your studies, skill development and provide you with the latest trends in the field.
Of the many game design blogs in cyberspace, we selected 20 that we think you’ll find useful now and long after you earn a game design degree.
I would, however, add three other blogs worth checking out:
- The Border House Blog: Yes, it has a clearly feminist twang, and don't always agree with them. But the point is: this blog keeps on reminding you that there are female, gay and lesbian players out there that do not constantly have to be reminded of their non-mainstream existence just because you, the game designer, once again designed the game to fit the wet dreams of a heterosexual 13-year old male …
- Robert Yang: Game Designer at the Parsons University in New York – provides thoughtful analysis of games, level design and general out-of-the-box-thinking.
- Terra Nova: This clearly goes into the realm of game studies – as such, the articles are usually rather long and contain convoluted words. Never fear!
Elite, the Metroid series, Dungeon Siege, God of War I and II, Half-Life (but not Half-Life 2), Shadow of the Colossus, the Grand Theft Auto series; some of the best games ever (and Dungeon Siege) have done away with the level mechanic and created uninterrupted game spaces devoid of loading screens and artificial breaks between periods of play. Much like cut scenes, level loads are anathema to enjoyment of game play, and a throwback to the era of the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 when games were stored on cassette tapes, and memory was measured in kilobytes. So in this era of multi-megabyte and gigabyte memory and fast access storage devices why do we continue to have games that are dominated by the level structure, be they commercial (Halo 3, Portal, Team Fortress 2), independent (Darwinia) and amateur (Nethack, Angband)?
With a scant 40 minutes to address the gathered masses, former World of Warcraft director Jeffery Kaplan had a lot to cover in his "The Cruise Director of Azeroth" lecture.
The presentation saw an extremely candid Kaplan, now working on Blizzard's next-gen MMO, recognize and address the nine major problems with World of Warcraft.
His major point: Don't write too much text. No one's going to read it anyway.
Conveniently, evil already has a visual language. Put another way: I have seen the face of evil, and it is a caricature of gothic construction. There's barely a necromancer in existence whose dark citadel doesn't in some way reflect real-world Romanian landmarks, such as Hunyad or Bran Castle. The visual theme of these games is so heavily dependent on previously pillaged artistic ideas from Dungeons & Dragons and Tolkien that evil ambiance is delivered by shorthand. (Of course, World of Warcraft's Lich King gets a Stone UFO to fly around in – but it's still the same old prefab pseudo-Medieval schtick inside). Where the enemy is extra-terrestrial, HR Giger's influence is probably going to be felt instead.