Content warning: discusses Firewatch spoilers Campo Santo’s lovely debut title Firewatch has released to both critical and financial success, and yet the internet seems to be split on one specific element of the game: the ending of the game. During the course of the game, the player assumes the role of Henry, a man running from life and a marriage falling apart by taking a job as a firewatch in a national park. Read More...

 Content warning: discusses US abortion debate If you’re on the internet, you’ve probably noticed it has effectively split into two camps. One believes the internet should be a place where people get treated with respect, where disagreement is handled properly and where people are generally held to the standards of decency you’d expect in real life. The other group believes the internet’s power is that you can say whatever you like, Read More...

My favorite ‘laws’ in life are those that seem remarkably simple & obvious, but that have a lot of unexpected implications. One of my favorite is a Human-Computer Interaction law called Fitts’ Law. While there’s a lot of specificity you can discuss, the basic version of the law is as follow: The further away and the smaller something is, the more difficult it’ll be for the user to point at it. That’s it. Read More...

If you’re working on a creative project with multiple people, think about your essence statement. An essence statement is a single sentence that explain the core value and purpose of your product. It is not used for external communication like a product pitch is, but is mostly for internal communication in the team. It doesn’t describe the mechanics or aesthetics as much as it discusses what the goal of the project is Read More...

When I arrived at Dallas airport I decided to buy and try a Tile. They’re nifty little gadgets, basically tiny square pieces of plastic you can attach to whatever thing you own. After you activate a Tile, your phone will be able to monitor the distance to the phone within Bluetooth range, saves the last GPS location the Tile connected to your phone, and you can trigger the Tile to make a Read More...

 Content warning: discusses Gamergate One of the most fascinating political ‘public relations’-plays in the world is something I like to call ‘strong and weak’. It’s something I first noticed in the continuing coverage of the conflict in Israel & Palestine, but once you spot it it becomes very clear very quickly that it’s used in all sorts of political situations. It effectively is used as such: we are ready and capable Read More...

I want to make a charity stream called Awesome Games Done Very Slowly and it's me 100%ing RPGs for a week while not using the run button. — Adriel Wallick (@MsMinotaur) January 11, 2015 + 393 days = Grand total we managed to raise for @AbleGamers during Square Bowl II: $11,231 Thank you SO MUCH everyone <3 — Adriel Wallick (@MsMinotaur) February 8, 2016 = $11,231. $11,231 / 393 ≈ $29 per Read More...

For work on the PlayStation build of Nuclear Throne, I need access to a PlayStation 4 devkit, a physical device much like a modified PlayStation. There’s one set up at our office, and I’ve ensured I can access it from anywhere through the internet via a VPN connection, which (simplified) makes a computer from anywhere in the world pretend it’s connected to the PlayStation devkit directly. Sadly, my VPN connection from Read More...

I spent some time today guest lecturing at USC, and one of the most common pitching errors I come across is the idea that you have to primarily pitch mechanics. Sure, you can pitch what the player does in the game, but that is far less important than what that makes the player feel or achieve. Think about that when writing your pitch, and avoid the usual hyperbole, quantifiers, numbers, Read More...

My idea of distance as a person raised primarily in the Netherlands is entirely not applicable to the majority of countries in the world. Travel two hours as the bird flies, from my apartment, in any direction and you’d better know German, French, English, or whatever the fish near the coast of Norway speak. My inherent understanding of distance is that two hours of driving is far, and my mother Read More...

I was curious about a giant, red, X-shaped monument we drove by on our trip to Los Angeles. Situated on the Mexican side of the border near El Paso/Juarez, the construction easily grabbed our gaze. I spent some time researching the monument, but couldn’t find much information beyond that it was made by Sebastián and controversial for its excessive costs. It’s apparently named ‘La Equis’ or simply ‘Monument X’, and the artistic Read More...

One of the few things in live I really wish I had as a kid that I didn’t was creating music as part of my life as a kid. We weren’t a very rich family, although we got by, but the luxury of a piano was never there. I’m not sure if that was because we didn’t have the space, time, or knowledge in house – but regardless, it is something Read More...

We were a bit late with preparation for the PAX South booth again, so the night before the event mostly involved racing around the San Antonio periphery visiting Best Buy and Target. Things went really well, and I quickly found a bunch of cheap televisions and computers, table cloth and power strips – but one thing I couldn’t find was chairs. Target’s entirely chair isle consisted of chairs as expensive Read More...

A while ago I was introduced to the concept of idea debt – which approximately states that any time spent on planning an idea without taking concrete efforts to realizing it will increase the mental friction to actually starting those efforts. It’s a simple concept, but it’s been occupying my brain for quite a while since. What is important is that concrete planning is distinct from abstract planning – contacting Read More...

IndieBox made a Nuclear Throne box. It’s an amazing little box, and we actually waived our part of the box profit so the box could be even cooler than their normal efforts – which are already magnificent. The reason we did that is because we love physical stuff. It’s exciting to see merchandise become such a common thing in independent games, and to see the idea of physical editions come Read More...

The notion of player entitlement is a common one in the industry, and rather often an applicable one. The industry has often failed to inform the audience of the effort a lot of things take, and presented itself as flawless and perfect. That created unreasonable expectations, and aggressiveness was considered part of the culture – all of that inevitably led to disproportionately aggressive responses to balance changes, and other forms of Read More...

Camel Up! is a 2014 board game about betting on camels racing, but also about camels stacking on camels. While it’s the 2014 Spiel des Jahres winner (and German awards for board games being a huge deal), I wasn’t introduced to it until Randy and Kristy Pitchford challenged us to a game today. No wonder they would introduce it to me – it’s a deviously clever game of probability and gambling Read More...

One of the things that hurt me most throughout my career in games was my complete inability to rest when I needed it. It’s a discussion that came up a bit when Witness developer Jonathan Blow posted a rather curious joke tweet, seemingly implying that he’d been working so hard he never had opportunity to leave his desk. Whether it’s truth, or an unfortunate joke isn’t extremely relevant – but Read More...

Over at my ask.fm, I received the following question: How does one sad IHOP? Sad IHOP is a tradition I’ve tried to keep over the past few years of conference-hopping, which I’ll start on again in less than 9 hours. The idea is really simple: conferences are full of life, people, interesting ideas, thoughts, inspiration, chaos and just all-around good things. One of my conference rules is to try and Read More...

Polygon wrote an article on what I feel is one of the most common and underdiscussed topic in creative work: imposter syndrome. I’ve talked about my own extensively, and discussed how I believe it fits into the Donning-Kruger curve. While there is no right or wrong way to feel when it comes to making creative work, it can be helpful to understand some very common feelings aren’t discussed out of fear of Read More...