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Monday, March 27, 2006


Poor Nintendogs

Owning a pet is a serious obligation, even when that pet is a virtual one. But even my Nintendogs have to step aside for new games - after all, I can only play one game at a time on this thing. But the critters still notice the passage of time and each passing day that I do not feed them or play with them sort of nags me - because when I go back, they're filthy and famished. I guess I should be glad that they don't die - I'd hate to open up the game one day and see dead puppies. And unlike the Nintendogs, the armies of Saladin do not care how long it takes for me to issue my next command. Which is probably a good thing, because I'm stuck trying to capture Juresalem (I'm in the middle of the Crusades) and the computer is constantly overwhelming me with the hoardes of soldiers and resources that they do not see fit to give me at the start of the scenario. And it was going so well up to that point...

Monday, March 20, 2006


Rumors and Idle Speculation

Nature abhors a vacuum and I suppose the same can be said about gamers. Recently, a press release was issued about an upcoming title that we were working on. (I'll tell you more about that later) Not much was said apart from the name of the game and the various folks involved in the process. As soon as the news was out, the various forums and blogs were filled with speculation about what the content of the game would be. Many compared it to a game based on a similar subject and instantly proclaimed that such an effort would fail (extreme cases had that failure bringing dishonor onto the original property that spawned the game, etc.) Oddly enough, the farther the poster was from the truth, the more vehemently they defended their reasoning. All I can say about that is just relax all will be revealed in due time. It's only a game after all.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Just One More...

The problem with turn-based games is that you're always taking "just one more turn" and the next thing you know it's midnight.

The latest game that's distorting my sense of time is Age of Empires: The Age of Kings for the Nintendo DS. In order to get the popular PC game into the DS, some adjustments had to be made. Most notably, moves don't take place in real time, but are processed in turns, much like they would in a traditional board game. You're still building castles and towns and using research to advance your primitive forces from one age to the next. If you're a fan of the original Age of Empires, you'll be settling into this game in no time.

I'd say more, but I've got an Emperor to squash...

Monday, March 06, 2006


Why Work? Be a Game Designer!

I am frequently asked about this wonderful business that I'm in. How did I get into it? More importantly how does someone else get into it? In spite of my claims to the contrary, the illusion that designing games is a wild and easy way to make a living persists, especially in commercials similar to this one.

Here's the bottom line. Any job that is worth paying a great deal of money for requires a modicum of skill. If you have a skill that is valuable to an employer, they expect you to use it. That's called work. The harder the work, the more you get paid. In other words, if you want a paycheck, you have to work for it. There's no free lunch.

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