Episode 6: Play Styles

We know it’s important for games to offer different options to appeal to different play styles… but what are some of those play styles? Doesn’t everyone have their own play style, anyway? How can a designer possibly appeal to all of them?!

In this week’s episode, we talk about some of the main styles players have, what the source of those styles might be, and how various games appeal to those styles.¬†Andrew Roznovsky stops by once again to¬†discuss play styles in fighting games, StarCraft, and even the sporting world!


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Episode 5: Difficulty vs. Fairness

“Difficulty” and “fairness” are terms that are often confused in gaming, but how are they different? Can a game be extremely difficult but fair? Can a game be incredibly easy but unfair? Should games always be fair, and what are some ways designers can ensure that their games are fair?

Stephan Caffa, developer of the upcoming game Horizon Danger, stops by to discuss the topic, and touch on several other games including Bloodborne, Crypt of the NecroDancer, and Wolfenstein: The New Order.


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Episode 4: Conveyance

When getting ready to play a new game, how are you supposed to know how to play it? Maybe you have a basic understanding of the game, but how are you supposed to know what all of the buttons do? Where to go? What to do? It’s a principle known as conveyance, and it’s something developers can easily take for granted, but has a huge impact on players’ overall experience.

Plus, game designer Seth Gorden stops by to share his experiences with conveyance. We discuss various techniques (such as tutorials), how different genres have different conveyance needs, and games that got it right… and wrong!


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Episode 3: Platformers (feat. Shovel Knight)

It’s 2015, and platformers are still a thing – a big thing! With hugely successful titles in recent years like Super Meat Boy, Trine, and Shovel Knight, why is it that platformers are still thriving today? Do they simply appeal to nostalgia, or are there underlying design elements that make them timeless and compelling?

Plus, GamerGiving co-hosts Murphy and Problems stop by for an in-depth discussion on the design of Shovel Knight. We talk about what makes it great – from the tension it creates by dropping your money upon death, to being just difficult enough to make you respect it without being too frustrating.


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Episode 2: Balance

This week, we dive into an important game design topic: balance. Games with overpowered characters, weapons, classes, towers, loadouts, etc. can make the experience horrible for those playing it. They render the player’s decision making skills meaningless, fail to reward players for their individuality and analytical skills, and can ultimately destroy the community around them.

However, are games better if all elements are equally balanced? Can a game in which all elements are perfectly balanced be as bad as a game in which they’re not balanced at all? Andrew Roznovsky stops by to share his thoughts, and talk about how balance has affected games like Starcraft, Street Fighter, and Halo.


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Episode 1: Why Do We Play Games?

Video games: We know we love them… but why? Is there something we get out of playing them, or are our cranky parents right in thinking that they just rot our brain (that, and turn us into violent drug-addicted woman-hating criminals, of course!)? It’s the subject of the very first episode of the podcast, and one I’m sure we’ll touch on for many episodes to come.

Plus, Wrack modeler Hani Makron stops by to talk about how games challenge us to improve some facet of our life, and some things that get in their way of doing that. It’s all here on the first episode of the Game Design Podcast – listen to it now!


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