I’ve been meaning to post these for a while- I read a lot of game design stuff while working on Rubicon. Here’s some of the stuff that I found to be particularly useful/insightful/interesting.
- “Ten Things Every Game Needs” – Magic the Gathering is a wonderfully heavily-designed game and Mark Rosewater’s column “Making Magic” provides a thoughtful window into the process of its creation and maintaining its long-term health. “Restrictions breed creativity!” is the mantra of the day.
- “Resolutions” – Rosewater, “Making Magic”.
- “Juice it or lose it” – A talk aptly demonstrating the power of tiny reactive effects and how it can bring a game to life.
- “Video Games and the Human Condition” – A talk by Jonathan Blow. Goes over developer “best practices” on how to make a game compelling to play and then ethically questions the use of such tactics. “With great power comes great responsibility.”
- “Bow N*****” – Personal narrative of play experience of Jedi Outcast. Super-intense duel, exploits, social norms/rituals in multiplayer. (Content warning: racial slurs)
- “Conflicts in Game Design” – Another talk by Blow, how a game’s premise & its mechanics interact.
- “Figures: They Speak For Themselves” – from the tumblr of Dresden Codak. Although it’s not directly game-related, reading Aaron Diaz’s posts on visual design show the right sort of attitude (read: insanely meticulous) in what it takes to carefully craft an experience for an audience.
Edit (July 2019): Dylan from a program at the Salt Lake City Children’s Network recommends this post for additional resources for beginner game designers. There’s a few broken links, but has a lot of information about careers in games. Thanks, Dylan!