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Articles by Tadhg Kelly

    Dark game design: the tricks and deceptions some developers use for short-term gain

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    at 03:52pm March 26 2014
    Dungeon Keeper

    That light in a doorway in Half-Life 2, those two switches coloured red or green in The Stanley Parable, those shiny golden rings that trigger a satisfying ding when you collect them, that table that shows you all the loot you have yet to unlock: there is an unabashedly behavioural component to almost every game.…

    Denial leads to failure in game development, but brutal honesty can keep a project on track

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    at 12:37pm February 20 2014
    FAILURE

    Throughout my career, I’ve been involved in a lot of games. I’ve worked on console, PC, mobile, handheld, Facebook, web, tablet and interactive TV games (and non-digital stuff, too). On some games, I was deeply involved as a designer or producer, while on others I was a consultant or a troubleshooter. When you’ve seen a…

    Can you really learn game design?

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    at 02:00pm January 24 2014
    Can you really learn game design

    We live in a time when games have become a hot area in skills education. In the UK, a considerable charge led by figures such as Ian Livingstone drives for better education at school and university level to turn out graduates in game production and animation. In the US, there are several fully fledged colleges, such…

    On videogame debate, misunderstandings and the importance of keeping an open mind

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    at 02:00pm January 7 2014
    The Fullbright company 2

    Write columns, blogs and articles like these for long enough and you’ll often feel misunderstood. Whether talking about the highs and lows of using free-to-play economics, the question of whether games will ever be any good at telling stories (no, nay never), or any one of a dozen other topics, some people will misread you.…

    What tabletop RPGs can teach us about videogame design

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    at 12:30pm December 5 2013
    Numenera 2

    When I was but a lad, my true love was tabletop roleplaying games. Although I was into computer games, TRPGs were the ones that really opened the door in my mind marked ‘Imagination’ and left it open. Whole universes came to life in my head, and it was TRPGs that made me want to be a…

    The importance of meta-conversations and the intentional fallacy

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    at 12:00pm November 6 2013
    The importance of meta-conversations and the intentional fallacy

    The world of English literature uses the phrase ‘intentional fallacy’ to mean believing that you can know what an author meant in writing something based on exterior information. A common example would be learning that JRR Tolkien fought at the Somme and inferring that Middle-earth was an allegory about the First and Second World Wars.…

    What Games Are: the optimal zone

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    at 02:00pm October 7 2013
    JAllard

    Former Microsoft chief experience officer J Allard once enthused about playing Halo on your phone. The notion was one of those mega-ecosystem things that Microsoft likes to dream up: play on your Xbox, go out into the world with your Zune and play some more. Maybe level up your Chief on the road so that when…

    What Games Are: plus ça change

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    at 02:30pm September 11 2013
    What Games Are

    This month’s column explores why we consider games to have evolved over the last twenty years – and why it’s wrong.

    What Games Are: Bioshock Infinite and that old ‘pew pew pew’ feeling

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    at 04:30pm August 19 2013
    What Games Are

    Playing mouse-and-keyboard games is something I really can’t do any more. About 13 years ago I injured my back and shoulders – a case of overenthusiastic yoga – and developed a sciatica-like condition in my hands and arms. It comes and goes, mostly depending on strain and how often I get to an osteopath. But…

    What Games Are: the power of little thauma

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    at 04:30pm July 19 2013
    What Games Are

    Our columnist asks if there’s a reason why it’s always the overblown and the histrionic that get the spotlight.

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