Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Design Lesson Challenge

I have a fairly large number of games that I have yet to play or beat that I want to. When I say large, I mean over 50 games, going back as far as the mid 90s. This isn't even counting the list of 100 or so games that I'd like to buy, but haven't. So, I've decided to issue a challenge to myself. Every week, I am going to play to completion one game (at least). Once the game is completed, I will make a post about a lesson I learned from the game's design. This could be a positive lesson or a negative lesson, but I hope this will help me more critically analyze games. I am guessing this is going to be a tough challenge and I am worried about how it will go along when the inevitable crunch starts on the project I am working on. However, for now, I feel comfortable giving it a good shot. Since I am goal oriented, I am going to try to make it to 10 straight weeks of finishing a game. If I can meet that, I will lengthen the challenge for as long as I can.

This will also help me keep a more regular posting schedule. There are some other topics I wish to discuss, but I haven't had time to write my ideas down, as they require a large amount of text to discuss. I just beat Mass Effect today in fact and I have some things about that game I want to talk about. Don't worry, I'm not cheating and getting a free week - think of it as a bonus installment.

I encourage anyone else out there, especially those of you in the gaming industry or who want to be in the gaming industry, to take up the same challenge with me. Let's discuss games analytically together.


  1. This sounds like a good idea and a useful way to keep a schedule going. I especially like your notion of "lessons learned," which I expect will have some impact on how you play the games. Sometimes I take on sub-missions or mini-games that I'm not initially interested in, but I'm curious to see what the designers are trying to do, so I play them anyway. I wonder if that will happen for you too.

    I look forward to reading about what you learn! :-)

  2. I am worried what this "experiment" is going to do for my sanity... only one way to find out!

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