Designers Talking Shop: A Few I Read

Protospiel Discussion Panel at GenConIndy 2011One part of game design (and design or engineering of any sort, really) that I really enjoy is the discussion of the process by those who are in the midst of it.  To listen to other designers “talking shop” and to participate whenever I can is an important part of my own design process.

Twitter has been an amazing avenue for me to connect with dozens of other designers of various types and skill levels.  The best part of visiting GenCon this past summer was to meet eye-to-eye with these folks I’ve been chatting with via the Internet over the past couple of years.

So, I thought I’d take the time to point out a few of the designers I’m currently reading.  This isn’t a comprehensive list … just 3 guys I picked out who have blogs that I make sure to read.

Grant Rodiek and his good friend, PeachesGrant Rodiek (Hyperbole Games) … Grant is one of the other indy designers I was able to meet up with at GenCon in Indianapolis this past August.  He works at a major computer game shop, but does his own board and card game design on the side.  So far, he’s best known for Farmageddon — a fun, take-that card game with a twisted theme and very cool artwork.  Personally, I am watching to see what comes of his game Empire of York … it will be a winner when it hits the market.

Primarily what I’ve come to enjoy from Grant is: (1) Real-time witty and wry back-and-forth with him directly via Twitter, and (2) very good articles (including a few from guest writers) written on the Hyperbole Games’ Blog page.  Go there and read … and leave some comments … it’ll make the world a better place. 🙂

Daniel SolisDaniel Solis … I don’t care what type of a designer you are — game, art, graphic, user interface, etc. — you should be checking out what Daniel Solis writes and shows.  A good portion of what he shares is graphical in nature — info graphics, layouts, card designs, etc. But then his ability to very succinctly put his thoughts and decision processes into words is a real skill.  I think he has some very interesting game designs that I’d like to try out sometime … but mainly, I’m just in watch-and-learn mode with how he approaches creativity.  Also, he is a near-constant flow of unique ideas and stream-of-consciousness work via his Twitter stream.

Lewis Pulsipher … There are some places of higher learning that actually have game design related courses.  One of those places is Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Lew Pulsipher teaches such courses.  He is a published game designer and book author, and writes for Gamasutra.  I’m subscribed specifically to his game design blog, and to his Twitter feed.  His discussions and advice are very practical, and firmly grounded in helping designers keep an eye on how the real world of game publishing works.  Nicely written, clarifying reads.

Who do you watch, listen to or read to continue learning and to get inspired?

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