San Francisco Streets

Life’s moving fast right now. My wife and I moved into San Francisco one week ago, so that I could start a summer internship with PopCap Games. Forty hours of my week were spent getting oriented at PopCap, but I’ve spent the remaining time settling in and getting acquainted with the city – at least the immediate area. I’ve been doing a lot of walking. I walk to work, we walk to the grocery store, and with the dog we walk around all of the nearby blocks and farther away to the parks. I’m just beginning to get a feel for the texture and flow of the city.

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David Manuel: “A Producer’s 10 Lessons Learned the Hard Way”

Reflection on an article by David Manuel: “A Producer’s 10 Lessons Learned the Hard Way”.

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Jamie Griesemer: “Design in Detail: Changing the Time Between Shots for the Sniper Rifle from 0.5 to 0.7 Seconds for Halo 3”

Jenga Tournament

Reflection on a talk by Jaime Griesemer: “Design in Detail: Changing the Time Between Shots for the Sniper Rifle from 0.5 to 0.7 Seconds for Halo 3.”

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The Little Things

Zelda 2006

I was recently introduced to some interesting studies, looking at features I’d never noticed in a couple of games that I know very well. These are features that are essential to the feel of these games. Does anyone know of other clever game features that you don’t usually notice?

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Anthony Burch: “Rev Rant: Snakes, Plants, and Difficulty”

Plants vs. Zombies Are Now Adorable Misfit Toys

Reflection on an article by Anthony Burch: “Rev Rant: Snakes, Plants, and Difficulty.”

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Raph Koster: “Do auction houses suck?”

Place bid!

Reflection on a blog post by Raph Koster: “Do auction houses suck?”

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Wind Waker and Epic Mickey: A Critical Comparison

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
and
Epic Mickey

A critical comparison demonstrating the usefulness
of Janet Murray’s pleasures of digital interactive media.

Bradley C. Buchanan
ETC Fundamentals: Video Game Report
November 4, 2011

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Pascal Luban: “Designing and Integrating Puzzles”

...play a game...

Reflection on an article by Pascal Luban: “Designing and Integrating Puzzles”

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Netherworld

January 2012
A nonviolent dungeon crawl with a metapuzzle ending.
My role: Programmer

This game design is modeled on a game called Enchanted Forest and designed around an Egyption tradition where people would commission a custom “Book of the Dead” to help them in the afterlife. Each round you design your book of the dead, then you journey through the afterlife in seach of new spells for future travelers to put in their own books.
Can you solve the riddle to unlock the last spell?

Game created for Global Game Jam 2012. Developed in Unity3D. Development time: 48 hours. Really 38, since we all went home the first night.

Created by Team Somnia:
Producer/Game Designer: Yotam Haimberg
Artist: Anisha Deshmane
Sound Designer/Composer: Eric Hamel
Programmer: Brad Buchanan

You can find a download link here.

Mafia: Lafitte

Con esa corbata no asustás a nadie

Over the 2011-2012 winter break I organized a play-by-email game of Mafia for about forty of my ETC colleagues. Yotam Haimberg and I co-narrated the game, which lasted one month.

We’ve created a full record of the game where you can read it from any one player’s perspective, or see the whole thing at once.

Although Mafia has been around for some time, in our game every player was given a special role (some of them quite unusual) and it was an excellent learning experience to design and run the game. I’ll call this a mixed success; it didn’t hold players like we hoped, but those that were involved had a lot of fun.