Germany!

It’s been a while since I posted anything. Certainly the past few months have been rather hectic. I have accepted a position in Germany which will start in October. I’ve been here for a week now, and am busily getting myself organized and acclimated. I will be working as Creative Director for Ubisoft Blue Byte’s affiliate office in Mainz, leading the design team on a AAA fantasy online MMO. I can’t wait to get started. And hopefully some stability will mean getting back to posting more often.

Engagement in 3D Level Design Part 2

I’ve updated my post on engagement-driven 3D level design and added part 2:

Click here: http://phoffstein.wordpress.com/essays/experiential-3d-level-design-part-2/

In Part 3 I will discuss Decisions and Dilemmas for the player, how they factor into level design and engage the player.

As always, feedback is awesome.

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Sketchup

I’ve been teaching myself Sketchup. It’s a fairly intuitive and easy to use 3D modelling program, with a robust free version. I’ve seen it come up a few times in job descriptions as a designer prototyping tool, so I thought it was worth learning. I’m loving it! It’s been a little while since I’ve built a 3D space on my own, and I’m reminded just how much I love it. Anyways, so far I really recommend it:

http://www.sketchup.com/

Engagement in 3D Level Design Part 1

I’ve added a post on 3D level design for action RPG and shooters.

Click here: http://phoffstein.wordpress.com/essays/experiential-3d-level-design/

I wanted to write something that focuses on evoking an emotional response from the user, which I think is under-discussed.

As always, feedback is awesome.

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Speaking At Vcon

I’ll be appearing at Vcon again this year. I’ll be doing two presentations on games:

  • A presentation on Level Design. I’ll be focusing on platformer level design, as I find that the best way to describe basic concepts, but this will apply to all forms of level design.
  • A presentation on the relationship between luck and skill in game design, and how this is managed based on your audience. I’ve done this presentation at Vcon before, but many people who missed it have been asking me to do it again.

I’ll also be participating in a panel discussion on the future of games and the gaming industry, where I expect to focus on how current economics and emerging technologies are going to drive the future paths for the console games and social games. I’ll also be participating on a group discussion on the future of TV.

Vcon will take place September 28-30 at the Sheraton  Vancouver Guildford hotel in Surrey.

What’s Next?

I have finished a year-long gig with Ayogo Games. It was an interesting year in which I learned a great deal, about freemium games and analytics, about player behaviour modification, and about gamification. I expect to add a few essays over the next few weeks on what I’ve learned. Now I’m looking for my next opportunity. I expect, based on my most recent experience and the current job market that it will be somewhere in casual/social games, but we’ll see. Lots of enquiries coming my way from other cities, so relocation may be in the cards, which would be pretty damned exciting. But for now, a bit of time to finish off that board game I’ve been working on…

Back to blogging

Wow – it’s been almost a year since my last post. Working at Ayogo has kept me really busy, and got me out of the habit of updating this site. I hope to correct that soon. I’ve learned so much about social games, games monetizations, and metrics over the last few months, that my previous posts on the topic now look hopelessly out of date and in dire need of updating! I’ve also learned tons about developing iOS and Android games, and want to share what I’ve learned. Updates soon!

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