Show Me the Money: Robot Legions

That's Tom shouting those famous me the money
Alrighty then, it’s been about 3 months since I released Robot Legions on Xbox Live Indie Games so I think it’s about time I came out about how it’s been selling. Before I get into the numbers, let me preface by saying that I’m definitely not buying a private island any time soon. Hell, with these sort of numbers I’m not quitting my day job any time soon either. Which is fine because I rather like my job. (And we’re hiring. Nudge, nudge.)
Continue reading

Game Design Keywords: Tension

Tension. In many ways games are all about tension. Indeed, the sort of tension that arises from the choices you have to make when playing a good game is a key ingredient in what makes that game fun.

I think one of the definitions offered by the Merriam-Webster dictionary provides a clear picture of how this word applies to game design:

a balance maintained in an artistic work between opposing forces or elements

Continue reading

#OneGameAMonth Status Report

It’s February and I’ve been at #OneGameAMonth for about 6 weeks now, so I thought it was about time to comment on how it’s going.

Before that though, a few words about why I’m doing #OneGameAMonth (#1GAM for short) in the first place. Here is the mission statement from my #OneGameAMonth profile page:

My biggest hope in joining #OneGameAMonth is to use it as a chance to challenge all my assumptions about how games should be made. By holding to the seemingly impossible goal of One Game a Month, I hope to find what I need to change (and what I’m unwilling to sacrifice) in order to make more, better games. Also, making friends and becoming AWESOME!

My main goal is to challenge myself to approach game development in ways that I haven’t before. So, this is how am I doing so far: Continue reading

Game Design Keywords: Risk-Reward

Google Risk-Reward and you’ll treated to page upon page on investment strategy. Risk-Reward may be key in getting rich (or going broke), but it’s also vital for making games fun.

The basic principle here is that, in games, the level of reward provided by an action should match the level of risk it entails. Low-risk behavior should generally provide low rewards. A highly rewarding action (say a high-damage attack or a high-value treasure) should require a commiserate level of risk otherwise players will never have a reason to choose a lower-reward alternative. Continue reading