Archives for category: Talks

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Game Design Case Studies is a series of talks I am proposing for the 2015 Game Developers Conference. They are advanced lectures from working game designers that focus tightly on a particular aspect of one game.

I am not giving these talks myself – I am looking for proposals from other game designers. That means you! Read below for more information and instructions on submitting a proposal. I hope you will consider applying.

Deadline for proposals: August 22, 2014 Read the rest of this entry »


The Game Developers Conference happened a few months ago, so I suppose it is high time I posted something about it.

This past year, I organized for the second time the exhibition Doing it On the Table – a playable lounge of card and board games designed by videogame creators. The project lets me intermingle the design cultures of videogames and tabletop games – and it also gives GDC attendees a place to hang out and socialize through play. Games this year ranged from Tash-Kalar, a commercial release by designer Vlaada Chavtil to When Dragons Fight, an old-school chit-based wargame from David Wessman. More about the exhibition and the lineup of games can be found in this Gamasutra preview article.

I also co-hosted the annual rant session with Jason Della Roca. This was the 10th rant panel we have organized at GDC, this time titled Rant Apocalypse: The 10 Anniversary Mega Session. to celebrate we invited several of our favorite ranters from the past to hold forth on whatever topic they wanted. Presenters did not disappoint – from Chris Hecker holding the room hostage with a “pay to continue” business model to Brenda Romero making sure that developers understood that “Nobody wants your cock.” Other outstanding rants were hammered home by Ian Bogost, Heather Chaplin, Greg Costikyan, Justin Hall, Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris, and Frank Lantz. A detailed Gamasutra review of the panel can be found here. A full video of the session is also available in the GDC Vault, as part of their free offerings.


Last fall at the start of the school year, legendary game designer and play theorist Bernie DeKoven visited the NYU Game Center for a lecture and workshop. I just came across these photos from his visit on the NYU Game Center flickr site and wanted to share them here.

Bernie had asked me to co-lead the 2-hour New Games session, and it was humbling to work side by side with him – like Mohammed Ali asking you to spar a few rounds. We led the 50 or so participants through Rock Paper Scissors Tag, Vampire, Prui, and many other classic New Games.

Bernie also recently published a new book – A Playful Path – with ETC press. It’s a spiritual successor to his groundbreaking book The Well-Played Game, full of stories and insights about living the playful life.

Thanks, Bernie!


Interference, the large-scale game installation I created with architect Nathalie Pozzi, is finally coming to the US. Interference was commissioned by la Gaite lyrique in Paris, and over the last year has traveled to Dublin and Moscow. But we’re very pleased to be working with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) to bring the project to the Track 16 Gallery in LA.

Interference consists of five super-thin hanging steel walls, each less than a millimeter thick. Physically, it’s a gorgeous project – although all of the credit for that goes to Nathalie! The walls act as vertical game boards for a strategy game that occurs between pairs of players. The twist to the game is that each turn, you must steal a game piece from another pair of players. So players end up interfering in each others’ games, and social metagaming often ends up being the best way to win.

The opening on Wed Oct 2 and the exhibition is timed to coincide with the IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games happening in Culver City. There are several events happening around Interference, including a lecture at USC, modding workshops, and an opening reception. Here’s the back of the LACE postcard, which includes information about the exhibition and walking directions from IndieCade.

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This post contains links to some of my favorite talks I’ve given over the last several months. If you are looking to geek out on game design, you have come to the right place.

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