Assassin’s Creed Combat system

While working at Ubisoft Montreal, I was involved with Assassin’s Creed, and we faced a situation where we realized that the combat system was largely perfectible, but we were specifically asked to stick with a design that we felt was rather poor. It took me several years to realize that it was the best decision, and I explain in this video how sometimes bad design is best.

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Gameplay True Form

Here is a short video to introduce the concept of Gameplay True Form that I describe in more details in this article and in this conference talk.

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Shooting isn’t the key mechanic of Quake

After last week video where I analyzed the way Halo shapes the combat dynamic for the average players, here is a quick look at Quake’s top competitive end.

Also, some related links:

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Halo Multiplayer Combat

As a follow-up to last week’s video on the lessons from Pac-Man design, here is how they can apply to AAA games, with a short study of Halo’s multiplayer combat.

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Lessons from Pac Man

I studied the game systems of Pac Man as I was working on a documentation process for the designers at Ubisoft Montreal. I wanted to use a simple game to showcase that process, but as I dug in the different resources available, I realized how refined this game’s systems were. This led to understanding game design principles that still stick with me today.

In the video, for the sake of brevity (also because I don’t fully understand the game’s systems), I used rather gross approximations, and I wanted to link you to a great article that properly covers the ghost AI of Pac-Man. Here it is: Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behaviour by Chad Birch.

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July Game Design Seminar

Seminar_Header

We’re getting ready for the third run of the Game Design Seminar here in Vancouver. It is a 4 day event that will take place over two weekends: July 19-20 and July 26-27. I’m so happy to announce that the great folks at Lighthouse labs accepted to host us at their location in Gastown, lots of space and a great atmosphere at this coding school!

  • Learn from Ubisoft and Relic Director of Design
  • Motivation Design, System Design, Interaction Design
  • Lectures, group exercises and homework
  • July 19-20 and July 26-27, 10am to 4pm
  • At Lighthouse labs, 128 W Hastings
  • Regular price is $500, or $400 for students
  • Check the full description page here

 

If you’re interested, contact me by mail at alex@gamewhispering.com, and don’t forget to share this around!

Email me to Sign Up!

Lighthouselabs Venue Sponsor

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Creating meaningful game systems

Here is another video from my design short talk series that discusses how we build experiences to convey meaning, the difference between how we relate to stories and to games, and how to build game systems that are meaningful for your player.

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“Fun” kills creativity

Here is a short video on why you shouldn’t use the word fun as a game designer or as a producer/manager. It actually echoes the article on creative management I wrote last year and extracts its essence in a more accessible way. Hope it will entice you to go and check it after watching the video.

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Recently started vlogging

As I had a good amount of requests to run the game design seminar on the East coast or abroad, I turned myself toward online solutions. As a result, and while I am working to setup my training program as a webinar, I opened a youtube channel and started making short videos. Here is the first one, it gives a quick summary on the different articles I wrote on pleasure and fun. Feedback is welcome, as well as ideas on what topic you would like to see covered next.

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SFU talk – Defining Gameplay: Between Chaos and Structure

I was recently invited by the cognitive science department of Simon Fraser University to participate in a series of event regrouping researchers and industry members at the Centre for Digital Media. The talk I gave reports on my research on gameplay and is in line with my series of articles on the subject. Since biology and the human mind were my initial fields of study during my university years, I was rather pleased to see that my findings in the game design field appeared relevant to the SFU researchers, as well as the CDM students. The event went on with a mixer including a showcase of old games, and allowed confirmed gamers and neophytes to enjoy those gems from the golden age of the 80s.

I would like to thank Kimberly Voll (@ZanyTomato) for recommending me to the SFU staff, and the CDM for giving me the video and letting me use it. I also use that occasion to lead you to my newly opened youtube channel, feel free to subscribe to get access to my upcoming video content.

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