Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 18: Fantasy Strike

Fantasy Strike is our new fighting game. We've just announced it and begun crowdfunding for it on Patreon. This podcast explains what Fantasy Strike is all about. We cover the high concept about making a fighting game more accessible from top to bottom than anything else we've seen, the specific game mechanics we chose to accomplish that, and the resulting dynamics of how it plays.

Because it's unusual to crowdfund a game through Patreon, we also explain why we're doing that and what the advantages are.

Hosts: David Sirlin, Richard "Leontes" Lopez, and Sean "MrGPhantome" Washington.

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 17: Shipping Kickstarters On Time

Kickstarters projects are notoriously late. I give advice on how to ship your Kickstarter project on time. I've shipped 5 out of 5 Kickstarters on time, so it's time to share the best practices of how you can do that too. Learn about how complete your board game should be before you take it to Kickstarter, about the "magic word," and about shipping shipping shipping!

While most of the episode is about Kickstarters for board games, later in the episode we cover the extra challenges of doing a Kickstarter for a video game. And we reveal that we're going a different route with our Fantasy Strike video game, which is using Patreon for crowdfunding right now.

Hosts: David Sirlin and Richard "Leontes" Lopez

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 16: Overwatch

We discuss Overwatch, Blizzard's first-person shooter. It far exceeded our expectations and we attempt to explain how it manages to do that. This isn't a "review," but rather us analyzing the design decisions involved, trying to define the secret sauce of Overwatch's success.

Hosts: David Sirlin and Matt "Aphotix" DeMasi

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 15: Heroes of the Storm

We discuss the design of Heroes of the Storm. It's a bold entry in the MOBA genre and impresses us greatly. We cover the many things is does differently than the rest of the genre that we view as improvements. No last hits, no deny, shared XP, talent system, 20 minute game length, map variety, and more. Sirlin then complains about a couple annoying things about controlling your character.

Hosts: David Sirlin, Richard "Leontes" Lopez, and Matt "Aphotix" DeMasi

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 14: Codex

We discuss the Codex card game, on Kickstarter at the time of this recording. Codex is a customizable (but not collectible) card game that has way different design goals than other CCGs. It's been in development ridiculously long, over 10 years, and we discuss the various properties it has that makes it so special.

Hosts: David Sirlin, Richard "Leontes" Lopez, and Matt "Aphotix" DeMasi

Also, here a Codex article index. New articles posted there almost every day of Codex's kickstarter.

Here's a link to the Codex kickstarter itself. 

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 13: Starcraft 2

We discuss the release of Starcraft 2's third expansion, Legacy of the Void. This is a look back at what we liked about Starcraft from the very start, what things Blizzard changed for the better over time, and what things we think they really should also have changed too. Starcraft is a very difficult to play game, and we complain that while some of this difficulty is great and makes the game interesting, other sources of it seem totally out of place. Specifically, many aspects of the UI don't capture the player's intention and it just feels "wrong" rather than "strategic" in these cases. That said, we are still generally fans of the series!

Hosts: David Sirlin, Richard "Leontes" Lopez, & Sean "MrGPhantome" Washington

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 12: Easy Special Moves

We discuss "easy special moves" in fighting games. We can pretty quickly say why they are a good or bad idea, but the bigger issue is trying to clarify what the term means to help others avoid muddled discussions on this topic.

What is a game with "easy special moves" actually trying to do? Moves being easy—in and of itself—tells you nothing about whether the techniques and combos in a game are easy to do or not. Examples from Guilty Gear, Soul Calibur 5, Smash Bros (including a plea for modders to make Sirlin a mod with simpler controls for Smash), Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter 4, Rising Thunder, and Fantasy Strike.

Hosts: David Sirlin & Sean "MrGPhantome" Washington

Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 11: Game Balancing Techniques

We discuss techniques I use to balance games. The point more about HOW we talk about such things and the general approach rather than any specific example, but we cover many specific examples to illustrate the points. Includes examples from Street Fighter and Codex as well as an amusing anecdote from the history of mathematics.

Hosts: David Sirlin and Matt "Aphotix" DeMasi