System-Oriented Approach to Game Design

So, I’ve done and posted two of the pieces in what is planned to be a long-running series throughout the development of my company’s game, Steel Hunters](

I haven’t always been strictly a game designer – really, just for two of the gigs I’ve worked at over the years. But, one of the things I’ve always gravitated towards is the kind of cohesive, systemically-rooted designs that folks like Looking Glass, Ion Storm, Far Cry 2, Monster Hunter, and other neato games. Largely through a dearth of things to do and a wide internet of things to consume, I listened to years and years of GDC talks from folks like Clint Hocking, Patrick Redding, Harvey Smith (who is my bro now and that will forever be really rad), Warren Spector, so on and so forth. Through a whole lot of serendipity, I’ve had the freedom at various jobs to explore system-oriented design (I had a studio director who loved having to take the time to explain how something wasn’t a one-off or cheap hack), I’ve met a whole lot of the people who influenced how I think about design, and get to just sit around and chat with them from time-to-time.

SO (I may not have slept last night – it usually precedes the rambling), I wanted to really delve into the kinda bizarre-for-a-designer mindset that system designers generally have to take-on – especially when you’re building an entire game. These (at least once a month, or so I tell myself) pieces will continue and if anyone has anything they’d like to see covered (and I’m not intentionally glossing over it for a later-in-production reveal), just [EMAIL=“”]let me know!

Here’s the main series:

And here are some old articles I wrote along the same lines: