Game Design Aspect of the Month

Each month, game designers and other industry professionals offer their views on a particular game design issue.

Latest articles

Vote for 2021 SXSW and SXSW EDU PanelPicker Ideas!

Hi, I apologize for not updating the blog. I have not been feeling well these past months. I did in fact win a 2020 Women in Games Hall of Fame Award. I was completely flabbergasted and very grateful. Thank you so much to the people who voted. I need your help again because the SXSW and SXSW EDU Community Voting period is ending November 20, 11:59 PM,...

2020 Women in Games Hall of Fame Awards

Hi! I'm thrilled to be shortlisted for one of the 2020 Women in Games Hall of Fame Awards and I am particularly excited that I can spotlight learning games and serious game development within the global game industry. Although we've been confined to virtual conferences, it's been great to share my knowledge this year at LudoNarraCon, GamerJibe Career...

The Evolution of Digital Storytelling

In this article, game designer Sande Chen reports on Sam Barlow's presentation at PLAY NYC, in which he describes how the digital world is transforming the art of storytelling.Speaking at PLAY NYC on August 11, 2020, Sam Barlow, the mastermind behind the award-winning games Her Story and Telling Lies, explained the sweeping changes that have occurred...

VR and Galaxy's Edge

In this article, game designer Sande Chen discusses the use of virtual reality in creating the theme park Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.Years ago, I was interviewed by Disney Imagineering for an internal documentary on design. I pointed out that level designers of video games are often inspired by amusement parks. Amusement parks are designed to lead visitors...

Dear Daughter: A Quarantine Essay

It is with heartfelt joy that I announce the publication of "Dear Daughter," a personal essay written about my quarantine experiences, on Nearness. As a site inspired by the need to share and seek solace from each other during the COVID-19 pandemic, I could not have found a better home for this piece. I also plan to submit the essay to the Greenburgh...

Game Idea Lists

In this article, game designer Sande Chen discusses the practice of generating game ideas on a daily or weekly basis.In writing classes, students sometimes are asked to journal or write daily.  Similarly, game design students may be asked to generate lists of game ideas or mechanics. The idea is to promote accountability and consistency with a daily...

A Vision of CYOA Future

In this article, game writer Sande Chen reports on Gary Whitta's vision of what would be a compelling choose your own adventure experience.At the GamesBeat Summit in April 2020, Gary Whitta, screenwriter of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, laid down his vision of the future of interaction fiction in an interview session called "Choose Your Own Adventure:...

Upcoming: Freelance Writing Success Summit

Excited to be speaking at the Freelance Writing Success Summit next week! Learn everything a freelance writer needs for success. There are sessions about all aspects of running a freelance business - from bookkeeping to personal branding to finding clients.Register for free at: Freelance Writing Success Summit sponsored by ProWritingAid.During the summit,...

Creating Emotional Touchstones in Emergent Narrative

In this panel, Matthew Farber, Sande Chen, Kimberly Unger, and Juliana Loh discuss the importance of emotional touchstones in emergent narrative and how it's done in different types of games.Many thanks to Fellow Traveller Games for organizing a great program of panels on narrative games! The panels are on YouTube, including ours on emergent narrative.LudoNarraCon...

Systemic Racism in Idealized Fiction

In this article, game writer Sande Chen explains how idealized fiction can send an unintended message by ignoring racial injustices.Earlier this year, I was able to attend a remarkable WGA, East Webinar about the report, "Normalizing Injustice: The Dangerous Misrepresentations That Define Television's Scripted Crime Genre," which explains how racial...

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