General; March 8th, 2011

I am moving my blog to

I am bit tired to keep updating WordPress at Aalto blogs is not an option for me, as the only appearance option follows the Aalto style and I do not like the style.

The main message is that game designers should be able to code. Code is the tool of the trade. (

I agree that one should be able to design dynamics for games. Designing dynamic is to design code. Understanding algorithms, state machines, behavior trees can be extremely helpful for game design. This said, knowing rudimentary coding can be helpful, knowing more software design can be more helpful. How much one should know about software design to be able to design games?

But would math and excel skills also be used for this?

Aalto University; February 23rd, 2011

We just put up a blog for collecting the info of game research and teaching in Aalto University. Now we have people on two departments blogging, but hopefully we can get all  researchers and teachers who work with game(-related) things to join in.

Game Studies special issue Game Reward Systems (edited by Mikael Jakobsson, Olli Sotamaa) is out.

Table of contents

  • Hats of Affect: A Study of Affect, Achievements and Hats in Team Fortress 2 by Christopher Moore
  • Achievements, Motivations and Rewards in Faunasphere by Jason Begy, Mia Consalvo
  • The Achievement Machine: Understanding Xbox 360 Achievements in Gaming Practices by Mikael Jakobsson
  • Unlocking the Gameworld: The Rewards of Space and Time in Videogames by Alison Gazzard
  • Player Dossiers: Analyzing Gameplay Data as a Reward by Ben Medler
  • Balancing Risk and Reward to Develop an Optimal Hot-Hand Game by Paul Williams, Keith V. Nesbitt, Ami Eidels, David Elliott
  • Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now: On Self-Effacing Games and Unachievements by Douglas Wilson

Notes on games; February 18th, 2011

Thought provoking

  • Immortall, an atmospheric game about life, death, and war


I Found these on the list of Ten Games that Make You Think About Life on Casual Girl Gamer.

THINK DESIGN PLAY 5th International Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Conference 14-17 September 2011

Hosted by the Utrecht School of the Arts in the Netherlands

Call for participation

After Leveling Up in the Netherlands (2003), Changing Views in Canada (2005), Situated Play in Japan (2007) and Breaking New Ground in England (2009) the 5th DiGRA Conference returns to Utrecht for Think Design Play

The goal of the DiGRA conference is to advance the study of games and playfulness. DiGRA 2011 seeks to connect game research to the creative industries and society by fostering the development of an integrated practice of game research, design, engineering, entrepreneurship and play. The conference is designed as a physical and online playground for meaningful dialogue between all players in the field of games. Whilst the conference will include the presentation of (peer-reviewed) papers and practice, invited talks and workshops, we are also very interested in supporting alternative forms and processes through which to participate and stimulate debate and discussion.

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Notes on games; December 24th, 2010

Guardian lists their top 20:

Red Dead Redemption is number one, Mass Effect 2 is number two, and Heavy Rain is number three in their list. It seems that these games has win critics; they have been praised elsewhere also. Their also mention Alan Wake (17) and Angry Birds (12).

The next Philosophy of Computer Games Conference  will be at Athens, Greece, on April 6th-9th 2011. Call for Papers is below:

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Brandon Sheffield lists top 10 of what went wrong in Postmortems published in Game Developer: