The Unexpected Pieces (& People) in Game Design

“Game design is 10% inspiration and 90% staring at math trying to figure out why things don’t work.”

Thank you Stephen Mangold @steve85uk on twitter for that almost completely true quote.

Actually, it’s more like 10% inspiration, 30% staring at code and 60% a bunch of stuff I hadn’t really considered, like recording dialogue, writing scripts, video editing, sound editing, photo editing, creating movies. That doesn’t even get into the management part of it – writing contracts, which means figuring out exactly what artwork, dialogue, animation we need from other people. Then there is marketing – tweetups, meetups, this blog, our Facebook page, twitter account and 101 other things from business cards to logo design.

Top of the hillThere is also the unexpected help from people like Gene, from Ireland, who offered to draw some sketches to help with the game, if I thought I could use them.


In fact, our game is about actual math. When a player gets a problem wrong twice in a row, instead of more problems, he or she dies in the game and has to study that concept in math to get back in. One of the drawbacks most math games have is that they don’t provide any instruction, hints or help, completely unlike when people learn anything in real life. We wanted to be different, unexpected, if you will. Here is part of the movie where we used Gene’s artwork to teach about the number line and fractions …