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B.E.S Vacation 4

It's been years since my last vacation post. Just to make things clear, I'm not going on vacation. Rather, I'm taking a short break from blogging to focus on other game design related activities. I recently got a full time job working at a law firm. The hours are long, and I'm saving nearly all of the money so I can go to GDC 2012 and make indie games with a real team of developers (after crowdsourcing for funds). To work toward those goals I figured I needed to put more work in writing game design documents rather than blog posts. I can't help but dream about these projects day and night. Because you can't see into my mind, it would help to convey my ideas. Instead of writing so much, I'll be sketching, drawing, and cartooning. Check out my portfolio page for a list of game ideas that I've come up with and some of my artwork.   


I want to work on publishing the Critical-Gaming blog. But as I consider various publishing opportunities I'm starting to realize that the blog might not translate well into a book. I think lots of illustrative examples are a key part of my teaching style. So, I tend to present many links to videos and playable games in my articles. The printed format would not be able to support this content. Furthermore, I'm not sure how the copyright hammer would fall upon all of the pictures that I lifted from google image search. I don't think it's possible even to publish the images that I screen capped and edited myself. So I'm working on a creative solution to this problem. 

I recently made efforts to to talk more with other gamers one on one, but now my schedule is tighter than ever. I will work on doing a better job reaching out to gamers and my community. The blog is getting close to its 4th birthday and it's still pretty quite around here. I blame myself and accept any thing from criticism to constructive comments. 


Like always, I'll give you a glance at the articles in production. 


  • Input Devices. An article series examining various input devices including their strengths, limitations, and how mechanics design compensates. I should be able to put to rest a few long lasting disputes like inverted vs normal (FPS controls), keyboard+mouse vs controller, Rhythm Heaven GBA vs DS, multi-touch vs stylus controls, arcade stick vs pad, and motion controls vs traditional. 
  • Game Mental State extended. I've been working on breakthrough new theories that are supported by research from educational psychology and philosophy. Look forward to a deep conversation on how extended minds become shared minds in co-op gameplay. 
  • Beyond the Game: Fun, Feelings, and other Factors. An article series examining how important the concept of "play" is to our sustained enjoyment of a game. I'll also talk about how damaging rewards can be and how various rule sets (including goals) shape our enjoyment.
  • Emergent Origins. Have you ever wondered what makes the game of basketball play like it does? How about any other games? Rules shape gameplay and behavior. This article will look at the important rules that do the most work in encouraging emergent outcomes. 
  • An article on Professor Layton 3's story.
  • An article on PixelJunkShooter 2.


Feel free to leave me a message if you want a game or topic covered. If you want to say anything else, feel free also. 


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Reader Comments (4)

IANAL, but I do follow a lot of copyright law. As far as screencapped pictures go, you should be fine. You would be using the pictures as a fraction of the original work, which would be the entire game, not just that scene. Also, they would be used for review or commentary, which is also an exception.

Its probably not as clear if somebody else did the screencap or if the picture is original art. In that case, you would want to get permission, I think.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryan Rosander

@ Bryan

Thanks for the advice.

If you illustrate the images/graphics yourself or have someone do it, then copyright law is not violated. This was done in a Graphic Design book of mine that dealt with corporate logos (obviously every company wasn't going to get royalties), and the publishing company suggested that solution.

August 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlton Chaney

@Alton Chaney - While that should be the law, there have been a ton of confusing rulings on that. Just about every protection in the "idea / expression dichotomy" has been removed so that even if you might have been influenced by a work, you might be infringing.

As an example, someone wrote a sequel to "The Catcher in the Rye" a couple of years and it was permabanned even though it is a completely original work because it continues with the same characters.

There are other lawsuits ongoing over photographs that people claim are too similar as well.

August 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryan Rosander

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