Designing Game Rules

Designing Game Rules
PAX South 2016

The rules of a game literally define it. In videogames, they are intrinsic limitations. In tabletop, players must enforce them. In all games, players need to learn them. There are good and bad ways to teach a game. From awful tutorials to unparseable rulebooks, elegant demos to hour-long slogs, join us for a mechanical discussion of how game rules are (and should be) written, how players learn games, and why so few people are willing to read a 100 page rulebook (nevermind the appendices)!

Slides

How to Run an Anime Club

How to Run an Anime Club
Anime Boston 2016

Presented at many conventions since 2002, from Otakon to Anime Boston, GeekNights finally videoed their advice on how to run an anime club. Some things have changed over the years (you don't need LaserDisc player or VHS library anymore), but most things haven't (dealing with "that guy"). Here is the brutal, honest truth on what it takes to run an anime club.

Sports are Games - PAX Prime 2015

Sports are Games
PAX Prime 2015

Gaming livestreams are some of the most popular television programs in the US. There are entire TV networks covering gaming that have existed for decades. Yet, many self-described gamers will eschew football and ice hockey as being somehow distinct from DOTA 2 and CounterStrike. We even like to use the term eSport to separate them from sports. Sports and eSports are fundamentally the same. American football is frighteningly like a distributed turn-based strategy game.

The History of Losing

The History of Losing
PAX Australia 2014

I presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture covering, essentially, single player videogames. From Super Meat Boy to Silver Surfer, Don't Shit Your Pants to The Stanley Parable, Five Nights at Freddy's to Gone Home, I consider Narratives of Victory, and Narratives of Failure.

PAX Australia - How to Win

PAX Australia - How to Win

It seems obvious that, when playing a game of skill, one attempts to win. Interestingly, this is often not the case, and even skilled gamers rarely analyze to any real depth the underlying mechanics and strategy of a given game. By deconstructing the games we play, you too can make them far less fun for yourself and beat the everliving hell out of your friends. We'll hit the theory pretty heavily, but also specific examples from games like "Stratego," "Settlers of Catan," and even "Football."

Presented at the Penny Arcade Expo Australia 2014 on Friday in the Fruitbat Theatre.

Bad Games - PAX South

Bad Games
PAX South 2015

We’ve all played “bad” games, but what truly makes a game “bad?” Is one’s miserable experience not simply subjective opinion? It turns out that the problem is not in defining what makes a game “bad,” but in what makes a game a “game.” Candyland teaches children colors and counting, but is terrible for a serious tournament. Dungeons & Dragons is great for that heroic fantasy adventure, but not so much for your future cyberpunk transhumanist court drama.

Is Gone Home a Game?

Is "Gone Home" a Game?
PAX Australia

Rym presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture concerning the definition of the word game. Particularly, I consider "Gome Home" and the widespread "debate" over whether or not it is a game. (Spoilers: Gone Home is a game).

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