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May 29, 2020
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Josh Bycer's Blog   Expert Blogs


For more than seven years, I have been researching and contributing to the field of game design. These contributions range from QA for professional game productions to writing articles for sites like Gamasutra and Quarter To Three. 

With my site Game-Wisdom our goal is to create a centralized source of critical thinking about the game industry for everyone from enthusiasts, game makers and casual fans; to examine the art and science of games. I also do video plays and analysis on my Youtube channel. I have interviewed over 500 members of the game industry around the world, and I'm a two-time author on game design with "20 Essential Games to Study" and "Game Design Deep Dive Platformers."


Expert Blogs

Posted by Josh Bycer on Wed, 27 May 2020 02:49:00 EDT in Design
The Anno franchise has been known as one of the more complicated series on the PC, but for today, I want to talk about how a recent entry did things differently, and what we can learn from it.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Tue, 26 May 2020 10:17:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC, Indie, VR
A follow up to my piece about the new player's experience. We're now talking indie teams, and why no matter how niche or small the genre, everyone should always be thinking about new players for their games.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Wed, 20 May 2020 10:44:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
Ghost Recon Breakpoint made news relaunching the game with the new "ghost experience" and presents a lesson in the implementation of progression design, and why big changes aren't easy to do.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Thu, 14 May 2020 10:33:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Indie
Many people think that it's great that so many games are available to purchase these days, but as someone with an infinite backlog to get to, it's time to talk about an evergrowing problem facing developers.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Fri, 08 May 2020 10:50:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
Today's post looks at the popularity of low stakes games, and how designers are creating rewarding, and relaxing, experiences.

Posted by Josh Bycer on Wed, 22 Apr 2020 11:08:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC, Indie
As a follow up to my previous piece, it's time to talk about what it means to professionally review a videogame, and why there should be changes.

Josh Bycer's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 05/26/2020 - 10:17]

The very fact that the ...

The very fact that the beginning of these games is bad is especially damning. If someone is finding issues in minute one of playing, what does that say about the rest of your game Unfortunately, with my weekly indie dev showcases, I 've been exposed to this more than anybody ...

Comment In: [Blog - 03/31/2020 - 12:21]

And of course that isn ...

And of course that isn 't a secret to anyone telling you the lie with a straight face. The negative psychological value of trash pull after trash pull is what makes the dopamine rush of the good pull even more intense. All by design. r n r nOne thing I ...

Comment In: [Blog - 03/06/2020 - 10:13]

In fact, I 'd love ...

In fact, I 'd love to see a follow-up piece that walks through this way of understanding game design with a hands-on, practical example. What 's an actual case of imagining several possible CGLs for a new game to testing and evaluating contenders, to iterating on the winning CGL to ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/17/2020 - 12:20]

There are a lot of ...

There are a lot of issues with this article that are mischaracterizing roguelike and procedural design. r n r n And this is why I Hate Roguelikes: most of the time, it is impossible to win a roguelike, because the random elements align in one of a million different ways ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/10/2020 - 10:13]

organic tutorials are definitely the ...

organic tutorials are definitely the best, but often the hardest to design around especially if the gameplay is abstracted. r n r nRe: Good tutorials demonstrate the purpose of what 's being taught, so the player is motivated to learn the facts to fulfill that purpose. This right here is ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/14/2019 - 10:42]

I know it 's harsh ...

I know it 's harsh to say 'most ' and 'trash ', since there are a lot of high effort and quality games that never go anywhere we see a lot of postmortems here , but I 'm including all the terrible shovelware and asian porn ports that come out ...