007 : Not Your Average Joe – Difficulty, Engagement, and Cookie Clicker

Game Design Zen : Episode 007

Joe challenged me, “balanced difficulty is missing the mark.” And then, he pointed to games like Farmville, city simulators, and Cookie Clicker. He had some good points. He is not your average Joe.

Accomplishment!

Game Design Zen is the intersection of game design, life, and the pursuit of excellence. It is the #1 resource for developers, artists, and designers including the art, science, and business of better games. Level up to zen.

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6 comments
RajatVijay
RajatVijay

very good podcast. Congrates !!!

Kensai__
Kensai__

Hey Curtiss, I have been listening to your podcast, and I have been enjoying it a lot, and I think it could be even better if you toned down the air of mystique with which you very often enunciate. It can sometimes feel a bit patronizing when every other sentence feels like you're revealing an ultimate truth!

Feel free to talk to us like you converse with anyone, not as if you were delivering a lecture. I personally think I would enjoy your podcast even more.

Keep up the great work!

gigiwoo
gigiwoo moderator

@Kensai__ How would you visualize it? One of the hard parts of podcasting is that I can't see anyone. To stay sane, I make something up in my mind. I picture myself standing in my office talking to a couple of my team - drawing diagrams on my white board. Or sometimes, I picture myself in a small room with a bunch of coders, artists, and designers - like an invited speaker at a monthly game-dev club. The way you describe makes perfect sense - it's what's in myhead. And it's coming across. Now, I'm wondering, how else might it look.

If this were a real-world setting, where I was sharing this to 5 of your peers, what would it look like? 

PS - Rock on for sharing your thoughts!

Kensai__
Kensai__

@gigiwoo @Kensai__ Alright, very fair question. I won't presume to know how to do your job better than you do, that is for sure. I don't have a shred of experience doing podcasts.

That said, I do have something to say that might spark an idea. When you create a podcast, it is objectively talking to many people, that much is true. However, the experience from each listener's point of view is that you are talking to them, and them alone. I at least feel like you're talking only to me, since I listen to the podcasts by myself, every time. I think, then, that you could visualize it as a conversation you have with someone that is sitting right across you. That someone will take upon the role that you need at any given time, assume he can shape-shift into an artist, designer, programmer or producer, when you try to deal with subjects relevant to each. Many times an indie will have to wear all those hats anyway.

At any rate, the point I am trying to make is that my experience is that you're talking to me, to me while I commute, to me while I go for a jog. I feel you close, like a knowledgeable friend explaining a few things, not like a professor at a gathering.

Anyway, these are my thoughts, I hope they make sense. Whatever you decide I will keep on listening, the subjects have so far been very interesting!

gigiwoo
gigiwoo moderator

@Kensai__ @gigiwoo

I tried your suggestion. And I can't wait to post this new episode. It is probably my favorite!!! Thank you so much for your insights - love it! Though, in hind sight, I think I pronounced your name like 5 different ways. Forgive me :). 

PS - As ep8 just came out, I'll release 9, probably on Thurs.