A Sequel by Another Name [Gamer by Design]

I was out playing Super Contra on an arcade machine last week, and a non-gamer friend commented on how cool is it was that this game was side-scrolling, unlike that “other Contra” game he’d played on the Playstation, which just “didn’t feel like a Contra...

2D vs. 3D Games – We Don’t Need No Stinking 3rd Plane [Gam...

If you follow the history of console video games, it has generally followed this (very) rough progression: Low resolution 2D games of the Atari and Commodore era Rich, colorful 2D experiences with Nintendo, Sega Genesis, etc. Early 3D with the N64 3D for ever and ever from then on, with...

Behold, Ye Video Game Designer’s Rules of Grocery Store Parking ...

We’ve all heard about how video games are infiltrating everyday life. Infiltrating it to an almost annoyingly offensive level. After reading a few trade magazines with such articles, I started thinking about parts of life that already have video game style rules. Consider the deep, intricate...

Worst of 2012: TV… [FaN Boos]

Ernessa says: One of the nice things about getting rid of cable this fall was that I didn’t end up watching many shows I disliked, as I was too busy marathoning all the good stuff, like DAMAGES (Netflix), FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (Netflix), and MISFITS (Hulu). But before I let go of our...

Best of 2012: TV! [FaN Cheers]

Ernessa says: Oh, I had a hard time with choosing a best TV show this year. I usually pick comedies, and in 2012, we had a couple that I really love: THE MINDY PROJECT‘s Mindy Kaling feels like my spirit animal, and the zany alien show, THE NEIGHBORS, makes me feel like I’m back...

Worst of 2012: Songs …. [FaN Boos]

Ernessa says: Well, I’m not sure how this happened, but Fun., a group that received lots of love on our Best of list, is my pick for Worst song of the year. At first I only didn’t particularly like WE ARE YOUNG, but then I started loathing it, with its 20s hipster sensibility and...

Best of 2012: Songs! [FaN Cheers]

Ernessa says: Man, this was a tough year to decide a favorite song. The stuff on Top 40 radio was banging, with hits like LIGHTS by Ellie Goulding, N*GGAS IN PARIS by Jay-Z and Kanye West, WIDE AWAKE by Katy Perry, BLOW ME (ONE LAST KISS) by Pink,  and FEEL SO CLOSE by Calvin Harris, all...

The Best of Times/The Worst of Times 2012 [FaN Remembers]

Ernessa says: Well, since I’m writing this half-prone in a hospital bed, you’ve probably guessed already that being on bed rest since the week after Thanksgiving (6 weeks so far, with two clocked in the hospital) has absolutely been my least favorite moment of the year. However,...

Worst of 2012: The Movies… [FaN Boos]

Ernessa says: While my Best of picks are most often pleasant surprises, my Worst of one are usually movies, which I was really anticipating, but which severely disappointed. For example, BRAVE, the first Pixar movie with a female lead, was shockingly boring with a lead who managed to be both...

Best of 2012: The Movies! [FaN Cheers]

Ernessa says: I don’t want to say, bedrest is a b-word, but I haven’t gotten to see nearly as much Oscar far as I usually do around this time of the year, including the much-buzzed-about DJANGO UNCHAINED. I think that’s why for the first time ever, I’m picking an...

Worst of 2012: The Books… [FaN Boos]

Ernessa says: As FaN and its writers get older, I find this and the resolution question are the ones that gets answered the least on our end-of-the-year survey. And I know answering this question was particularly hard for me this year. I just don’t death march through books like I used...

Book Week: Psy Comm, and interview with the Author [Gamer by Design] [...

My regular readers know, I write about video game design, business, and sometimes the mobile app scene. For Book Week, I decided to read something equally nerdy. That would be the graphic novel Psy-Comm. I have the privilege of knowing the author, Tony Salvaggio. As you’ll see below, he...

iPhone 5: The Game Designer’s Perspective [Gamer by Design]

After all the talk about the iPhone 5 in this big week of Apple announcements, I thought it would be interesting to put my thoughts on paper. After all, I’ve been talking about it with my fellow game developers for about a week now. If you follow my blog posts, you know that I am an...

How iPhones have made all of our lives Better(worse) [Gamer by Design]

If you read my column on the reg, then you know I spend about half my waking hours designing iPhone games. Oh and I also use an iPhone for my PHONE. So basically there is almost always an iPhone in my hand. This is a sad state of affairs, considering the fact that I’m not an Apple...

Thine Commandments of Kickstarter for an Indie Video Game [Gamer by De...

For my favorite post of the year for Fierce and Nerdy, I chose to re-publish my Kickstarter how-to. It was by far my most popular post, probably because there are not a lot of straightforward, honest articles of how to succeed in doing a Kickstarter for a video game (I know, because I...

A Cup of Coffee Vs. An iPhone App: The New Pricing Model of Console Ga...

I always make the joke that people are so price-sensitive on iPhone games, that they think 2.99 is UBER expensive for a game, yet they buy cups of coffee for 6 dollars. Since I first started making that joke, we developers have been empowered with much better ways to make money, like in-app...

Why the Video Game Awards are NOT the Oscars [Gamer by Design]

So what we’re gonna talk about today is, the eternal question of “Why don’t game awards carry the weight of the Oscars?” I’m gonna delve mostly into the content of the games, rather than the peripheral questions like the history of the Oscars, the budget of each...

Dev Blog (or How to Make a Game) Part 1: Misconceptions [Gamer By Desi...

This here is gonna be one of my most spontaneous blog articles. I’ve been thinking about doing a how-to of games, but didn’t know where to start. Then today I got inspired by a lot of facebook traffic about marketing-driven games vs indie games and the creative process. This...

Why you should be an Apple Fan/Hater: Part 1, the Walled Garden [Gamer...

In the nerd and tech communities, we pretty much argue every day about why Apple is horrible or perfect. The one thing we all agree upon is that, just like politics, Apple is polarizing. Let’s gab about the very high level concepts of the debate. Walled Garden A few of the practices of...

Resolved: 2011 [Our Very Best]

Ernessa says: It feels so weird to not be making any resolutions this year. Some people love this time of the year because of the gift exchanges, time spent with family, goodwill toward man, blah, blah, blah — but I’ve always been a resolution girl myself. I love making the list...

Worst of 2011: TV… [FaN Boos]

Amy Says: To continue my streak of disliking the stuff everybody else likes (ie. I didn’t care for A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD, which so many others loved…maybe I should be the “On the Contrary” guy next year. I swear to g*d I’m not doing this on purpose.) In my...

Best of 2011: TV! [FaN Cheers]

Amy says: Can a remake of a BBC show be considered new? If so, then PRIME SUSPECT is my pick for the best new TV of the year. Maria Bello is awesome in everything I’ve ever seen her in. Detective procedurals aren’t normally my thing, but I love the complexity of the characters...

Worst of 2011: Songs …. [FaN Boos]

Ernessa says: What’s funny is that I’ve always liked Maroon 5. I mean, I’ve never downloaded a Maroon 5 song or anything, but I’ve never minded them. And when they came on the radio, I didn’t change the channel on the automatic like I do with say, LMFAO or Ke$ha...

Worst of 2011: The Movies… [FaN Boos]

Amy Says: I was so excited about a movie mash-up of western and sci-fi. It would have cowboys AND aliens! My expectations were super high. Sadly, COWBOYS & ALIENS is my pick of the worst movie of 2011. While it was moderately entertaining, the dialogue was clunky and I just felt sorry for...

Best of 2011: The Movies! [FaN Cheers]

Amy says : My favorite movie of the year should have been RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, but I was in the Colorado wilderness the entire time it was in theaters. The original, with Chuck Heston, is my favorite movie of all time. The first time I saw it, I knew I wanted to be an actor. It was...

Worst of 2011: The Books… [FaN Boos]

Ernessa says: I’m going to make the caveat again that if I manage to get through a book, it must have something to recommend it. Life is short, and I’ve become rather good at putting down books I’m not enjoying. That claimed, this category was a bit difficult for me this...

Best of 2011: The Books! [FaN Cheers]

Yay! It’s finally here. Our yearly round-up of the stuff we just loved and the dreck we absolutely hated. The big surprise of this year was just how much our Fierce and Nerdy bloggers agreed … except when it came to our Worst Book picks (more on that tomorrow). As always, we also...

Immersion: The rule of Opposites [Gamer By Design]

The word “immersion” is thrown about every single day at video game companies and schools. In the industry, it basically means the idea of making a player feel as if they’re part of the experience (or simulation). In layman’s terms, it means they forget that...

Film is Dead [Gamer by Design] for Book Week

If you read my column on the regular, you probably know that it’s a video game industry look at games. So with that being said, it was an interesting challenge to keep it game related during book week. So I decided to talk about a topic that, in this day and age of kindles and nooks and...

Why You Should Never Make a First Person Shooter [Gamer by Design]

First of all, what is a First Person Shooter? It is a game in first person (as in, you are the camera, like in a movie where you see a shot of someone running through the forest from their POV), and it involves them shooting. So you have a camera POV and usually a gun is in that view...

Then S%#t Goes Boom! Movies vs Video Games [Designing Gamer]

A lot of F and N readers are from film and literary nerdship, so here comes a little helping of cross-cultural columnizing. Games and Movies have shared a sort of awfully awkward sisterhood since the early eighties. We could talk about their first public spat when the ET movie became a...

Inside Secrets of Video Game Designer, Danny Bulla [Gamer by Design]

Designing Gamer Interview Series: Life of a Game Designer Today I sat down with designer Danny Bulla. Danny Bulla cut his teeth at Full Sail University’s Game Design and Development program. Upon graduation, he teleported to the deep heart of Texas to work at Midway Austin on titles like...

Two Buttons OR Redefining the Casual Gamer [Designing Gamer]

The number one thing people tell me when they find out I design video games: “There are too many buttons now. I liked Mario Better. I liked the two buttons on Nintendo.” Two buttons, huh? Yeah, the Super Mario Brothers games of the 1980s were played on a controller that (besides the control...