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Gamasutra Expert Blogs: Pooling Ideas & Adding Rules

Showcasing highlights from Gamasutra's Expert Blogs, industry veterans discuss design collaboration, Resistance 2 frustration, and controversy over 'playing to win'.
In our weekly Best of Expert Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game development community who maintain Expert Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while the invitation-only Expert Blogs are written by development professionals with a wealth of experience to share. We hope that both sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information about the blogs, check out the official posting guidelines. This Week's Standout Expert Blogs Ideas From Your Team: The Pooling Ideas Philosophy (Bruno Urbain) A designer's role is not simply to generate ideas, but also to collect ideas from the team and incorporate them into a coherent design. Springing off a piece written by Game Developer magazine design columnist Damion Schubert, designers Bruno Urbain and Benjamin Dumaz describe the pros and cons of a number of strategies for collecting, communicating, and making use of ideas in development. Choices: Not Just For Players Any More (Dave Mark) Responding to a Gamasutra piece by James Portnow about the distinction between "problems" and "choices" in game design, AI professional Dave Mark calls for more of the latter, and discusses the development mentality and realities that have led to a preponderance of the former. Growing Up At Last (Byron Atkinson-Jones) Games industry workplaces are notorious for being more...informal than offices in many other industries. But how long can that last? Introversion producer Byron Atkinson-Jones speculates as to whether the games industry is finally growing up in the workplace, for better or worse. Challenge in Games: Everyone Hates Nathan (Trent Polack) Drawing a distinction between meaningful challenge and induced frustration, developer Trent Polack points to Insomniac's Resistance 2 as a game that conflates those concepts a bit too much -- and he takes a brief look at the evolution of difficulty in games, then points to examples of other games with a more effective approach. "Playing to Win" and a Philsophy of Competition in Gaming (Mark Newheiser) Spawning an enormous and in-depth debate in the comment section, Mark Newheiser takes issue with designer David "Machiavelli of competitive gaming" Sirlin's stated attitude on attitudes to competition in gaming, and argues in favor of the value of letting players impose their own rules on top of the game's own systems.

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