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Lewis Pulsipher
Teacher by profession, game designer by vocation, author by inclination, historian by education, hockey/football/international soccer fan by...something else?
Teacher by profession, game designer by vocation, author by inclination, historian by education, hockey/football/international soccer fan by...something else?

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For-profit colleges have a really poor reputation among teachers, though the public at large is often fooled. Equating "for-profit" with a mysterious ability to find better ways to teach (that remain secret and unused by public schools) is cloud-cuckoo land.

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Two+ Weeks Away at WBC and GenCon 2016
I wrote most of this last year, not long after returning from these two conventions. But as you see, I didn’t finish it until now. When I say “this year”below, I usually mean 2016, and “next year” is 2017. Because the conventions were on successive weeks (u...

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Games as Art (with a capital A)?
To me, games are models of something, not a medium for conveying "meaning" and "significance."  If, say, the model is history, then the players may learn history (a form of meaning).  And they can learn a variety of other things from games.  But this is usu...

Games are not about mechanics. Mechanics are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. I'm not interested in games that are mere collections of mechanics. (Such as many Euro-style games.)

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Stories in Games (again)
In a 2011 survey published by Josiah Lebowitz and Chris Klug, people who identified themselves as "gamers" were asked to provide the three most important factors when determining whether or not to purchase a game. The most popular response? 52% of all respo...

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My recent screencasts on YouTube
I rarely get around to posting individual links to my "Game Design" YouTube channel, so I decided to list the most recent five screencasts instead.  Special Powers Card Games (SPCG) Special Powers Card Games (Magic:the Gathering, Munchkin, many others) is a...

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Are you designing a game, or throwing one together? : You can’t design a game as though you were playing a video game
(First appeared on This is a vital topic in game design: are you designing a game or you throwing one together ? Yes, creativity is part of game design, but it only amounts to about 10% of the whole. The rest is more or less engineering: you ...

(Originally written in 2009. And we now see, with Unity, how much easier it is to make video game software than in 2009.) I don't regard video games as fundamentally different from non-electronic games. There are tens of thousands of non-electronic games that were never touched by a programmer. If the video game designer had some "magic" (technologically advanced) way to create the software - and as time goes on and technology improves, this will be the case - then programmers would be unnecessary.

That's why I regard programming as a necessary evil of video games, not fundamental to games.

It is already the case that someone who isn't a programmer by training or inclination can create the equivalent of Pac-Man with Gamemaker in a fairly short time. More and more complex video games will be made without trained/professional programmers.

Ultimately, programming is "donkey work," something that ought to be done by machines. But I could say the same about many kinds of work. Some of those kinds of work have already disappeared or are disappearing, some will disappear. Programming is going to be done by machines--already is, in many cases, though the machines are using software created by programmers - long before design or art is done by machines.

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Triptych VIII: Three separate topics in one post
(Except this time it’s four to get to a 1,000 words. . .!) Programming is not “Integral” to Games Pop History Special Powers Card Games  Virtual Reality Programming is not “Integral” to Games (Originally written in 2009. And we now see, with Unity, how much...

Answering a Quora question "What are the steps and guide to creating a successful board game and its strategy?"

You’re asking a question that entire books can be written about. In fact, I have: “Game Design, How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish” (McFarland 2012, originally $38, now $19.99). (I preferred the title “Learning Game Design”, but authors do not control the titling of their books.) While it’s first and foremost about video games, you learn game design through tabletop games, so it serves as a book for that purpose as well.

But even one book only scratches the surface. AND you simply MUST be lucky, given the vast number of designs being generated today.

Free advice: my “Game Design” youtube channel at Game Design (

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