Last updated: 18 May, 1999

Game Design and Philosophy

I am not a very 'techie' person, so I don't plan on devoting much space to the art of Yaroze programming per se. I see learning C and using the Net Yaroze as an exciting and fairly cost-effective way to create and play the sorts of games that I feel are all too rarely produced by commercial software companies. I buy into the Yaroze philosophy of putting the power of Playstation into the hands of non-professional coders and artists. My (relatively dull) short-term goal is to learn how to program the Yaroze to a fairly competent level. My (ambitious) long-term goal is to come up with a revolutionary and massively playable game that leads to the creation of a new genre. A game that people will suffix the word "clone" to, for years to come; a game like Populous, or Doom (no anal-retentive mail about how these games are clones themselves, please). Yeah, that would be nice. You might have to suffer a few less-than-groundbreaking snippets of code from me before then, but hey! Just count yourself privileged to be present through what future generations will dub "Nick Ferguson's Embryonic Stage"…

In time, this section will be crammed with articles on the philosophy and mechanics of game design. Any submissions are more than welcome! Please note that these essays will ideally have more to do with general design issues rather than specific technical ones - this Yaroze business is technical enough for my liking!

I scribe Loonygames' fortnightly Pad Happy column, which deals with issues related to console gaming. You must check this site out - there are plently of columns and feature articles written by established industry figures. A must-bookmark for anyone who's into thinking seriously about games.

Before finishing university, I toyed with the idea of working for EDGE and even wrote some work samples for a Staff Writer position. Go on, have a look - and decide for yourself if I was wasting my time!

This is the full 5000 word text of my 3rd year Psychology Literature Review, which counts a whopping 7% towards my final degree mark. I decided to research this area because I thought the markers might appreciate an essay that wasn't about schizophrenia, and because I want to win arguments with old people about whether games are bad for you or not (short answer: they're not). Click here for a zipped RTF (Rich Text Format) version of the document.

This was started a long time ago, and currently runs at about 3000 words. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a mess and a rant. I kept promising to finish it and never did, which is why I've posted it. Guilt is a terrible thing...

A good read, and really interesting when you consider the fact it was originally published in the early 1980s. Sorry about the 400k download, but the original host has died...

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