Colin Northway on Game Design

Fantastic Contraption

At the Austin Indie Summit, game designer Colin Northway — author of the remarkable Fantastic Contraption — outlined several key principles for aspiring designers:

1. Make your game in Flash

Northway draws a fine distinction between ‘Flash games’ (games where you “launch kitties into a spiky thing”) and ‘games written in Flash’, but he’s an evangelist for the platform more than anything because “the content discovery problem has been solved” compared to consoles, the iPhone, etc. Forums, emails, all pre-existing internet communities will do the work of keeping your game’s name in front of other people, whereas, say, with the iPhone, “making money is hard to do if Apple doesn’t spray the money hose on you.”

2. Make your game “live online”

3. Leverage “pride based marketing”

4. Make a free game that gives players ‘a tote bag’ if they pay

Via Offworld.