Game Designers In Detail: Three Questions with PRACTICE Speakers

Game Designers In Detail is a series of three-question interviews between a current NYU Game Center MFA student and a PRACTICE speaker.

In these short interviews, our MFA students ask the speakers to go deep in to their game design craft, offering rare views into how some of the most exciting game designers make their games.

You can be a part of this high-level conversation about the craft of game design! Join us for PRACTICE: Game Design in Detail on November 14-16. More information and tickets available here!

Below you’ll find the currently published list of interviews. More interviews will be added to this list as we approach the start of PRACTICE.

MFA Josh Raab and speaker Jonathan Blow discuss how much feedback Jonathan incorporates in his puzzle and narrative design process, what makes a good puzzle, and the purpose and intent of working with both experimental and traditional mechanics. 


MFA Pierre Depaz and speaker David Kanaga discuss the playfulness found in both musical improvisation and in games, how David creates his “Let’s Score” videos, and the structures of experimentation in game music.


MFA James Marion and speaker John Popadiuk discuss ‘gimmicky’ design in pinball, the possible future of digital pinball, and how the role and responsibilities of the pinball designer has changed dramatically since 1999.


MFA Reynaldo Vargas and speaker Zach Gage discuss designing controls for iOS, designing for a more game-literate player base on iOS, and the relationship between making work that is accessible and work that makes players think critically.


MFA Sig Gunnarsson and speaker Lukas Litzsinger discuss the market for different types of card games, how choices enable player expression, and balancing a living card game in relationship to the metagame. 


MFA Ansh Patel and speaker Colleen Macklin discuss the structural affordances of game types as related to designing games for activism, the tension between conveying a message through a game and enabling player expressivity, and the pleasures and problems inherent in collaboratively designing games with players.