Sirlin.Net - Game Design
By David Sirlin
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Sirlin designed video games such as Street Fighter HD Remix, Puzzle Fighter HD Remix, and Kongai. He's designed tabletop games such as Yomi, Puzzle Strike, Pandante, and Flash Duel. He discusses the craft of game design with his lead playtester.
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 18: Fantasy Strike||Discussion about the design of Fantasy Strike, our new unusually easy-to-play fighting game. Crowdfunding now on Patreon.||11/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 17: Shipping Kickstarters On Time||After shipping 5 out of 5 Kickstarters on time, Sirlin gives advice on best practices for Kickstarter projects.||10/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 16: Overwatch||Design analysis of what makes Blizzard's Overwatch so good.||7/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 15: Heroes of the Storm||We discuss the design of Heroes of the Storm, and its many bold design decisions that set it apart from the rest of the genre.||3/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 14: Codex||Discussion of the Codex card game, an RTS-themed customizable (but not collectible) card game with way different design goals than other games in the genre.||2/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 13: Starcraft 2||Discussion of game design choices throughout the history of Starcraft 2.||1/6/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 12: Easy Special Moves||Discussion about "easy special moves" in fighting games, and try to define what that actually means. Examples from many different fighting games, including the upcoming Fantasy Strike fighting game.||9/2/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 11: Game Balancing Techniques||We discuss techniques I use to balance games, such as Street Fighter and Codex. Also, an amusing anecdote the history of mathematics.||7/21/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 10: Flash Duel||Design discussion about the development of the card game Flash Duel. Special guest garia1000 discusses how to prepare for a tournament.||4/4/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep 9: Pandante||We discuss the development of the Pandante expansion and 2nd Edition, on kickstarter right now. We explain how and why we streamlined the base rules and what all the new content adds to the game. Special guest garcia1000 discusses trolling rhetoric.||3/16/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep8: Morality in Stories||We discuss the drama created by stories that pose moral questions. We tie this into games with examples from The Walking Dead game and A Tale in the Desert.||2/26/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep7: Sequels||We discuss sequels to movies and games. Sequel can mean a lot of different kinds of things, so we sort out the different kinds of sequels. This leads up to a discussion about how to handle sequels in highly replayable games.||2/2/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep6: Character Bans||We discuss the many problems with games where players ban each other's characters. We mention several MOBAs, though this applies to any type of game with bans. An unusual guest talks about the worst clock in the world.||1/10/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep5: Now Playing||Discussion of the Street Fighter 5 trailer, Super Mario 3D World, Smash 4, Transistor, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.||12/22/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep4: Tournament Rules||Discussion of how to design tournament rules. Lots can go wrong, so we try to help. Garcia1000 and Sirlin discuss Nintendo's business success.||12/12/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep3: Uneven Playfields||Game design discussion about uneven playfields in competitive games. That is, games that unfairly give some players a material advantage.||11/29/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep2: Cooperative Games||Game design discussion about cooperative games, covering tabletop games and video games.||11/5/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSirlin on Game Design, Ep1: Cocaine Logic||Game design discussion about the cocaine logic fallacy that "helps the player win" means "good for the game design."||10/28/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
An Iconoclast Podcast
It's a very interesting and insightful show. Sirlin isn't afraid to critique even to most universally appreciated games on the market and it makes for delicious food for thought.
That said, I think the show could benefit from a little more point/counterpoint style of discussion. Aphotix is a fine and knowledgable co-host, but his opinions are almost too in-line with Sirlin's, which limits the depth of their back-and-forth. I just wish once in a while he'd say, "I might have to disagree with you on that one."
Overall a fine show and worth subscribing for anyone who wants unique and inspired views on game design.
A good but very, very specific viewpoint
From one designer to another: Sirlin is wonderfully researched and highly experienced at a specific slice of game development: competitive one-on-one multiplayer with full knowledge and even play fields. Street Fighter, basically. His viewpoints are strong and insightful with that particular bent.
RPG elements, freemium anything, unbalanced multiplayer teams... He rallies against pretty much all modern embellishments like these, with an almost religious fervor. When he points out major, highly loved and extensively played games as examples of fundamentally irredeemable game design, he undermines his own credibility.
I still find the podcast worth listening to, as his viewpoints can be interesting even when he's off on a crusade that I fundamentally disagree with. Just don't expect a well-rounded podcast that represents a broad slice of game development. He has a specific view as a designer, which a lot of other designers would disagree with.
Sirlin can come across as abrasive, but he does have a solid basis for his opinions. Even if you disagree with him, it is interesting to think about the topics that he covers.