Category: Notes

Notes: Bad Games By Great Designers

Today, a healthy chunk of video watching people talk about their experiences playing games, found via Youtube random suggestion:


  • Most of these complaints about games are about what this player experiences and how they prefer to experience games.
  • Sam Healy’s complaints about Codenames point to one of Codenames’ strengths as a weakness: The game is largely intense, engaging, and quiet. It’s a communication game.
  • The complaints about Citadels suggest that games can have truly terrible failure states, failure states so deep players can be left without any way to play at all.
  • Even if the overreaction is comical, the frustration these things speak to is very real.
  • Consider that Zee complains about Bloodborne having a very grim theme.
  • Reiner Knizier’s huge library makes it possible he can have his weaknesses shown up. Iterate more you’ll see the problems you have as a designer.
  • Seafall is such an elaborate experience people are really resistant to call it bad first-up, but with enough time to percolate, all the good memories of the game fade away.
  • Mathy games are hard to love.
  • Werewolf as a game requires everyone to be bought into it, to work; yet the game sells itself as inclusive to large groups with a player count sometimes into the sixties.
    • This suggests there’s a base assumption the game has that lots of people want to play a game where they inherently can’t trust
    • It also suggests an assumption that lots of people want to play a game with knockouts as solutions
  • Almost all these complaints are exaggerated and gently so, but can be sorted into individual subjective preferences (such as the Bloodborne theme) and exacerbations of the game (such as Citadels being capable of leaving a player without a turn).

Notes: Procrastination, with Tim Pychyl

Here’s a thing I’m going to try and do more often. I watch educational programming or advertisements or reviews on Youtube from time to time and I take notes, and then I try to make sure I remember those notes. With that in mind, here’s a little talk about Procrastination I watched today and the notes I took on it.

Shout out to SJA for putting this video in my path.

  • Emotional intelligence helps you with resisting procrastination
  • Economic models are very cold and require rational actors
  • Delays are not procrastination, but procrastination are delay
  • There are actual developmental barriers here, and you can’t expect everyone to handle this the same way
  • Negative reinforcement is about avoiding negative things, not about being punished
  • ‘People who are procrastinating,’ not ‘procastinators’
  • Working Under Pressure is a persistent myth
  • Procrastination can be connected to more optimistic thought patterns, which I imagine makes it difficult with mental patterns like depression
  • Goal intentions vs Implementation intentions not ‘I’ll work on the assignment tonight’ but ‘I will do the structural outline of section 2, after dinner.’
  • Having definitive plans makes tasks seem more handleable.