Articles

Welcome to my articles page. Here you’ll find short articles I’ve written about various facets of the games industry, which I started writing to try and help me become a better designer by reflecting on techniques and lessons I’ve learnt over the past 13 years. They are biased heavily towards the design side of games development, but also I hope that they help try and communicate a little bit about what it is like to make video games. To many people outside of the industry, and a few inside, it comes across as a mysterious art.

These articles are also mirrored on altdevblogaday, which also has where you can also find these articles and comment upon them, and several have also been reposted by Gamasutra too.

It’s all here to enjoy and it’s free.  If you want to quote me then please do, but let me know.  If you want to contact me, please do.  But let me know.  I can be contacted at alex(at)alexmoore.me.uk, or just tweet me.

Choose an article from the list below to begin.

What is a game?
If you’re planning on making a game it’s a good idea to have an idea what a game is. Sounds obvious but when you start trying to define it, you realise that it’s ...
What designers do
It’s a sign of the times that when, a few years ago, I said “I design videogames” people would smile, nod and either look for something or someone else to talk to...
Making AAA games is hard
In June 2010, as the world waited for news on the release of Portal2, Valve announced that making games is hard.  Everyone inside the industry knows this, but to gamers and journa...
Learning by analysis
One of the best skills you can learn as a designer is the ability to deconstruct another game, to be able to see through its patterns and understand what makes it tick. From there ...
What happens next?
There seems to be a lot of talk going on at the minute about the health of the games industry, based a lot it seems from what was perceived to be a fairly lacklustre E3.  Instead ...
Do games need brand?
In this article I’m going to talk about something which doesn’t yet feel fully understood inside the games industry.  Everyone knows what brand is, but very few peopl...
UI is the game, the game is UI
Here I’m going to look at one of the things that makes the difference between a good game and a great game: understanding how the user interface fits into the experience.  I...
The tools we use
It’s getting older every day, but the games industry is still a relatively new industry and that’s more apparent than anywhere else when we look at the tools we use to ...
Why do we restrict content?
Dara O Briain presented Live at the Apollo the other night and, purely by chance, I caught a bit of it where he did a sketch on video games.  As to be expected from him it was ver...
Controlling the player
In Why do we restrict content?I referenced a Dara O Briain sketch about video games, where he complained about how hard they are to control and that they lock content. This is par...
How to use focus testing
A few articles here on AltDevBlog have mentioned focus testing, and it’s one of those things that development teams rarely embrace enough. The concept is simple enough: get s...
Learning from the past
A few years ago I was lucky enough to get the chance to go around Pompeii, a visit highly recommended. We spent almost the entire day there, wandering the streets of the ancient ci...
What Happens Next? (2013)
In June 2011 I wrote an article called What Happens Next?, where I had a quick go at peering into a crystal ball and predicting the future of video games. Recently I did a talk for...
A new type of touch screen joystick
This post is going to be a little different to my usual posts, as it’s going to be more akin to how I write a document for a mechanic. The mechanic in question is a challenge...
What’s so great about Oculus Rift?
Over the last few months, alongside the Xbox One and PS4 PR trains, articles on Oculus Rift have been gaining more and more traction. I’ve been in the category of keeping an ...