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.
Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 18: Fantasy Strike
Fantasy Strike is our new fighting game. We've just announced it and begun crowdfunding for it on Patreon. This podcast explains what Fantasy Strike is all about. We cover the high concept about making a fighting game more accessible from top to bottom than anything else we've seen, the specific game mechanics we chose to accomplish that, and the resulting dynamics of how it plays. Because it's unusual to crowdfund a game through Patreon, we also explain why we're doing that and what the advantages are. Hosts: David Sirlin, Richard "Leontes" Lopez, and Sean "MrGPhantome" Washington.
Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 17: Shipping Kickstarters On Time
Kickstarters projects are notoriously late. I give advice on how to ship your Kickstarter project on time. I've shipped 5 out of 5 Kickstarters on time, so it's time to share the best practices of how you can do that too. Learn about how complete your board game should be before you take it to Kickstarter, about the "magic word," and about shipping shipping shipping! While most of the episode is about Kickstarters for board games, later in the episode we cover the extra challenges of doing a Kickstarter for a video game. And we reveal that we're going a different route with our Fantasy Strike video game, which is using Patreon for crowdfunding right now. Hosts: David Sirlin and Richard "Leontes" Lopez
Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 16: Overwatch
We discuss Overwatch, Blizzard's first-person shooter. It far exceeded our expectations and we attempt to explain how it manages to do that. This isn't a "review," but rather us analyzing the design decisions involved, trying to define the secret sauce of Overwatch's success. Hosts: David Sirlin and Matt "Aphotix" DeMasi
Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 15: Heroes of the Storm
We discuss the design of Heroes of the Storm. It's a bold entry in the MOBA genre and impresses us greatly. We cover the many things is does differently than the rest of the genre that we view as improvements. No last hits, no deny, shared XP, talent system, 20 minute game length, map variety, and more. Sirlin then complains about a couple annoying things about controlling your character.
Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 14: Codex
We discuss the Codex card game, on Kickstarter at the time of this recording. Codex is a customizable (but not collectible) card game that has way different design goals than other CCGs. It's been in development ridiculously long, over 10 years, and we discuss the various properties it has that makes it so special. Hosts: David Sirlin, Richard "Leontes" Lopez, and Matt "Aphotix" DeMasi
Sirlin on Game Design, Ep 13: Starcraft 2
We discuss the release of Starcraft 2's third expansion, Legacy of the Void. This is a look back at what we liked about Starcraft from the very start, what things Blizzard changed for the better over time, and what things we think they really should also have changed too. Starcraft is a very difficult to play game, and we complain that while some of this difficulty is great and makes the game interesting, other sources of it seem totally out of place. Specifically, many aspects of the UI don't capture the player's intention and it just feels "wrong" rather than "strategic" in these cases. That said, we are still generally fans of the series!
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.
Excellent podcast. Those of you rating it low, I feel must be easily offended. Sirlin says the things that other podcasts don’t.
Is he a bit arrogant? Sure. But why not just listen to something else if you can’t handle the truth?
The only thing wrong with this podcast is that it hasn’t been receiving regular new content in a while. But I’ve listened to most episodes several times.
Best podcast on game design
I've learned a tremendous amount about game design from David Sirlin, both from his writing and now this podcast, which is a must-hear for anyone interested in the topic. I've listened to several episodes a few times—there is a lot to learn in each one! The closing stories are also great. If nothing else, you should listen to Sirlin's story about his quest to find the clock he wanted, at the end of episode 6.