Brian Urbanek of Cryptic Studios on Matching Theme and Mechanics in Game Design


Tuesday, May 11, 2010 -

7:30pm to 9:30pm


Ohlone Room, Student Union
San José State University

The Plan

We will have a guest speaker, Brian Urbanek from Cryptic Studios, talking about game design, probably. We must have a contact at Cryptic or something, this is the second time we've had someone from there to present.

Brian has been working on MMO design for over ten years! He most recently worked on the design of superpowers and combat in Champions Online, the "subscription-based, superhero-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game by former City of Heroes/Villains developer Cryptic Studios based on the Champions license." ((Wikipedia is the best.))

Okay here's some interesting links

  • Champions Online's website has an interview with him that should give you an idea of what it is he does for a living (or did in September 2008, anyways). Recommended!
  • He wrote two articles (one two) about balancing systems in Champions, both of which are fascinating, seriously!
  • He was one of four developers interviewed for an article about balancing classes in MMOs. I think I am seeing a pattern here.
  • He was interviewed in three parts (one two three) about combat dynamics and powers and balancing and math.

I haven't read all of these, but you should! Do as I say, not as I do. And then come to the meeting, which I will be doing.

Update: His talk will be titled Matching Theme and Mechanics in Game Design, it will be 30-40 minutes, and it will have a Q&A at the end. This is something I have been thinking about in the back of my mind, so I'm looking forward to it! Are you?

What Actually Happened

Thanks to Brian Urbanek (of Cryptic Studios (of Champions Online)) for giving us an idea of the things he thinks about while he's designing! It was super fascinating and super informative.

Event added by Kelsey Higham


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