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This is the first part of an in-depth look at the design of Desktop Dungeons, the South African game that won the Excellence for Design Award at the IGF. In this part, we look at the player actions, choices, and tension.

Desktop Dungeons: Design Analysis (Part 1)

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Quadtrees are 2D data structures, useful for efficient representation of 2D data (such as images), and lookup in a 2D space. This is a simple implementation tutorial.

Quadtrees: Implementation

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This article gives handy tips for designing and building a platformer. There are tips for designing the interface, handling jumping and collision boundaries of goodies and baddies, implementing AI, and other ways to make a fun game.

11 Tips for making a fun platformer

Two things are key to becoming a great game designer: making games, and playing games. In this article, Rodain Joubert extracts and explains three game design lessons from playing Dungeon Crawl that revolves around difficulty, providing meaningful decisions, and removing tedium from the game interface.

What I Learned from Dungeon Crawl

To prototype and get early feedback is great for getting rid of bugs, get ideas, test the fun factor, and keep yourself motivated. Use these tips get more players to play your game when it is not finished.

Making a tester’s life less miserable

Gratuitous Space Battles is more management and strategy than action. In this review of the game, Van Wyk Louw looks at the core mechanics, and notes some of the problems of the game.

Gratuitous Space Battles

Eufloria (originally named Dyson) made it into the IGF finalists in 2009. It’s a real-time strategy game, where you create space colonies using trees. Gareth Wilcock reviews the game.


"Competition 23" was not about making games; it was about marketing games. The winners used forums, social networks, and public demos to create buzz for their games. In this article, Danny Day gives a summary of the competition results, and the three winners explain what they have learnt.

Competition 23 Results

Machinarium is Amanita Design's beautiful puzzle-adventure game. It is set in a world inhibited by robots, and your task is to prevent the bad robots from blowing up the city. Quinton Bronkhorst tells you what he thinks of it.


In this article, Quinton Bronkhorst compares World Train Royale with a chocolate cake with too many ingredients: delicious to imagine, but too rich too consume. The early parts of the game work well, but as features get added the gameplay suffers.

World Train Royale