Checkpoints Podcast Interview

I recently appeared on episode 74 of Checkpoints podcast to talk about my life in gaming: From my first taste of Pong to treating anxiety with competitive Magic. Thanks to Declan Dineen for having me on. The entire Checkpoints series is available on iTunes and there are lots of great episodes. It was a real honour…

Build Better Game Products By Asking Why Not What

Note: Much of the thinking in this article has evolved from my practice of the thoughts and theories described by Simon Sinek in his excellent book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. When talking about our projects we often start with “what” we are making: What the gameplay is, what…

Think Product Not Design

When I interviewed at A Thinking Ape I remember saying “I am a designer” a lot. Often accompanied by “I’m not an analyst” and “I’m not in marketing”. Fortunately for me the interview panel felt I had a decent enough grasp of what I claimed I didn’t know to offer me the Product Lead position.…

Pixel Miner: Designing for Addiction

In the polite society of games addiction is so loaded a term we like to use synonyms such as “sticky”. Semantics aside, I designed Pixel Miner, like any of my games, to be addictive. I wanted to have players entranced not for any mean-spirited reason, but to prove that the games I make are effective…

In F2P You Aren’t At War With Your Players

Too often the free-to-play model is seen as cynical. That businesses are at war with “users” for their wallets. That users are like cattle to be herded in to the pen of your game and their teats hooked up to the IAP machine and *slurp-slurp-slurp*. If the cattle disobey then you prod them, whip them,…

Free-to-Play Review Round Up

With Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away out a little while I wanted to round up and reflect the critical reception, which has been overwhelmingly positive. The first professional review came PocketGamer.biz‘s Jon Jordan who said: Those already well-experienced in the field will enjoy Luton’s logic, if not learning much new. Everyone else…

Book Launch Party In Photos

Last Sunday at Loading Bar (Soho, London) I held a small party to celebrate the launch of my book. There was a great turn out of friends and family who enjoyed games, food and cocktails with me. Luckily we had Will Edgecombe on hand to take some photos and they came out great. Thank you…

Why My Book Isn’t Free, But Is

The first thing those with penchant for smugness like to ask of my book (Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away) is, “why isn’t it free?” Their lips curl and their eyes shine. The book hasn’t even shipped yet and already I’ve had this asked of me by at least a dozen people, each…