Saturday, July 5, 2008

Directory of Posts

Lost Garden has turned into a rather substantial archive of game design thoughts. In order to help you find essays that you are interested in, I've finally performed a bit of house cleaning and tagged all 200+ posts. Go forth and explore!

Quest: Which essays are "Worth Reading"?
I'm looking for the essays that you found to be more influential on your thinking about games. I'd like to bubble those to the top of the site by marking a handful with the Worth Reading tag. I've tagged a few, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Game Design Science Game Design Craft Game Prototyping Challenges
Game Observations
Conferences and Articles
Personal Feel free to send any comments or errors to danc [at] lostgarden [dot] com.


  1. I have read, reread, printed and forwarded the "Learning from Touring Bands" essay so many times it's not funny. It and the "Boutique MMO" post on Escapist are my top top top, "You should read this article to get some ideas for how we could do this" list.

  2. Thank you, this will make browsing back-articles that much easier!

  3. Thanks so much. I'm not the most regular of lurkers, but returning here is always a genuine pleasure.

  4. Hi Danc,

    Once again thank you for some of the cutest graphics in the world! I am going to build a fun learning game for a friends daughter and these will keep her attention to be sure!

    I also want to use the graphics in a commercial setting (I am an independent game maker/hacker on the side as I have a real job) but I do not see an explicit license anywhere. Reading the posts it seems like they can be used in any context but I wanted to make sure and not make any assumptions.

    Thank You,


  5. Hi, Dan. Is there a way to send you email or a direct message on the blog? I can't seem to find any such in the Lost Garden.

    I'm writing because I love your work and I'm currently adapting much of the 2D Circle Garden for use in Jason Rohrbach's "game" system called Sleep is Death.

    If you aren't familiar with it: It's not a game in and of itself. It's more like a stage that resembles an eight-bit Nintendo-style video game. There is a "player" and a "controller". The UI for the player looks much like an old-fashioned NES RPG.

    There are three choices for the player - Move, Act, and Talk. From the player's point of view, it's very much like playing a crude/simple very old-style RPG. The entire screen is only 208px by 208px.

    From the controller side, there is an assortment of tools for loading objects, tiles, screens, sprites, etc... as well as various ways to alter the dynamically alter the current scene.

    The point, more or less, is to create a story from the "tension" between the controller (who may be leading the player down a plotline or may simply be reacting to the player) and the player (who is reacting to the controller and may be cooperating or trying to go utterly his own direction).

    Each participant has 30 seconds to make his move.

    If you're not familiar, it's worth visiting the website at A small player community has already sprung up at

    Long story short - I'm wondering if you might happen to have any old tilesets laying around that are appropriate to such a "low res" environment? "Circle Garden" is beautiful, but it turns into an antialised blur to large extent when reduced to such a low resolution. The same is true of most other quality sprites/tilesets that are available.

    It occurred to me that you might have some old experimental pixel artish tilesets hanging around that you hadn't released or looked at in a while because they wouldn't be useful in today's environment. If that happened to actually be the case, then SiD is a game that would benefit from that. :-)

    So, apologies for hijacking your comments. :-) I'm not asking for you to design something special. Just figured it couldn't hurt to check if you had any old stuff that might be given a second life by a game with a retro UI. ;-)


    Scott Schultz