Aaron Nemoyten stops by to talk about his work on Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and Heroes of Dragon Age, which gives us a chance to talk about live ops and monetization—two topics that are core to how players experience games, but that only semi-seldomly get talked about as game design. We then dive into his newer, smaller, more experimental games.

Also Brazil, MDK, and naturally, DOOM.

You can see a while bunch of Aaron’s work on his website.
You can also follow Aaron on Twitter.

• City Wave (probably more properly called City Pop) rules. “Plastic Love” is probably the one that YouTube most famously surfaced to people algorithmically. Personally, Drew is partial to “Someday.” That bassline! Mariya Takeuchi and Tatsuro Yamashita are sort of the first couple of of the genre. And like a lot of people, Drew likely wouldn’t have known much about any of the above if not for algorithmic curation.

Sandwiches of History is also on YouTube, for us olds. Roll for Sandwich, not so much.

The Art of Game Design (also known as The Book of Lenses) is a foundational text to the way game design is currently taught in academia, and one that’s weirdly unknown outside of it.

• Here’s Aaron’s talk on game design, and his essay on Mafia Wars and Team Fortress 2.

• And here are his postmortems on Heroes of Dragon Age, and on Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. Oh, and let’s not forget his Doom 2 level (or for that matter his Portal 2 levels).

• Since we talked, Aaron did release Idle Overlord, and also published a bunch more write-ups, including on Superhero City, Starbeard, that one Madagascar game, and the unreleased Dungeon Keeper Social.

The Action Button review of DOOM clocks in at three hours, thirty minutes, and twenty-two seconds, for the record. (Svelte, by what turned out to be Action Button standards).

• Why did Drew say As You Like It? He clearly should have said Hamlet: Citizen Kane didn’t get to be Citizen Kane by trying to be the Hamlet of movies.

• The eternal problem of shiny new tech making games less flexible, less open, and perhaps even less uniquely games—that came up in a wonderfully weird way in the recent episode of The Video Games History Hour about Toonstruck and Siliwood.
“All The People Say (Season 5)” by Carpe Demon.
Some music from the Moustachevania OST (as it currently exists) by Aaron Nemoyten.

We’re on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Spotify, PocketCasts, and just about everywhere else. You can also subscribe using good old-fashioned RSS.

Logo by Aaron Perry-Zucker, using Icons by by Llisole, Dávid Gladiš, Atif Arshad, Daniel Nochta, Mike Rowe, Jakub Čaja, Raji Purcell and IconsGhost from the Noun Project.

Left-click to play. Right-click to download.

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