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Justin Fischer's Blog - Competitive Advantage and the Productivity Frontier, Or Why Dark Souls is the Ikea of Game Development. Competitive Advantage and the Productivity Frontier, Or Why Dark Souls is the Ikea of Game Development The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. One of the major figures of business academia is a man named Michael Porter. Porter, a professor at the Harvard Business School, is possibly most famous for his trademark “Five Forces Analysis”, but he is also the author of one of the definitive books on competition, Competitive Strategy. Porter argues that efficiency, while important, is not enough to create a true competitive advantage. Porter argues that efficiency, while important, is not enough to create a true competitive advantage. So what is a true competitive advantage?

Strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities. What does all that mean? Examples help. Well, think about it. How Dark Souls' multiplayer mechanics are invading other worlds. There's something terrifying, in a very primal sense, about the way total strangers invade your world in Dark Souls. The first time it happened to me, I almost quit the game. The hair on the back of my neck prickled with fear that another human being was in the game -- and somewhere, somehow, they were doing their best to take me out. Over time I came to relish the thrill of being hunted, and it seems I'm not alone. Popularized by From Software’s Souls games, the concept of players invading each other’s games has inspired developers around the industry to come up with interesting new ways of blurring the lines between single-player and multiplayer experiences.

From big-budget 2014 debuts like Watch Dogs to more contemporary projects like Dying Light, developers seem excited to pick up what From Software is laying down and play around with ways to inject similar levels of tension and uncertainty into their own work. "It creates a feeling of paranoia. From Demon's Souls to Bloodborne: Hidetaka Miyazaki's creative journey. Bloodborne: You are the experience points. Tim Rogers is a game developer and writer. His next game is Videoball for PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. Do the Souls games have a Secret Design Formula? Well, yes. As far as I can tell, here it is: 1. Now that I've used up my "say something snippy" quota for the week, I want to be serious about Bloodborne and the Souls games: I like them a lot. I like them because they have great action design, they have great level design, and they have great experience design. Controlling a humanoid character in a game has always been, for me, a mildly body-horrible experience.

This is part of the reason why I like games about simple polygons. The Souls games, meanwhile, perform a civilized fancy dance (maybe a waltz) with the body-horror of using a video game controller to remote-control a humanlike character inside a television. "This swirly, loopy, floppy, happy puppy of a noodly delay before the pounce is the action warm-up, and it is maybe the most important element of Souls action design.

" ... DayZ's Hall on balancing realism and game design. "I look at the 'real' and then I try to find a solution that mirrors the same emotional/thought processes. This is then the authentic solution, and that's the one I go for. " - DayZ creator Dean Hall on the boundary between realism and game design in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. The DayZ alpha has already hit 1 million sales on Steam Early Access, and project lead Dean Hall is not shy about sharing his opinions. In a new Ask Me Anything on Reddit, he was open about a lot of topics, but most interesting to developers, perhaps, are his thoughts on game development.

DayZ is renowned for its realism -- in that it's a simulation of a zombie apocalypse rather than a pure game experience. Hall made headlines for climbing Mount Everest last year, but he says that developing DayZ is "much, much harder" than climbing mountains. "Probably because the buck stops with me. Dean Hall Discusses DayZ's Development Process. DayZ blew up bigger than its creator, Dean Hall, ever expected.

Now, he and a team at Arma developer Bohemia Interactive have taken on the task of radically reimagining the popular mod as a full-fledged standalone game, moving to MMO server technology and adding a great deal of new gameplay innovations. He puts its success down to its player stories, and how the specific game design he came up with triggers innate psychological triggers people are born with regarding ownership and loss. That is not all. In this eclectic interview, Hall discusses everything from the game's initial inspirations in his career as a soldier, to how his team has integrated Steam into the game's build process, and how he hopes to run a successful Minecraft-like alpha for the game. What do you think made it so popular, now that you've had some time to reflect on it?

An example being... Let's say I give you my hat for 10 minutes. I think those are intrinsic human things. DH: Well, I think humans understand loss.