I posted a link on MeFi to John Walker’s lament about boss fights in video games. I think the comments generally came down on the side of well-designed boss fights and anti “git gud.”
My buddy Dan Jacka recently finished making a video game called Accounting With Emma and he’s published a wonderful write-up about why he made the game, the tools he used, and what he had to learn to finish it
This is the first game I’ve ever polished. I’ve made throwaway efforts before, but for Accounting with Emma I was motivated to produce an appealing and useful resource for people trying to understand accounting. Polishing meant having decent graphics and music, flourishes with hints, sound effects and animations, and a story with beginning, middle and satisfying end.
You can play Accounting With Emma on itch.io. Give it a go! It’s really well polished and you might even learn something!
Civilization’s 1 and 2 were perfect games for me. I spent hundreds of hours building empires and crushing my neighbours beneath the tracks of my tanks. The later versions added concepts I loved but the endgame became tedious. I haven’t played versions 5 and 6.
In this GDC talk Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley go fairly deep into the design, programming of the first Civilization, talking about the constraints and design philosophy that made the game a hit and set the series up for success.