Applied Game Design is primarily the blog of Brenda Garno Brathwaite, but features several other authors who also happen to be game designers including Ian Schreiber and John Sharp.
You can reach Brenda on twitter at @br or via email at her [first name] at [romero dot com].
Brenda makes games, plays games, is happy and laughs a lot.
Brenda Brathwaite is a game designer, artist, writer and game developer who entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15. She worked with Sir-tech Software for 18 years on the Wizardry series and later the Jagged Alliance series among others before moving on to work with Atari on Dungeons & Dragons. During this time, Brenda had the opportunity to work alongside legends in the game industry and quite literally apprenticed in the ways of game design moving up through the ranks from lowly acolyte to lead game designer to creative director.
Since her days at Atari, Brenda has worked with a variety of companies, including Electronic Arts, Cyberlore, Firaxis and numerous companies in the social media space. She is presently co-founder, COO and a game designer at Loot Drop. Brenda develops her games both in analog and digital mediums, depending on the needs of the game. She has worked as a system designer, writer, level designer, world designer, lead designer and creative director throughout the years.
Brenda served on the board of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) until July 2010, and is presently on the advisory board for the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play and the advisory board for Game Developer Magazine. She was named Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010 and also was a nominee in Microsoft’s 2010 Women in Games game design awards. In 2009, Train won the coveted Vanguard Award at IndieCade for “pushing the boundaries of game design and showing us what games can do.” She was named one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by Gamasutra.com in 2008 and of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.
Current Industry Involvement
Advisory Group – Smithsonian Museum, Art of Video Games Exhibition
- Board of Advisors – Game Developer Magazine
- Board of Advisors – International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play
- Board of Advisors – Fantastic Fest Film Festival Arcade
Current Areas of Practice and Study
- Social gaming and Facebook
- Non-digital games
- Game design as an art form
- Using games to teach emotionally difficult subjects
- Ravenwood Fair (2010), Lolapps
- Critter Island (2010), Lolapps
- Garden Life (2010), Lolapps
- SuperPoke Pets (2009), Slide
- SPP Ranch (2009), Slide
- Top Fish (2009), Slide
- The Box, Non-Digital, Independent, Co-Designer (unreleased)
- Us (2009), Non-Digital, Independent, Co-Designer (unreleased)
- Train (2009), Non-Digital, Independent
- Siochan Leat (2008), Non-digital, Independent
- The New World (2008), Non-digital, Independent
- OneHundredDogs.com concept for Game Design Challenge (2008), Independent
- Def Jam: Icon (Story Mode System Design) (2007), Electronic Arts
- Playboy: The Mansion, Party Pak (2006), ARUSH Entertainment, Groove Games
- Playboy: The Mansion (2005), ARUSH Entertainment, Groove Games
- Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes (2003), Atari, Inc.
- Wizardry 8 (2001), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant (1992), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge (1990), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom (1989), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Wizardry IV: The Return of Werdna (1988), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Wizardry III: Legacy of Llylgamyn (1986), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds (1985), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1981), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Nemesis: The Wizardry Adventure (1996), Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Inc.
- Wizardry Gold (1996), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business (2000), Interplay Entertainment Corp.
- Jagged Alliance 2 (1999), TalonSoft
- Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games (1995), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Jagged Alliance (1994), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Realms of Arkania Vol. 2: Star Trail (1994), Fantasy Productions Verlags
- Realms of Arkania Vol. 1: Blade of Destiny (1991), Fantasy Productions Verlags
- Druid: Daemons of the Mind (1995), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Freakin’ Funky Fuzzballs (1990), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Crypt of Media (1984), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Rescue Raiders (1984), Sir-tech Software, Inc.
- Game Design Has Become a Game, Inside Social Games, December 13, 2010
- Creating Closure in Social Games, Inside Social Games, November 29, 2010
- Women in Games: From Famine to Facebook, Huffington Post, March 23, 2010
- Cred vs. Influence (or Killing Our Soul), Kotaku, January 14, 2010
- In Transition, The Escapist Magazine, December 15, 2009
- How Do You Stay Motivated?, gamasutra.com, October 9, 2009
- Parting Ways with Our NPCs, The Escapist Magazine, September 2, 2009
- The +1 Road to Happiness, Gamasutra, July 20, 2009
- Ivory Tower Defense, The Escapist Magazine, May 2009
- Types of Conflict in Games, Gamasutra, March 2, 2009
- The Myth of the Media Myth, The Escapist Magazine, March 25, 2008
- The Game Design Game, The Escapist Magazine, February 2, 2008
- What if the Player is Black?, The Escapist, November 2008
- Ethics in Video Games: Teaching Values Through Play, contributor, March 31, 2010
- Challenges for Game Designers, with Ian Schreiber, Cengage Learning, August 21, 2008
- Sex in Video Games, Charles River Media, August 30, 2006