Casual Gaming Design Process with Dave Rohrl

Dave Rohrl has more than 22 years experience designing and producing online games for a mass audience.  Over the course of his career, he has led design or production on more than 50 games and overseen or consulted on dozens more and held senior positions at Pogo, PopCap, Zynga, and Playdom.

In this episode we discuss the design process, especially as it pertains to preproduction on casual games. Listen to learn why he encourages bad code and art early in the process and many of the tactics he brings to bear in order to achieve "fun" fast.

"I just have this massive library of things that work." -Dave Rohrl

"I just have this massive library of things that work." -Dave Rohrl

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Connect with Dave

The Mobile Game Doctor

Selected Links for the Episode

Games Mentioned:
Railroad Tycoon 
Reader Rabbit
Star Wars Commander
Plants vs. Zombies

Companies Mentioned:
The Learning Company
PopCap Games

People Mentioned:
Todd Kerpelman
Jason Kapalka
George Fan
Mark Cerny
Sukhbir Sidhu 
Steve Meretzky
Raph Koster
Dave Grossman

Featured Show Highlights

  • Identify great skillsets to have when designing games for the actual user by understanding your demographics and design for them rather than yourself.

  • My greatest influencers from other game designers worked with over the past 15+ years

  • Important Processes for game development design, such as the Cerny Method

  • I design based on the 5 Fun Factors.

  • Explanation of why prototype code should be in a different program than your development platform

  • How strong do you want your proof and conviction to be when doing a soft launch on a mobile game that has millions invested into it? We’ll discuss those details.

  • Stay tuned for designs Dave is working on the design aspects of a game you play entirely using the audio from the bluetooth stereo of your car.