Critical SuccessPodcasts

15. John Harper

John Harper is responsible for some of the most fun and influential micro systems on the internet. With games like Lasers and Feelings, Lady Blackbird, and Ghost Echo in his portfolio Harper is the king of micro games. In this discussion James and John discuss Johns approach to gaming, his design philosophy, loosen the definition of “game designer,” and fix everything.


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7 Responses to “15. John Harper”

  1. EvanKRingo October 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm //

    Not sure if anyone else had this problem, but I only got audio out of the left headphone. Wasn’t my headphones or device as other podcasts sounded fine. Usually ya’ll have superb audio quality but this one was a little hard to listen to.


  2. ThomasCeliusPettersen October 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm //

    What did he say he was watching on youtube? Adam Kob.. Kobold.. Koebel?


  3. ThomasCeliusPettersen October 11, 2014 at 12:08 am //

    Are you going to do any more micro-game competitions?


  4. Kevin Crawford October 11, 2014 at 12:39 am //

    That was a very interesting listen, and I’d agree with the John’s estimation of the importance of personal branding as a game designer. The ability to get out there and be an active, recognizable participant on gaming boards and Facebook and G+ and so forth is really all the marketing a new solo publisher is ever going to get. If they don’t do that, the only way they’re ever going to be heard above the background noise is the way I do it, through sheer ubiquity of production. That’s not a practical solution for creators who want to have a life away from InDesign.

    But there are rewards for those willing to make the commitment.A designer who identifies a market, writes games and content aimed at that market, and runs their business with a modicum of savvy can indeed make non-trivial amounts of money. I have a day job, but if I were obliged to live only on the income I get from Stars Without Number and my other games I’d still have a comfortably middle-class life.Storefronts like the OneBookshelf sites of RPGNow/DTRPG combined with modern POD and effective Kickstarter use have made zero-to-fulltime RPG design more feasible now than it’s ever been before.


  5. JamesOS October 13, 2014 at 2:37 am //

    EvanKRingo I am going to have this fixed net week. Sorry for the inconvenience!


  6. JamesOS October 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm //

    ThomasCeliusPettersen IT was that ran the contest. I expressed interest in retuning as a judge if they ever run it again.


  7. DavidWard2 March 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm //

    What was the book John mentions at the start play.. something?