What is The Commune?
We're a group of gamers, and we're always looking for new gamers to join us. Every month or so, we pick a game to play. We chat about the game together, and we record podcasts, record videos, and write essays. You can reach The Commune in the following ways: As for me, I'm Greg Livingston, but I go by Golem. I organize things around here.


Eliot Leo C-S (Sunset Brawlers)
Aug 10, 2017
Sunset Brawlers is a platform fighter for mobile devices from Eliot Leo C-S and Bryan Tong. This interview with Eliot covers physics, multiplayer balancing, and character balance.
Dan Silber (Interstellar Invaders)
Aug 9, 2017
Dan Silber tells us about Interstellar Invaders, a game that combines Breakout and Missile Command. Along the way, we hear about learning from shows, how the game scales difficulty (both in punishments and rewards), and more.
Alex Higgins (Bloodjak)
Aug 6, 2017
Bloodjak is a space shooter where you need to successfully eject to save your high score. Alex Higgins tells us about enemy design, difficulty variation, and emotive design.
Lucas Govatos (Epitasis)
Aug 4, 2017
Epitasis is a mysterious adventure game in an isolated land. Lucas Govatos explains his approach to visuals versus gameplay, world and puzzle structure, and visual design.
Justin Lindsey (Lunaform)
Aug 4, 2017
Lunaform is a color-matching action game about catching stars to build planets. Justin Lindsey talks about how far to strain a player's cognitive load, variation on a theme, and more.
Tyler Pomplon (BlockGame)
Jul 28, 2017
BlockGame combines the thoughtful color-matching of a puzzle game and the twitch action of a platformer, and Tyler Pomplon explains how these two genres co-exist.
Mike Cowden (Super 80s World)
Aug 11, 2016
Mike Cowden explains variety and difficulty design in his auto-runner, Super 80s World.
Rick Kelly (Heroes Guard: The Journal)
Aug 8, 2016
Heroes Guard: The Journal features character building and card-based combat integrated into a memoir. Rick Kelly details the design that keeps it all together.
Jesse Ozog (Dr. Spazezoo)
Aug 6, 2016
Jesse Ozog balances between animal rescue and fierce combat in Dr. Spacezoo.
Chris Totten (Dead Man's Trail)
Aug 1, 2016
Chris Totten explains resource management and post-apocalyptic level design in Dead Man's Trail.
Francisco Portalo Calero (Paco Portalo) (Bugaboo (The Flea))
Apr 27, 2016
Paco Portalo recalls his time working on Bugaboo and discusses its design principles.
Eduardo Mena (Bugaboo (The Flea))
Apr 23, 2016
Eduardo Mena, a professor of computer science with an interest in video game history, discusses the history of Spanish game software and the impact of Bugaboo.
Mike Hanson (Flix the Flea)
Apr 20, 2016
Mike Hanson, developer of Flix the Flea, details maze design and difficulty curves.
Ed Linley (Bullet Pea)
Apr 16, 2016
Ed Linley details maze design and jumping controls in Bullet Pea and Bugaboo (The Flea).
Thomas Happ (Axiom Verge)
Apr 7, 2016
Thomas Happ speaks on story, map design, and purpose in Axiom Verge.
Anthony Powell (That Rock Paper Scissors Game)
Aug 2, 2015
Philosoplay's Anthony Powell discusses the balance of competition in That Rock Paper Scissors Game.
Pixelbot Games (CANARI)
Aug 2, 2015
CANARI tasks players with energy management in unfamiliar territory.
Melanie Stegman (Immune Defense)
Aug 2, 2015
Melanie Stegman outlines the transition from real-world science to engaging gameplay in Immune Defense.
Elijah Fernandez (Relic)
Jul 28, 2015
Elijah Fernandez details the importance of setting and the progression of weapons in Relic.
Stomp Team (Stomp)
Jul 28, 2015
Stomp challenges players to crush buildings with their bodies.
HueBots Team (HueBots)
Jul 28, 2015
The HueBots development team discusses puzzle planning and variety.
Martin Mauersics (Throw Out)
May 16, 2015
Martin Mauersics discusses his approach to high score and covering the gamut of player skill.
CAE Jones
Sep 10, 2014
Audio game developer CAE Jones details his experiences designing and developing audio games.
Maciej Sawitus (Puzzled Rabbit)
Jun 4, 2014
Maciej Sawitus discusses puzzle progression, repetition, and theme.
Ben Ruiz (Aztez)
Apr 11, 2014
Ben Ruiz gives us the lowdown on how to manipulate players via health and how beat 'em ups approach mechanical depth.
Emily Short (Counterfeit Monkey)
Mar 26, 2014
Emily Short discusses how she constructed Counterfeit Monkey, both in terms of individual puzzle logic and the overall rhythm of the game.
Matt Thorson (An Untitled Story)
Jan 19, 2014
Matt Thorson combined exploration and tight platforming in An Untitled Story. Here, he details his approach to the adventure platformer blend.
Arkeus (Arzea)
Dec 13, 2013
How can a game make backtracking meaningful? Arzea developer Arkeus talks about his approach to backtracking, exploration, and balancing.
Locomalito (Hydorah)
Jun 23, 2013
Hydorah developer Locomalito discusses how he made Hydorah accessible without disappointing the old school shmup crowd.
Sean Hogan (Anodyne)
Feb 26, 2013
Sean Hogan talks about boss design and exploration in Anodyne.
Jonathan Wright (Dark Run)
Feb 6, 2013
How does learning work in a procedurally generated game? We hear from Jonathan Wright, creator of the procedurally generated Flash game Dark Run.