Tadhg Kelly

Tadhg Kelly

Tadhg is a video game designer, producer, creative director, columnist and consultant. He has held roles at various video game development, technology and publishing companies. Since the early 90s, Tadhg has worked on all sorts of game projects, from boardgames and live action roleplaying games through to multi-million dollar PC projects. He has served as lead designer, senior producer and a number of other roles at several companies including BSkyB, Lionhead and Climax.

He was a cofounder of the social gaming startup Simple Lifeforms before moving on to becoming a consultant in the game design space through founding noted industry blog What Games Are (www.whatgamesare.com). A recent immigrant to the United States, Tadhg has most recently worked at Jawfish Games, OUYA and for some other studios on a consulting basis.

Tadhg is currently consulting out of Seattle for a variety of companies under the banner of Tadhg Kelly Game Design, as well as writing a book named Raw Game Design to be published next year by Focal Press and a weekly gaming column for TechCrunch. You can reach him at tadhgk@gmail.com.

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Latest from Tadhg Kelly

  • Fixing “Videogames”

    Fixing “Videogames”

    Games don’t seem to be taking over the world. Games struggle to gain a wider acceptance equivalent to their footprint. Plenty of people play games but much fewer want to really associate themselves with “Videogames”, an entity that many people within gaming talk about, participate in and subscribe to. And Videogames is often not warm. It’s cold, sour and riven with… Read More

  • Notes From The Game Developers Conference

    Notes From The Game Developers Conference

    This year’s GDC featured a wide range of themes and topics, subjects of interest and discussion. It was also a somewhat uncertain and quiet GDC however. Read More

  • The Lesson of Peter Molyneux

    The Lesson of Peter Molyneux

    If you pay any attention to the gaming world, it’s hard not to notice the unfortunate flameout of Peter Molyneux. Once a respected figure, now synonymous with fanciful promises and untruths, his current plight is awful to behold. And yet at the same time Molyneux has an important lesson to teach, about the value of creativity and ambition in gaming that we all too easily forget. Read More

  • Is Premium Mobile Gaming Viable?

    Is Premium Mobile Gaming Viable?

    We can look at success stories and naysayers, but the question of whether a real push into premium on mobile is utterly open. In this post/thought-experiment I’m asking some of the key questions and wondering if there are any answers. Read More

  • The Reason To Be Cheerful About HoloLens

    The Reason To Be Cheerful About HoloLens

    With the release of the HoloLens, Microsoft put something out there that has a chance of being transformative. Not in the high concept way, but in a general way especially for gaming. But is Microsoft able to bring it home, or will it get lost in its own ambitions as it has so often before. Read More

  • The Message Is The Product: Solving Mobile Gaming’s Price Problem

    The Message Is The Product: Solving Mobile Gaming’s Price Problem

    The medium is the message, says Marshall McLuhan. If so the message is the product too. In considering the problem of paid games on mobile (conventional wisdom says people won’t pay for them) it seems more than ever that that reasoning applies. Mobile game makers don’t market premium, so they can’t charge premium. Time to take a leaf from Hollywood’s book. Read More

  • Reflections On Microconsoles

    Reflections On Microconsoles

    For a time I believed that microconsoles might change the face of the games industry, but they haven’t really worked out. Thoughts on why. Read More

  • The Perfect Gaming Phone

    The Perfect Gaming Phone

    As a recent acquirer of an iPhone 6 Plus I had thought that a bigger phone would have better battery and be easier on my eyes. However what I hadn’t expected was the degree to which playing games on it would be much more fun than on my previous iPhone. Read More

  • An Open Letter To Tim Cook About Game Censorship

    An Open Letter To Tim Cook About Game Censorship

    An open letter to the CEO of Apple to change the company’s mind in how it handles the vetting of game content, as happened this week with Papers Please. Video games are an art form just like movies or music and deserve equal treatment. Read More

  • Investing In Games: Broad Or Deep?

    Investing In Games: Broad Or Deep?

    Suppose two studios approach you. Studio A has a strategy centered around making a big play on one game. It plans to take your investment and use it to make that game as best it can and find success. Studio B has a different idea. It plans to make many small games, build a platform and ecosystem between them and see which works. Then to accelerates what works to success. Which should you choose? Read More

  • Crowdfunding Ain’t The Bank

    Crowdfunding Ain’t The Bank

    We in the games trade like the crowdfunding avenue in so far as the money that it brings, but we still struggle to not hold our communities at one remove as we might investors. As a result we are often mistreating fans even when we don’t mean to. We need to get better at the skill of community. Read More

  • The Lesson Of Monument Valley

    The Lesson Of Monument Valley

    I’m fascinated by the reviews left by Monument Valley players after learning that new content was going to cost an extra $2. Why does something so apparently ordinary generate such resentment? Read More

  • What Is Journalism Anymore?

    What Is Journalism Anymore?

    With the increasing rise of YouTubers, movements like Gamergate and so on, questions about the role of journalism abound. Who’s a journalist? What does it even mean to be a “journalist” as opposed to something else? Does anyone really know anymore? Read More

  • Is Mobile Gaming The New Core Gaming?

    Is Mobile Gaming The New Core Gaming?

    With mobile gaming revenue set to eclipse console next and year and PC by 2017, the question should be asked whether what we currently call “core” gaming really is any such thing any more. Or are mobile phone games the true inheritors of that mantle. Read More

  • Mobile Games Need Their Artists

    Mobile Games Need Their Artists

    With mobile having relatively stabilized the question is what the next generation of games for the platform will look like, and how the industry needs a patron class of publisher to facilitate more creative games. Otherwise mobile may well stall. Read More

  • So Long #Gamergate. What Did You Teach Us?

    So Long #Gamergate. What Did You Teach Us?

    The hashtag is still going, as are the fervent speculations and plans for operations on 8chan and Reddit, but the movement that is #Gamergate is dead. But what, if anything, did it teach us? Read More

  • Why And How To Hire A Game Designer

    Why And How To Hire A Game Designer

    I am a game designer but I don’t envy the task of potential employers or partners in trying to find someone like me to hire. Game design is very difficult to assess from the outside, to understand what role you think it would play in your team and whether it would be a fit. Some thoughts on how to approach it. Read More

  • The #Gamergate Answer

    The #Gamergate Answer

    In response to my article last week I got a fair degree of heated comments, but most civil ones said that the gamergate issue was about journalistic integrity. Is it? Or is it actually about the culture of games? And how does that affect the industry going forward? Read More

  • The #Gamergate Question

    The #Gamergate Question

    Depending on how closely you follow the gaming and tech press, you may have heard of #gamergate. Those of us inside the industry have. This week it’s essentially all we’ve been able to talk about. How has this reactionary movement spawned from sexist roots managed to go so far, and what does it say about the industry? Read More

  • Mobile’s “One Game Wonder” Problem

    Mobile’s “One Game Wonder” Problem

    Mobile gaming is a massive success, but it’s notable how many big game makers struggle to convert their successes into longer term franchises or other offerings. This week’s King news is just another example. Perhaps with stronger community features, however, that could change. Read More

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