Tadhg Kelly

Tadhg Kelly
Tadhg is a senior video game designer, producer and creative director. Tadhg 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. Tadhg is also a published games industry commentator, having been featured in several key industry publications. He is also a noted blogger. Tadhg spends his time working with Simple Lifeforms defining our vision for social game-play, designing our signature social games and consulting for various video game development companies on their game development and design strategies. CrunchBase profile →

Latest from Tadhg Kelly

  • What Games Are: The PC’s Struggle To App-Up Continues

    What Games Are: The PC’s Struggle To App-Up Continues

    Sim City 5 is yet another game that exposes an inherent conflict at the heart of the PC, about how connected and app-like or independent it should be. Publishers like EA might be trying to convince PC users to think of their games more as services, but PC users are still as reluctant as ever. So are operating system developers. And so the PC continues to muddle on. Read More

  • What Games Are: Real-Money Gaming Is Really Boring

    What Games Are: Real-Money Gaming Is Really Boring

    It may be the case that real-money gambling is inching its way to reality in the U.S., much as it has in the rest of the world, but if so it’s a phenomenally boring story. It’s hard to get excited about a sector that only ever sells the same few game types over and over, and it leads me to wonder when will real innovation ever really make its mark in this space. There’s more… Read More

  • What Games Are: Consoles Are Sinking. Get To The Lifeboats!

    What Games Are: Consoles Are Sinking. Get To The Lifeboats!

    While the Sony press event this week has largely been received as a wasted opportunity, it speaks more to the fate of the game console than the PS4. Microsoft may win the next generation, but will winning really look like total victory or merely an example of being the best loser? With microconsoles shaking up the entire industry from top to bottom, the game console as we know it looks doomed. Read More

  • What Games Are: The “Beyond Games” Mirage

    What Games Are: The “Beyond Games” Mirage

    Both Microsoft and Sony like to wow us with big numbers proclaiming how they are moving beyond games, but the numbers don’t really stack up. For all its vaunted efforts in TV partnerships, for example, the average Xbox is only used for a couple of movies per week. All the rest is games. Both need to stop distracting themselves with some ur-market fantasies of media hubs, or be destroyed. Read More

  • What Games Are: Why The Xbox’s $5 Problem Is Great For OUYA

    What Games Are: Why The Xbox’s $5 Problem Is Great For OUYA

    The news that next-generation consoles may lock games to devices is not controversial by itself, but the willingness to price those games effectively is not historically a strength of Microsoft or Sony. More likely a have-cake-and-eat-it attitude is at play, but that risks driving away younger players to microconsoles like the OUYA. Read More

  • What Games Are: Should Sony Move Beyond PlayStation?

    What Games Are: Should Sony Move Beyond PlayStation?

    On Feb 20th, Sony is holding a press conference in New York for which we assume is the PlayStation 4. Yet, is that really the smartest move that the company could make? With the argument that the PS idea’s time has gone, wouldn’t Sony be better served by rejuvenating their entire operation (including its brand) and letting go of the past? Read More

  • What Games Are: Games Need Their Nielsens

    What Games Are: Games Need Their Nielsens

    With Facebook deciding to hide monthly and daily active users, we have lost the one game platform that could give us reasonably objective data about game performance. We are back to the Dark Ages of vanity metrics as a result. This is something that needs to change. Read More

  • What Games Are: Playing In Interesting Times

    What Games Are: Playing In Interesting Times

    Increasingly, the sentiment in the games industry is that 2013 is going to be a very difficult year. With Facebook effectively over as a platform, social gambling being weaker than anticipated and forthcoming console hardware looking troubled, everybody is worried. As the proverb says, game makers seems to be living in interesting times. Read More

  • What Games Are: The Fun Boson Does Not Exist

    What Games Are: The Fun Boson Does Not Exist

    Perhaps the biggest roadblock facing the development of generation-two social games is the addiction to metrics. Social game makers still believe that fun is about finding the right behaviours, the right metric to measure fun and the right way to maximise that. They are wrong. Fun is, and always has been, a dynamic quality. They need to learn that there is no “fun boson”. Read More

  • What Games Are: Here Come “Local” Mobile Games

    What Games Are: Here Come “Local” Mobile Games

    While the single- and parallel-game types have streaked ahead on mobile platforms, multiplayer games has been more tentative. Particular “local” multiplayer games, of the kind that you play with friends in a location like a pub. However with the arrival of a little game called Spaceteam, I think that may be about to change. Read More

  • The Games Industry Is Driven By Marketing Stories

    The Games Industry Is Driven By Marketing Stories

    Discoverability, collapsing social game models, failing gamification and weak levels of excitement for new gaming platforms have all conspired to make 2012 a complicated year for games. For some this means that the business is all about selling shovels rather than prospecting for gold, but maybe it’s more about identifying the causes that players believe in. Read More

  • All Games Are (In A Sense) Violent

    All Games Are (In A Sense) Violent

    In the wake of a mass shooting or terrorist attack the question of video game violence is raised. Games are often portrayed as little more than drug-addiction meets murder-simulator, and we game makers apologise endlessly. But we are not really being true to ourselves by adopting these apologist positions. In a sense all games are inherently violent. And this is a good thing. Read More

  • Conversations With Whales: The eRepublik 2012 Summit

    Conversations With Whales: The eRepublik 2012 Summit

    Last weekend I attended the “eRepublik International Summit 2012″ in Bucharest and had the opportunity to meet with many of the game’s “whale” players. I saw what they cared about, how the game’s developers and players have a close-knit relationship, and how that conversation is the real heart of the game. For social game makers, there are lessons to be… Read More

  • Real Gamification Mechanics Require Simplicity And, Yes, Game Designers Can Do It

    Real Gamification Mechanics Require Simplicity And, Yes, Game Designers Can Do It

    The mysteries of mechanics are the reason why gamification seems like voodoo. And it shouldn’t be. Game mechanics should be simple to explain, with clear actions and outcomes. So why do we get so confused by this, and how do we separate the “real” mechanics from the “fake” ones? Read More

  • Games Industry Transitions In 2013: Will Consoles And Windows Rise Again?

    Games Industry Transitions In 2013: Will Consoles And Windows Rise Again?

    For retailers and publishers in video games, Christmas is the busiest time of the year. On the digital side, Christmas is often one of the slower periods but, when the dust settles and spring begins, often new heroes emerge. For both, the holidays mark when we begin to wonder what’s going on for games in 2013? Read More

  • The Gameplay Is The Gameplay. Always.

    The Gameplay Is The Gameplay. Always.

    Most of the talk around games tends to focus on climate. It’s about finding the right customers, funding, platform, business model, partnerships, metric and discovery solutions, technology, route to market and so on. However every always says that the first rule of making games is to make sure that the game is fun. Without a fun game there’s no rule two. True, but what does… Read More

  • Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know About Gamification

    Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know About Gamification

    Editor’s note: Tadhg Kelly is a game designer with 20 years experience. There are plenty of people in and around games who make their living largely through behaving like wizards. Nowhere is this more true than in the field of gamification. Is a site an opportunity to engage with a user through a journey? Is a reward a way of maintaining a complex conversation with your users? Read More

  • Are Games Really That Persuasive?

    Are Games Really That Persuasive?

    Beyond the levels, badges, reward points and promised engagement increases, there are many behaviourist game designers who see games as persuasive tools for social change. They see a very wide range of possible benefits from games, such as education, health and awareness of social or political issues and so they want to use games to persuade players. Do they really work though? Read More

  • Get Your Ass To Metro (Windows 8)

    Get Your Ass To Metro (Windows 8)

    Love it or hate it, Windows 8 is a big deal and it’s only going to get bigger. Particularly the Metro side. The Windows Store will bring app store economics to the PC in a way that most users have never experienced before, and that represents a golden opportunity for developers. However they will have to move incredibly quickly to get ahead of the rush. Read More

  • Tablet First, Mobile Second.

    Tablet First, Mobile Second.

    Developers tend to think “mobile first, tablet second” because tablets seem like stretched out mobile devices, and mobiles tend to have much higher install bases. The devs reason that if they design for mobile first and then stretch to fit tablet then that’s probably sufficient. Not so much. Read More