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

  • Games After Gamergate Crunch Network

    Games After Gamergate

    Perhaps the greatest testimonial to those who endured Gamergate is not to remember it. To not talk about it all. So I won’t. However one aspect that I will talk about is what it did to game development. For many of us Gamergate destroyed our faith in video games as a medium, an art form and so on. But only temporarily. Read More

  • Is The Windows 10 Store The Next Step For PC Apps And Games? Crunch Network

    Is The Windows 10 Store The Next Step For PC Apps And Games?

    The desktop app revolution never really got started back in 2011, but with Windows 10 it may be reborn. Read More

  • The Sorry State of “Games Are Art” In 2015 Crunch Network

    The Sorry State of “Games Are Art” In 2015

    With Apple’s banning of games wholesale because of a flag we have yet another example of how games are censored more than other media, how games are devalued and treated as second class media citizens. This at a time when experimental games are under threat from all quarters. Games should be treated as equals. Read More

  • Design Tips For VR Games Crunch Network

    Design Tips For VR Games

    VR’s coming whether you like it or not. How best to make use if it? Read More

  • Why I Cautiously Support the App Store Change Crunch Network

    Why I Cautiously Support the App Store Change

    There are very good reasons for Apple’s recent change to the App Store’s listings, especially for games, as the charts had become over-dominated by incumbents at the expense of newer developers. At the same time is this change really enough? Read More

  • Incremental Design Won’t Save You Crunch Network

    Incremental Design Won’t Save You

    In games most studios follow that “distribution” strategy to a greater or lesser degree. A lot of them are concerned about where to find players, how to hold onto them, how to monetize them efficiently and so on. Too often they sideline the issue of how to actually design a game worth playing – to their cost. Read More

  • How Sony Or Microsoft Could Use Subscription To Win Video Games Crunch Network

    How Sony Or Microsoft Could Use Subscription To Win Video Games

    The next stage in the console business seems to be one of updating the business model toward one that provides much more value to players. Which of the major platforms will take that step? Read More

  • Why Games Journalism Should Update Its Thinking

    Why Games Journalism Should Update Its Thinking

    Gaming’s media is increasingly under strain from too much coverage of the same subject matter. And yet the biggest single market for games – mobile – remains very poorly covered. Isn’t it time for games journalists and outlets to update their thinking? Read More

  • How Do You Solve A Problem Like Microsoft? Crunch Network

    How Do You Solve A Problem Like Microsoft?

    It’s great at business software and technology, but Microsoft still struggles to make coherent consumer products. The problem seems ingrained and cultural, starting with its constant reversion to ecosystem plays and through to its increasingly bizarre user interfaces. Maybe the solution is to stop trying to be so fancy and focus more on its engineering roots instead? Read More

  • The Author-ity Wedge Crunch Network

    The Author-ity Wedge

    “Authority” is an interesting word to contemplate. On the one hand it invokes images of dictators and repression. But it also breaks down as author-ity. A seal of approval, of unspecified acceptance, of authorship as opposed to creatorship. Read More

  • The VR-Smartwatch Continuum Crunch Network

    The VR-Smartwatch Continuum

    There’s a lot of enthusiasm at either end of the spectrum for “go big” virtual reality and “go small” smartwatches and other wearable devices. Is the “game-changing” hype of either justified? Or are they overblown? Read More

  • Fixing “Videogames” Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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? Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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

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