Interview with Federico Fasce of Urustar – DAG Pod 8


In this Design a Game podcast we interviewed Federico Fasce, game designer at Urustar, a small video game factory based in Genova, Italy.

The audio quality of the podcast is not perfect, but it gets better after a while. It is also a quite long interview, but we touch several different topics. Here is the podcast:

Design A Game POD 8 Federico Fasce


Some of the links quoted:

The Urustar game Anheuristic done at Global Game Jam 2013.






On the Bosch art game.




The Proteus game.

For the various game design books that we quoted I’ve put together a public list on Amazon.

Premio Archimede is here:

You can find Federico Fasce on Twitter here, and Pietro Polsinelli on Twitter here.

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From HTML5 websites to HTML5 games

The slides of a short talk I gave at @appsfuel for web developers that want to try to create HTML5 games.

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Applying for a job in videogames. Signed: Leonardo da Vinci

Dear Sirs,

I am hereby applying for all positions in your company.

For game narrative and scripting, you should check my theatrical pieces. Today you can also see theater pieces using my writings.

battiloroFor programming, I actually used it extensively. Like for my machine for thinning gold, it can be programmed for any sequence of movements in a two dimensional space.

File:Peter Paul Ruben's copy of the lost Battle of Anghiari.jpg
As general illustrator and for concept research, see my sketches for “Battle of Anghiari”.

On 2D/3D, I did some minor frescoes.

Leonardo’s work in 3D in evidence.

Mona Lisa for videogamesNote that among infinite other crucial discoveries, I invented the use of transparency layers for generating depth effects; I hereby present a version of my Mona Lisa adapted to the aesthetic criteria in use in videogames today.
I also did extensive architectural design of houses, castles, cannon resistant fortifications, so if you are going for a tower defense game, I’m the man.

I also did town map design – actually I was the first to do it applying consistently geometric methods, so in a sense I invented modern cartography. Also consider my bridge over bridge for the Golden Horn

Leonardo project for Golden Horn bridge

Leonardo project for Golden Horn bridge

De Divina Proportione, fine art facsimile edition
For specific game illustration, you should check my work with Luca Pacioli on geometry. I gave him also some advice concerning his chess problems drawings, without great results.


As playtester, I contributed most solutions to Luca’s chess study.






Some malevolent people insinuate that I have some problems shipping in time, but I say that quality will be remembered long after delay has been forgotten.

Finally, if there is any other field of knowledge even remotely connected to your videogame design, I feel I can always give a hand: my knowledge may be slightly outdated but I catch up quickly. More on my works here.


Leonardo da Vinci

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Rock, paper, scissors as a game mechanic

imageIf you play strategy war games, you will have met this mechanic: swordsmen beat pikemen, pikemen beat cavalry, cavalry beats swordsmen. This simple rule can make a game hard and interesting.  To learn more:

rock, paper scissors on Wikipedia

– a detailed presentation of Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors

– how to win at it every time

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Videogames didn’t kill boardgames

game on

… we’ve found a place for radio in a world full of televisions

It may be that videogames are a way to create more players, and then convert them… 6 Board Games That Video Gamers Should Play

board gamesAlso, from a game design point of view, “When you buy a board game what you play is the original concept precisely as it was in the designer’s head”.

P.S. See this post on how book shops can live in the age of digital books: What are bookshops for today?

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Prototype a game in 48 hours: 7 easy tricks

A video from 2009 by Kyle Gabler which is still inspirational:

This may come particularly handy if you ever participate in a Global Game Jam.

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Engagement by Design talk – and game mockups

This is the talk I’ve given about “Engagement by Design” at Better Software 2012:

Relating to game design and mockupping, I hope this talk shows the conceptual density necessary in game design. This reinforces the argument for mockupping, because of the complexity of the matter at hand; a nice quote I heard from @AntonioVolpon is

“build the least viable prototype”

(and a mockup before that) – an improvement with respect to “build the minimal viable product”.

All the links quoted in the talk are collected in this booklet.

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