Deconstructor of Fun breaks down successful free-to-play games in search of what makes them fun - or not. All of the contributors to this site are both gamers and game makers.
Writing detailed deconstructions takes a lot of time and effort and it wouldn't be possible without the powerful peer reviews from all the contributors to the site. Feel free to contact us, if you're interested in joining the club.
My career in games started in 2010 at Digital Chocolate's Helsinki studio as a product manager for Facebook games. Since then I've had the privilege to work with some of the smartest and talented people on some of the biggest franchises in the gaming industry, first at Rovio, then at Supercell and now at Zynga.
The reason why I started, and still run this blog is quite simple: I want to make better notes about the games that I play. By making my deconstructions public for the whole industry to judge I'm forced to do my best in detailing why certain games succeed or fail. And when I'm wrong, you guys are fast to correct.
I'm a self confessed game-a-holic who used to skip school to visit the arcade to play Street Fighter 2 and it’s various incarnations. I've always wanted to work in the games industry since being a kid and can vividly remember the first time I heard the voice audio from Capcom’s Strider game booming "YOU WILL NEVER DEFEAT ME!" as a driving motivation to want to be a part of the magic. I'm currently at World of Tanks developer Wargaming, but have also worked at Capcom, GREE, Mind Candy and NaturalMotion and haveheld roles ranging from Programmer to Designer to Product in a veritable swiss-army knife of a career. You'd think I'd have made my mind up by now.
I have a gameplay first philosophy and my favourite games include Street Fighter 3: Third Strike, Heroes of Might and Magic: 3 and Hearthstone among a sea of many other titles.
I have been an avid gamer as long as I can remember, starting with the NES my dad gave me when I was five years old. I never thought a career in games was feasible, but from the first game I made in college, I was hooked. I graduated from the University of Southern California in 2013 after many small projects excited to finally join the big leagues.
I started at Zynga in 2013 as a Software Engineer. Though I came in knowing little about the mobile and free-to-play markets, I learn more every day from my coworkers and experiences. I’m looking forward to releasing my current project and working on many more in the future.
I started my career in games on Zynga Poker as a product manager intern in 2010. When I returned full-time, I landed my dream opportunity - working with a small team to build the sequel to Farmville! Over the next 15 months, that small team got large and we made what many consider to be the best Facebook game ever created.
After launch, I managed a product team on Farm 2 for over a year before moving on to the next big challenge - mobile. In my current role as a licensed mobile product owner at Activision, I’m constantly playing new mobile games to understand the design decisions therein, and part of my interest in posting these deconstructs is to get my work out there for review to accelerate the learning process.
My name is Adam Telfer, I’m a Producer, Game Designer and Developer from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I work on the forefront of games. I have been working on Mobile since 2008, and worked on independent flash games since 2001. Before starting my company Chatterbox, I worked at Wooga as a Product Lead.
My name is Peter Knudson, a San Francisco based product manager. I got my start in the game industry working as an intern at Wizards of the Coast, putting stickers on cardboard for playtesting Magic: The Gathering. Since then, I’ve held the positions of product manager at Zynga, working on Farmville 2 and NFL Showdown, and head of mobile publishing at Activision. Most recently, I am a design consultant with Adrian Crook & Associates, helping clients like LEGO and Adult Swim make better gaming products.
In my spare time I enjoy writing when I can, travelling when I should be working, and exploring San Francisco’s many dive bars.
Two of my favorite childhood memories? Getting my first gaming console, the original Nintendo, on my 5th birthday and years later unwrapping Zelda: Ocarina of Time on Christmas.
I have been a consumer of games my whole life, but only recently have I entered it as a professional. I interned at Amazon in its Gaming Services division, where I learned about the mechanics of free-to-play mobile. I now work at Zynga as a Product Manager.
Mobile devices present an exciting, eye-opening opportunity for games; everyone is a gamer, and any time is game time. I’m most interested in how these new platforms change how we design games, and how we can appeal to users who’ve never played games before on mobile. I hope these deconstructs help in that learning process!