Kevin Maginn

game designer

kmaginn at gmail dot com


I've picked up a lot of skills, experience, and information over my decade in the game industry, and combined them with my strong opinions about nearly everything. Whether you're planning a major online game or just need to bounce some game system ideas off someone, I can help.

Online Games: I do my best to stay current with the MMO industry, innovations in online game design, monetization strategies, and what sorts of game experiences players are looking for. I can help you refine a game concept in the early pitch and presentation period; I can also help find and enhance the fun in a game further along in development. I can be an outside pair of eyes, willing to tell you that the emperor has no clothes but just as willing to help you get His Imperial Highness dressed.

Casual Games: I've been in the trenches working on casual web-based games as well as mobile games. It's a tough, crowded market with way too many people believing the hype of overnight riches and lottery-ticket paydays. I can help you focus on how to get value out of your product, how best to prioritize your inevitably tight budget and tight schedule, and how to recognize the warning signs of a project that's in danger of going off the rails.

Original IP: I build original worlds in my spare time, for fun. Seriously. Don't march your game out the door with all the baggage of Tolkien's elves, dwarves and orcs. The world doesn't need another Generic Fantasy Action Game or Generic Future Soldier Shooter. Look at the best games of every genre and you'll see a great setting and compelling story behind them. Story is cheap; world design is cheap. Don't shortchange your artists, developers and designers by giving them a dull world in which to work.

Production and Workflow: If your project has meetings longer than an hour, you may be in trouble already. I can help you streamline your process, so your people spend their time creating instead of trying to stay awake through interminable meetings. I'm familiar with Scrum, and I've managed game projects using agile methodologies. If your schedule is slipping or you're creeping over budget, I can probably help.

Tabletop RPGs: My library of tabletop RPGs is enormous. I wouldn't say I've seen every tabletop RPG mechanic out there, but I bet I've seen a majority of them. I read gaming books for fun, even ones I never plan to use or run. I've been an RPG nerd since I was old enough to parse Gygax's impenetrable prose. I've written original games, settings, and adventures; I've adapted Ars Magica into a magical college drama; I've rebuilt the guts of the Traveller space combat system from scratch. If you're working on a tabletop project, I can help with anything from system design to content creation to playtesting.

And Anything Else: Send me email and let's talk about what you need.