Gamercamp 2013: Nels Anderson on Systems in Games

At Gamercamp, we had the pleasure of talking with Nels Anderson, lead designer of Mark of the Ninja at Klei Entertainment and a current member of newborn studio Camo Santos.

As a featured guest at the local gaming festival, Anderson gave a Salon Series presentation about the importance of systems in games. And no, he doesn’t mean Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii U. He’s referring to the underlying systems that define what a game is and how it plays, explaining the reasons why a designer makes rules and what implications those choices have on the player’s experiences.

We spoke to the man behind Mark of the Ninja – in Gamercamp’s Ninja Room, no less – about his presentation, gathering further thoughts about what design choices and systems work best with which games and where the player’s “choices and consequences” fit into a game’s story in the modern age.

We also spoke about the circumstances that brought him to Toronto; currently living in Vancouver, Anderson says he is probably the only Canadian game designer born and raised in Wyoming. We haven’t had a chance to fact-check that, but as far as we know, no one else can claim honour.

You can watch our full interview on the top of the page.

You can tweet Anderson directly at @Nelsormensch, to further mine his wisdom as a Certified Ninja Expert ™.