Chris Crawford

From IFWiki

Chris Crawford, 2007. From GET LAMP.

Referred to as the "Dean of Computer Game Design", Chris Crawford is a games industry veteran, developer, and theorist. His body of work ranges from early work with Atari and Avalon Hill software and continues through a variety of other publishers. In 1987, he founded what became known as the Game Developers' Conference (GDC), an industry convention for designers and publishers of computer games. Besides writing an early and often-cited book on the process of designing games (The Art of Computer Game Design), he has written many essays, articles and presentations about the theory of games and interactive storytelling.

Crawford's interviews and writings are punctuated with a general disdain for the direction and priorities of the computer games industry, and the general state of interactive fiction and storytelling through computers. His criticisms include the predictability of story, the programmed consistency of game characters and puzzles, and the lack of quality in simulating or providing storytelling experiences. His masterwork computer project, called Erasmatazz, has been many years in the making (well over a decade), and his firm, Storytron, is intended to sell products derived from it.

Game Credits

Note: These are not interactive fiction games.

  • Scram: A Nuclear Power Simulator (1981), Atari
  • Tanktics: Computer game of Armored Combat on the Eastern Front (1981), Avalon Hill
  • Eastern Front - 1941 (1982), Atari
  • Balance of Power (1985), Mindscape, Inc.
  • Trust and Betrayal: The Legacy of Siboot (1987), Mindscape, Inc.
  • Patton vs. Rommel (1987), Electronic Arts, Inc.
  • Trust and Betrayal: The Legacy of Siboot (1987), Mindscape, Inc.
  • Balance of Power: The 1990 Edition (1989), Mindscape, Inc.
  • SimEarth: The Living Planet (1990), Maxis Software Inc.
  • Balance of the Planet (1990),
  • The Global Dilemma: Guns or Butter (1990), Mindscape, Inc.
  • Patton Strikes Back: The Battle of the Bulge (1991), Brøderbund Software, Inc.
  • High Command: Europe 1939-45 (1992), Three-Sixty Pacific, Inc.

Books by Chris Crawford

  • The Art of Computer Game Design, 1982. (Free electronic version, 1997.)
  • The Art of Interactive Design: A Euphonious and Illuminating Guide to Building Successful Software, 2002.
  • Chris Crawford on Game Design, 2003.
  • Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling, 2004.

Articles by Chris Crawford

  • Art? from, July 7, 2008.

Presentations and Video

Interviews with Chris Crawford