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Signals and Light

Video essays analyzing game design, narrative, and media ◦ 2023 - Present
Game Design

Text Essays: Signals and Light Substack

Video Essays: Signals and Light YouTube

This channel is comprised of media and game analysis video and text essays. Some of it is strongly tied to my work in the game industry as a designer, but future content will regard broader cross-media and writing topics.

Game Design Analysis

Combat Design - What is Enemy Attack Cadence?

Status: Release in Progress (5 of 7)


The channel's first videos on game design overview the concept of "enemy attack cadence." This defines the number, frequency, and basic properties of incoming enemy attacks in action games, and the essay digs through the history and scope of how action games approach all elements of this topic through a series of pillars (Timing, Proximity, Concurrency, and Direction).

Introducing Enemy Attack Cadence (Enemy Combat Design I) - 2024

Defining an Enemy Attack (Enemy Combat Design II) - 2024

Enemy Attack Timing (Enemy Combat Design III) - 2024

Enemy Attack Proximity (Enemy Combat Design IV) - 2024

Enemy Attack Concurrency (Enemy Combat Design V) - 2024

Future Topics

A handful of further essays are in development, including some of the following topics:

  • What is a Game Designer?​​ - An analysis of the many sub-disciplines and responsibilities of game designers to try to shed some illumination on a relatively ill-defined career path.

  • How to Run a Good Game Design Interview - An analysis of the types of questions developers ask in interviews for game designers, looking at what are productive lines of questioning and what might not produce reliable or constructive answers.

Narrative Analysis

What is "Worlds Beyond Number" Actual Play?

Status: Complete (YouTube Link)


This video essay reviews the podcast "Worlds Beyond Number" published by Fortunate Horse and uses it as a lens to analyze the medium of actual play, looking at five other major shows as well (including Critical Role, Dimension 20, NADDPOD, VtM: LA By Night, and Rude Tales of Magic).


It dissects the nature of players and GMs as performers, and it features dozens of clips to properly contextualize and celebrate this amazing medium! The essay tackles topics that should be interesting for both fans of the medium and for people who might be curious about how this medium works and why so many shows can be so different from each other.


What IS "Worlds Beyond Number" Actual Play? (Narrative Craft) - 2023

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