Cover art for podcast Out of Play Area

Out of Play Area

23 EpisodesProduced by John R. DiazWebsite

A bi-weekly video game development podcast by John R. Diaz, a veteran game designer who goes 1:1 in candid conversations with the developers behind today‘s hit games where we discuss their journey and learnings in this wild industry with no punches pulled. John is a kid born to emigrants from the D… read more


Design Memorable Video Game Puzzles | Douglas Burton - Senior Game Designer @ Polyarc | Ep 1 | Acapella

In the acapella version (no background music) of the inaugural episode, we sit down with fellow Full Sail University Alumni, dear friend, Detroit’s own Douglas Burton currently working as a Senior Designer for PolyArc in Seattle, WA.


Doug has worn various hats in game development riding the full spectrum between Game Design & Coding to refine his specialty in Puzzle Design. 

I got to work with Doug at Midway Austin on our first shipped game Blacksite: Area 51 where he’s gone on to work for various studios throughout the US and in the UK.


In this episode we'll discuss:



  1. (0:00) the dream of being a game dev consultant for Hollywood

  • (3:10) cheers, sante , salud, let's enjoy a stout
  • (4:28) developing in the pandemic
  • (6:00) working in mobile slot games at Scientific Games in Austin Texas.
  • (15:28) figuring out game development was his calling
  • (18:15) meeting Steven Spielberg while working on Boom Blox
  • (30:20) finding the right college to achieve his goals
  • (43:20) discuss the responsibilities of a game designer
  • (53:00) approaching high-level puzzle design
  • (1:03:00) his perspective on the importance of studio culture and equitable hiring practices at Polyarc
  • ----more----
    Links mentioned in the show:

  • Doug's Game Credits on Mobygames
  • Reducing Bias in Game Audio Hiring
  • xMiraMira's Sims Melanin Pack
  • Follow Doug's team Polyarc - @PolyarcGames 
  • Follow Doug's work - @Dougomite_Dev
  • Follow your host John Diaz - @elkingpin

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