Who is Justin Gary?

I’ve been designing games for over 20 years. You might have stumbled upon my book, "Think Like a Game Designer," or you might be a listener of my podcast, "Think Like A Game Designer Podcast." And hey, I even had a blast as a guest on The Tim Ferriss Show not too long ago!

I'm the CEO of Stone Blade Entertainment and the creator of some exciting games like Ascension Deckbuilding Game, SolForge Fusion, and Shards of Infinity. I've had the incredible privilege of interviewing some of the greatest game designers in the world. I've soaked up their wisdom, taken their lessons to heart, and then gone ahead and applied those insights to both my professional and private life. And to sprinkle in a little more fun trivia, I'm also a Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour winner and US National Champion.

What are we discussing?

This substack is all about exploring creativity through the lens of a game designer and applying the lessons we learn to games and everyday life. It’s a great hub for finding articles on game design and creativity, along with podcast episodes and show notes.

What’s the Podcast about?

On the Think Like a Game Designer Podcast, I speak with world-class game designers and creative experts from various industries. Each episode deconstructs the creative process, offering insights into the art of game design and the broader cultural, technological, and business influences shaping a myriad of creative mediums. I do my best to offer actionable advice with a unique perspective that will enrich your understanding of what it means to be creative in and out of the gaming world.

Why Subscribe?

🎁 The welcome email (Free or Paid) includes my Game Design Pitch Primer, tailored to guide you past one of the most intimidating obstacles of game design: getting your creation into the hands of a publisher.

Free Subscribers get access to podcast episodes and a majority of articles delivered straight to your inbox. Articles will be archived after two months.

Paid subscribers get full access to my articles, archives, game design lessons, and podcasts. They also unlock an additional newsletter called The Designer, which will include more comprehensive design lessons. Each unique article may also feature educational videos, interactive assignments, video clips from the podcast, cutting-room floor content, and other materials not available to free subscribers.

Paid subscriptions allow me to invest more time into the podcasts and newsletters while keeping much of it free to the public. If you feel these newsletters and podcasts inspire, entertain, or inform you, I hope you consider a paid subscription.

If a paid subscription is not financially feasible for you and you would like to access The Designer, please email support@stoneblade.com for a comped subscription.

I truly hope the design lessons we discuss help you to achieve your creative dreams and solve problems in all areas of your life. While there's always more to learn, don't get trapped by the belief that you must know more to start. The most essential thing right now is taking action!

You can also support my work by purchasing my book or one of my games, leaving a review, or joining a discussion here on Substack. Thanks for reading Think Like A Game Designer!

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Delivering 20 Years Of Game Design Experience Straight To Your Inbox! Unpacking Game Design Lessons And Their Applications In Everyday Life With Brilliant Game Designers From Across The Globe!


I'm Justin Gary, CEO of Stone Blade Entertainment and creator of Ascension. Once the youngest Magic: The Gathering US Champion, I've designed for Marvel and WoW. Now, I'm a digital nomad, making games and teaching creativity worldwide.