David Sirlin

Professional roles

Game designer, writer, podcaster, box designer


No information

David Sirlin is an indepedant game designer, tournament competitor, and author of the book, Playing to Win: Becoming the Champion.[1]

Sirlin has created several games that are published under the label of his company, Sirlin Games.

Sirlin hopes to make many more games, including a fighting game[2] that features the characters from the Fantasy Strike universe he created[3] (the same characters found in Yomi, Puzzle Strike, and Flash Duel). You can see the progress of the fighting game (and maybe even help contribute to its development) by going to the Fantasy Strike discussion forum.

History Edit

Street Fighter

David was a competitive Street Fighter player.

Game development

See Games Sirlin has worked on.

Tournament organiser

Gaming arcade

In 2003 David tried to create a physical social space for gamers, inspired by Japanese arcades and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz's approach to creating coffee houses that created a "third place" for people to socialise, away from home and work.

David didn't end up creating it because he couldn't get a lease in the Bay Area of California, apparently because a gaming social space meant that people would take up parking spaces, and property owners didn't want that.[4]

Creation of Sirlin Games

David founded his company, Sirlin Games, in 2003 as a consulting company while he worked as a designer for other companies. Consulting projects included:

  • Street Fighter HD Remix
  • Puzzle Fighter HD Remix
  • Kongai, a competitive card game created for the website[5]

In 2009 Sirlin was working full time in the business as President, and released his first tabletop games in 2010: Flash Duel and Puzzle Strike: Bag of Chips.[6]

Sirlin’s websitesEdit


At Sirlin writes about topics such as game design, psychology, flow, and mastery. also has a discussion forum focused on game-design.


You can find more information about Sirlin's games (and buy them at)


The website that features the online version of David Sirlin's games. is still in development. See Fantasy Strike (website) for more information. Edit

Features a fan-made version of Pandante.

Games Sirlin has worked onEdit

Published by Sirlin GamesEdit

Flash DuelEdit

Physical card game [1]

Flash Duel is a simple, fast card game that simulates a duel between two Fantasy Strike characters. There are 10 characters to choose from (all included), each with 3 different special abilities. Landing just one hit wins a round, and a game is best 3 out of 5 rounds. Games take only a few minutes to play.

Puzzle Strike: Bag of ChipsEdit

Online and physical card game [1]

Puzzle Strike: Bag of Chips is a card game for 2, 3, or 4 players that simulates a puzzle game and is played with chips instead of cards (for way easier shuffling) and features a lot of back-and-forth craziness and wild combos. Choose from 10 Fantasy Strike characters (all included) and break gems from your gem pile and send them to your opponents' gem piles while customizing your deck to do bigger and bigger combos.

Chess 2: The SequelEdit

Downloadable and printable rulebook; a variant of Chess][7]

Chess 2: The Sequel seeks to build on the greatness of the original Chess while addressing a few problems and also going in a new direction. There are now six armies to choose from, rather than just 1, creating 21 matchups instead of just 1. There's a new win condition for crossing the midline of the board with your king (in addition to your grandpa's checkmates). There's also a double-blind bidding mechanic called dueling that makes memorized openings even more impractical, and emphasizes adaptation and reading the opponent's tendencies. Chess 2 is player with a regular Chess set and requires the Chess 2 rules (which you can buy and download from:

Yomi: Fighting Card GameEdit

Online and physical card game [1]

Yomi: Fighting Card Game - a simple competitive card game that simulates a battle between two characters and is designed to test the two most important skills in competitive gaming: Valuation and Yomi. Each deck in Yomi represents one character and can also be used as a regular deck of playing cards with beautiful artwork.

Published by other companiesEdit

Kongai Virtual Card GameEdit

Web ( [1]

A collectable card game created for

Street Fighter II: Super Turbo HD RemixEdit

XBLA / PSN [1]

David Sirlin was the lead designer of Street Fighter II: Super Turbo HD Remix (‘’SF HD Remix’’ or ‘’HD Remix’’ for short)[8], which is a remake of Street Fighter II: Super Turbo, a 2D fighting game published by Capcom.

Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD RemixEdit

XBLA / PSN [1]

SEGA Genesis CollectionEdit

PS2 / Xbox [1]

Capcom Classics Collection 2Edit

PS2 / Xbox [1]

Capcom Classics Collection: RemixedEdit

PSP [1]

Capcom Classics CollecitonEdit

PS2 / Xbox [1]

Games in developmentEdit

Published by Sirlin GamesEdit

Fantasy Strike fighting gameEdit

Details not yet announced.[1]

The fighting game was discussed in a podcast. [9]


A customisable (but not collectible) card game.


A fighting game different to Yomi: Fighting Card Game.

Other projects

Game design podcast Edit

Patreon Edit

Patreon: support David Sirlin creating Thinky Games and Podcasts

Kickstarter projects Edit


Interviews with SirlinEdit

Written interviewsEdit


Date published Interview name Description Interviewer and other participants Where to find it
July 2009


Audio interviewsEdit


Date published Interview name Description Interviewer and other participants Where to find it and other relevant links
2014 Yomi discussion David Sirlin (creator of Yomi) talks to Aphotix (lead Yomi playtester) about the story and design of each of the ten Yomi Shadows expansion characters: Aphotix (lead Yomi playtester)
2013 Episode #30: Design Lessons & Sirlin Games. With David Sirlin Jon and Dirk are joined by David Sirlin, designer of tabletop titles Puzzle Strike, Yomi and Flash Duel. The group discusses his past games, future plans, building a tabletop company, David’s interesting journey from the Street Fighter community into design, and the vital importance of balance and asymmetry. Dirk Knemeyer & Jon Shafer Link


Video interviewsEdit

Trivia Edit

  • David Sirlin hsa said he is an INTP in Myers Briggs.typology.[10]

See also Edit

External linksEdit


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 A previous version of Sirlin's about page from 2011,
  4. Sirlin On SSFIITHDR Interview 23 Jul 2009 by Paul Younger
  5. "Based in Emeryville, California, David Sirlin founded Sirlin Games in 2005 initially as a consulting company while he worked as a designer on games for other companies." accessed 2 June 2015
  6. "I started working full time as President of Sirlin Games in 2009, and released my first tabletop games in 2010." accessed 2 June 2015
  9. Raw Game Design podcast, Episode 6: Fantasy Strike Simple Fighting Game, Published January 18, 2015, featuring David Sirlin and guests Aphotix and Mr. G. Phantome
  10. #30: Design Lessons & Sirlin Games. With David Sirlin (86:41) 1 hour 9 minutes in; 2013