Basic Human Actions

Today I’m discussing something a little unusual. I thought it would be interesting to think about the basic actions humans can make and see how they’re used in games. Do games use all actions that people can take? Are there certain actions that stand on their own, preventing other types of actions? Are some actions […]

Going Wide

I recently started a Patreon. It’s a bit of an experiment, but I’m hoping it will give friends and fans the chance to show their appreciation for this blog and help guide me by requesting article topics. Today’s article is the first of those requests. Cardboard Edison is a husband and wife duo who have […]

Emotional Game Design

Emotion plays an interesting role in game design. On the one hand, people tend to do their best work when they are excited and passionate. On the other hand, strong feelings of pride and attachment can cloud your judgment, make it difficult to empathize with others, and ultimately lead to an inferior game. If you’re […]

The Joys of Birding

Today I want to discuss something a little unusual for a game design blog: bird watching. Before you immediately close the tab, let me explain why you might care. My next game, Birds of a Feather, was designed after I thought carefully about why I enjoy birding. I broke down the activity in terms of […]

Shadow Throne Outtakes

Early in the¬†Shadow Throne Kickstarter, a backer asked if I had any fun stories about cards that didn’t make the cut. I’m finally getting around to it… four months after the Kickstarter finished. Better late than never, right? Between the initial conception for Shadow Throne and when it funded on Kickstarter, I worked on a […]

The Shadow Throne Origin Story

  Shadow Throne is now up on Kickstarter, so it’s about time I shared the origin story with all of you! As I mentioned when discussing Shadow Throne design goals, and you saw when I went over the evolution of Shadow Throne card design, games don’t come from a single moment; they are a long […]

Shadow Throne Design Goals

The Kickstarter for Shadow Throne, Nothing Sacred Games’ next big release, is right around the corner! Over the next several months, you’ll be learning a lot about the game and its development. To kick things off, I thought I’d spend a little time describing the design goals that helped inspire and guide the development of […]

Design Analysis: Corporate America

Between playtesting, promotion, and just hanging out with friends, I’ve seen and played Corporate America well over 200 times. Even after playing that many times, I’m happy to say still I enjoy the game. Corporate America really lets individual personalities shine, so each game feels like a new experience. But when you play a game […]

Analysis of Fun: Collecting

Has it really been a year and a half since I posted my two part post on the various types of fun that games can provide? Unless WordPress is truly messing with me, it has! Perhaps surprising to no one, I missed some key types of fun in that original list. Today, I want to […]

Thoughts on Theme

One of the fundamental questions in game design is: which came first, the theme or the mechanics? Different designers have different answers to this question, some holding their answers as sacred as scripture. While I don’t have strong feelings on this question (I have been inspired by both themes and mechanics), I tend to lean […]