10 Things Every Game Designer Needs to Know about 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People

On my quest to become the best game designer I can possibly be, I recently read 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People, a quick but interesting book by Susan Weinschenk. The book is a list of facts about people, ranging from physical specifics about vision to patterns of social interaction and emotional […]

Board Game Design Basics: Playtest! Part II

Last time on Board Game Design Basics, I gave a theoretical justification of playtesting and discussed some of the types of playtests you’ll be running over the course of developing your game. Today I’ll pick up where I left off, getting to more practical matters like who should playtest and how to make use of […]

Board Game Design Basics: Playtest! Part I

As a game designer, you’ll probably spend more of your time playtesting than doing anything else. Awesome! What’s more fun than playing games all the time? While playtesting your game should be fun (why would you want to be a designer if you didn’t enjoy playing games?), you can’t forget that you’re working, so it’s […]

Board Game Design Basics: Engage

Alright, your latest design is a masterpiece. On each player’s turn, that player first allocates workers, then collects resources, then builds units and buildings, then advances on the tech tree, then secretly declares attacks against other players, then rolls to determine battle outcomes, then moves military units to conquered territories, then allocates experience points to […]

Board Game Design Basics: It’s about Time

I know what you’re thinking. You’re going to have three boards. One will contain the map of the world. This is where you’ll place your armies. One will have a detailed economic simulation. The last one will contain all the random information necessary for the game, like the weather simulation and the relative power of […]

Going Out of Date

Corporate America is a very topical game. It’s about the present, with lots of references to current companies, current political movements, and the current state of the country. In many ways, this helps the game stand out. But it’s also a potential weakness. Cyrus at Father Geek brought this up as one of the worst […]

Open and Guided Games

Today, I wanted to take a step back and discuss a little game design theory. I’ll be discussing two extremes to one spectrum: open and guided games. Now, truth be told, other designers have probably discussed these concepts before, and I’m sure have called them something else–if you happen to know, please do tell in […]