24 Nov

5 Must-Play Analog Games for Every Designer

5 Must Play Analog Games for Every Designer

5 Must Play Analog Games for Every DesignerIt happens. You look at your game and feel that, with all the bells and whistles already there, something is still missing.

It’s easy to simply shrug, thrown in another type of unit, another element, another dude with spikes on his huge shoulder pads. Sometimes it works. Mostly it doesn’t.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of, amongst others, the children’s classic “The Little Prince” said: “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

It’s a wise way to look at it. Not what we can add, but that we can subtract. And the way to learn how to do that is to look for good archetypes, games where there is little, if anything, to subtract. And in the tabletop game industry paring down has been the leading star for the past 20 years (or thousands – see the end). So here, without further ado, are five tabletop games that every designer should play at least once. Read More

09 Sep

Gaming: Voluntarily Performing Impossible Tasks of Uncertain Value

Dice graphicImagine that someone forced you to complete difficult tasks of uncertain value while others were actively trying to disrupt your work.

Now imagine that you chose to do it of your own free will.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what we’re doing when we’re playing games. And the single word “chose” is the difference between fun and toiling under a sadistic taskmaster.

The rest is the same: the rules, the limitations, the work and the stress. But when we choose to do it it’s not bad stress, it’s good stress. Read More