11 Mar

Why the Buy Once, Use Many business model makes Great Games Scarce

Bar Chart

Bar ChartYou’re hungry. You go to the store and, being a health conscious and overall enlightened person, you buy an ecological carrot. You eat it. Now you’re full (did I mention that you’re a real small eater, too?) and your carrot is gone. If you grow hungry again you need to go back to the store and buy another one. That’s the “buy once, use once” business model.

You’re a hockey fan. A big, big fan. You buy season tickets the moment they’re available. You buy season tickets for your entire family. You’re a great customer, someone who’s a pillar of support for your team. But once you’ve bought your season tickets you can go and see all the games without paying anything extra. That’s the “buy once, use many” business model. Read More

21 Oct

Outlining Your Game with Decision Diagrams

Feet and ArrowsI’m not much for analysis. I like to dive right in, flow with the idea and see where it takes me.

That’s usually a dead end. And another dead end. And another, and another. Ok, organic designing is fun but it’s not the most efficient way to get your game finished. Sure, you could try every combination of actions, mechanics and components you can think of but the number of combinations rapidly escalates and soon you’ll be wasting your precious playtesting time in order to see whether twelve cows or fifteen sheep are better.

That’s where a bit of analysis comes in handy. For some this comes intuitively: either they’ve designed so much that they’ll see the most common pitfalls outright or they’re used to analyzing data and can flush everything through a spreadsheet.

Me, I need help. Read More