Tag: game design (Page 2 of 3)

Why player elimination has become taboo in board games?

Player elimination as a game-ending mechanic was predominant in gaming until recently. It seems like at one point games with player elimination ceased to exist. For quite some time I wanted to revive this mechanic, as it seemed to me to be the most “real” victory condition. But, recently I realized what made designers avoid player elimination and why it’s a good move in most cases.

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Writing rules

We’ve all experienced situations where we resist playing a new game, because learning the rules can be a chore. You need to cross the threshold of learning the rules to enjoy a game. On the other hand, knowing the game too well can deter you from playing again. So how can we as designers find that sweet-spot of intuitive rules and a challenging mastery of the game?

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What to do when you get stuck on a project?

A large part of game design is getting stuck and having to figure out how to get unstuck. Getting unstuck itself is an art form and just like everything else in game design, there are many ways to do it. You can completely get rid of a mechanism, you can add a new mechanism to mitigate the problem or perhaps trace your steps back to a point when the problem didn’t exist. But, sometimes it’s just better to focus on something else and allow your subconscious to work on it for you.

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Focusing on small tasks to make a big game

What I’ve found most important when working on a large project is keeping it small. To quote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.” Along with the project you are building, you are also building habits. It’s those habits that will determine whether your project reaches fruition or decays in your memory. If you think of that great game you love as a sort of “accident”, there are plenty of designers out there who will prove you wrong. It’s their habits that have been able to produce great games again and again. So, develop a schedule and stick to it. Work on little bits of your game every day and you’ll see how the game takes shape.

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