Friday, April 16, 2021

Recent free videos on my YouTube Game Design channel.

Logistics and game design (and history)

"Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics" (Napoleon and many others). But commercial historical games rarely reflect logistics. Why and how.

Apr 15

21st century marketing: age of destinations not journeys

Another look at 21st century game marketing. It's the age of destinations, of bucket lists, not of enjoying the journey.

Apr 12

How much solo playtesting?

Some designers do not playtest their games solo, especially if tabletop. I think this is a serious mistake, here's why.

Apr 8

Three possible "hats" of game designers

Game designers don't do everything involved with making and marketing a game. What are some of the roles the designer might assume?

Apr 5

Surprise in games, especially tabletop

How to enable surprise in games, especially opposed games (which are usually tabletop games).

Apr 1 (not an April Fools)

Historical fiction

I don't read historical fiction much, but I thought some people might like to hear about some of my successes.

Mar 29

My take on abstract games

Just what it says. I'm not, usually, a fan, preferring models of some reality, though I have designed a few.

Mar 25, 2021

Could the Mongols have conquered Europe? NO

Bonus Monday. People enamored of maps and worship of warriors often think the Mongols could have conquered Europe. Not a chance. Here's why.

Mar 22, 2021

"Meeting expectations" in game ratings - a nonsense question to ask

In many cases, when people are asked to rate a video (or book, or game) they're asked if it met their expectations. This is nonsense. No author can be expected to meet another person's expectations.

Mar 18, 2021

History: Is history inevitable? Of course not.

This is important in game design, but important in general as well. This isn't about those who imagine a history that they like. It's about those who think history could only be one way, whereas in fact it's one of many possibilities, often not even the most likely.

Mar 15

Barbarians with Fire and Sword? - No

A long one this time. There's a tendency, perhaps encouraged by TV and film, to think that barbarians always came with fire and sword, raping and pillaging. Sometimes they did, but often they did not.

Mar 11, 2021

Modern game markets: The Age of Avoiding Responsibility

Game markets depend on the habits and preferences of potential buyers. I have a few videos about what appears to be the market. While this isn't a part of game *design* it's certainly important to game success.

Mar 8, 2021

Fundamental differences between board and card games

Just what it says. But it's an analysis of function, not form. Of course, designers need to pay attention to function much more than form.

Mar 4, 2021

How people react when thy learn the truth about game design

Over many years of teaching and making videos and online courses, I have occasionally encountered people who react negatively when someone tells them the truth about game design.

Mar 1, 2021

What play length to put on the box?

We all know that tabletop games take varying amounts of time, some more than others, depending on both the game and the players. So what time should you put on the game box?

Feb 25, 2021