Designing for Sanity’s Sake: Using Modular Design

Recently I posted a preview of Starship 1 by Geoff Englestein, a boardgame which I look forward to with bated breath. Come on Geoff, pick up the pace. I know you have publishers knocking down your door! As I described fully in that post, Starship 1 is a game where each player[…]


Designing for Sanity’s Sake: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Every design needs goals. What kinds of goals? Aesthetic goals. I don’t mean just how the game looks. I am speaking from the standpoint of the MDA Framework, a groundbreaking attempt to formally model the elements of gameplay. Let’s explore the three elements of MDA, starting from the canon definitions in the[…]


Designing for Sanity’s Sake: Starting at the Beginning

Game design is inherently complicated. It involves the interaction of many widgets and doodads, along with the exciting and often unpredictable human element. This complexity is magnified when the game is multi-player, as the vast majority of board games are. Keeping a handle on the numerous design decisions made throughout[…]


I’m going to be a little quiet on here for the next few weeks. I need to dedicate some time to finishing up my board game prototype for a convention I am attending in November. It’s called Frostbite, and is a game about mountain climbing with a devious twist. If[…]


Mozilla Gives Out Gold Stars

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte Have you ever encountered an idea that has made you stay up at night? Something that makes you think, “This could change everything if it takes off. What will the future look like with[…]


Tidbits: Vindicated!

I was reading an article posted on Press X or Die recently that discussed difficulty in gaming, much like I did a couple months ago. I found myself grinning and clapping like an idiot because the writer there had the same idea on what differentiates challenge from frustration. God Hand[…]


The Lurking Horror: Unfair Dice

“CURSES!” Another bad roll. The dice gods are really screwing me over today. I’m sure anybody who has played board games enough have had stints where the dice just haven’t gone right. I’ve heard of some D&D players who even insist on using their own dice because they think that other[…]