Game Design


Cards and Cannibals

I’ll be honest: I expected to be further along on this “cannibal card game” idea by now. I’d intended to show you a full game pitch like those I’ve done in the past, but life, as it often does, had different ideas. That’s okay. We’ll make do with a short snapshot of the work in…

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Take me Down to Cannibal City

It’s strange where a fascination with historical cannibalism can take you. In my case, discovering Cannibal the Musical led to thoughts of designing a game about the most famous cannibal in Colorado, which led to… a spring break road trip deep into the mountains in search of inspiration. It was March. The girls were out…

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Delicious Game Design

Cannibalism makes for some great game ideas. Previously, I wrote about my obsession with interest in Alfred Packer, the sole survivor of an 1874 expedition that ended in death and cannibalism. While pondering the story of this infamously well-fed man, I’ve realized that it would make a great basis for a game. After all, it…

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Bite-sized History

It was over a decade ago when one of my friends asked, “Hey, man! Have you seen the movie Cannibal! the Musical?” I hadn’t. I hadn’t even heard of it. He handed me a DVD. “I think you’ll like it,” he said. Turns out he was right. For the uninitiated, Cannibal! the Musical is a…

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Balancing the Game – Part 4

Welcome to the final post in this series, in which we will discuss the TRUE MEANING OF GAME BALANCE. Previously, we talked about defining your game’s resources and common currency, iterating for balance, and listening to playtester feedback. Today we’re going to get a little philosophical and talk about balancing for fun. Remember when I…

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Balancing the Game – Part 3

Welcome to the third installment of our math-tastic* series on game balance for tabletop and video games! The first installment is here. The second is here. And the third is… um… below. Playtesters, as I mentioned previously, will have many opinions on your game’s balance. These opinions are essential to the game development process—especially as…

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Balancing the Game – Part 2

Game balance is part art and part science. Today, we’re tackling the science. Previously, we discussed the three steps to laying the groundwork for game balance. (Go on, read it and come back. It’s pretty short, but pretty important.) In today’s entry, we’re looking at how to build on that groundwork to bring balance to…

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Balancing the Game – Part 1

I hate game balance. I mean, I like when games are balanced—who doesn’t? But I hate doing the balancing. You know the creative rush, the wide-eyed glee of the initial burst game design inspiration? Game balancing is sort of the opposite of that. And so, for those of you who, like me, groan when we…

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Return of the Steel Dragons

For the past few weeks, I’ve been up to my metaphorical elbows doing game design on Steel Dragons, an upcoming new game from QuickCharge Games. Steel Dragons is a co-op adventure board game in which each player takes on the role of a hero who fights monsters, uncovers ancient secrets, and works with the others…

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Stung by Gaming – In a Good Way!

As I obliquely mentioned on Friday, this past weekend was the debut of B-Con, a tabletop board game convention in Denver. In addition to the standard “sign up and play” events, the show also featured lots of both open gaming and prototype games from local designers and publishers. No, I didn’t bring my Haunted Hotel…

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