Game Design


The Curse of Alfred Packer

A few weeks back, I noted that my Packer’s Last Resort card game had reached a point where I could no longer playtest it solo; I need to get other folks to play it too. Turns out, that was easier said than done. First, I made plans to test the game at the local game…

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Packer’s First Milestone

I’ve hit a milestone on my Packer’s Last Resort card game: I can no longer playtest it by myself. Oh, I can still make sure most of the mechanical tweaks are working, and that my math hasn’t turned the game into a collapsing, flaming wreck. But as I simultaneously played four different hands during my…

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Too Little Misery

I’ve continued to bang away at Packer’s Last Resort a bit since last week. The latest iteration (which you can still download here) is better, but still has some problems: Too much food! There’s still too much food, and not enough desperation. The problem here is two-fold. Not only does it tamp down the game’s…

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Watching the Sausage Be Made

I’m still hacking away at Packer’s Last Resort, but if you’ve got a stomach for games that are lumpy, uncooked messes… you can hack away at it too. I’ve uploaded the latest iteration of the game as an ugly, crudely-done print-and-play file. The file includes a version of the rules and cards so new, I…

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Packer’s First Prototype

As promised earlier this week, I recently plopped the revised prototype for Packer’s Last Resort onto the table for a playtest. It was a cold, lonely playtest in which I myself played the parts of four different players, like some sort of game-designing Peter Sellers. It’s fine, though. I prefer to keep these initial playtests strictly internal….

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Up From the Ashes

Last week, I wrote how my original design for the “Alfred Packer Leads a Bunch of Noobs Into The Mountains and Ends Up Eating Them” game was no good. “Burn it down!” I wrote. And so I did. And since then, I’ve completely revamped the game, written a new set of rules, and put together…

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Burning Cannibals

One of the challenges of game design is knowing when to stop designing. Sad to say, some designs are just dead ends. It’s better to shove them into a well-labeled box somewhere, take a day to clear your mind, and start over from scratch. That’s where I’m at with the “Alfred Packer Cannibal Card Game”…

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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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