Darrell Hardy


Day 97: They Still Think I’m a Cat

The suit itches, and it stinks of sweat and other, less pleasant things. Still, it’s all for science, and so I persist. Okay, I’m not really doing cat-science. But I have been buried under several NDAed projects, such as: That one un-announced game design I’ve been forcing all my friends to playtest. That other unannounced…


Mandatory Upgrades

I hate buying new computers. Oh, I love shopping for new computers: catching up on all the improvements since I was last in the market, comparing bells and whistles of various makes and brands, and ferreting out those secret spots on the Internet where the best deals are hiding. Fun stuff! I love having a…


Showing and Telling in RPGs

It’s true. I’m obsessed with storyworlds and world-building. I’m also a huge fan of tabletop RPGs. And while these things go together like whatever “two things that go together” cliche you like (I prefer “like peanut butter and bananas” myself), mashing them together does raise some challenges. Me: “Hello, gaming friends! I have picked up…


The World of Steel Dragons – Part 4

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the setting, characters, and conflict of Steel Dragons, but if you’ve been muttering to yourself, “Yes, that’s nice, but how does it feel?” then today’s entry is for you! Because today, we’re talking about tone. Steel Dragons is a digital adventure board game about heroes exploring…


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…


The Hardest Hard Copy That Ever Copied Hard

Pretty much within minutes of me releasing the Ghost Punchers RPG, people have been asking about how to get a physical copy. I get that. PDFs are fine, and even superior to hard copies when it comes to looking stuff up, but there’s something extra-real about having that object — that artifact — in your…


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…


The World of Steel Dragons – Part 2

Steel Dragons, as you may recall, is a digital adventure board game I’m designing for Quickcharge Games. The game is set in a steampunk version of feudal Japan, which I’ve already described a bit last week. This week, I’d like to take a closer look at the people who live, work, and seek adventure  in…


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…


Weave a Web of Magic

In the Empire of Venom & Silk fantasy storyworld, the world has been been invaded by giant, sentient spiders. Today, thanks to the generosity of my patrons, we’re taking a look at the magic-using spiders known as “spell-spinners” and the spells they spin. Spell-spinners use their webs to create magical effects. Specifically, they arrange their…