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Distracted Designer - One Game A Month

Follow me on Twitter : @Jeremiah042, focused on games. Talks and such about games and design. I'm a part of OneGameAMonth.com, and intending to release one game a month for 2013. I've been saying I'm making 11 board games, and 1 really bad video game.

Archive for Jeremiah Lee

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A Different Way to Use Negative Comments/Ratings

Jeremiah Lee
United States
Sylvania
Ohio
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We've heard these kind of things before:
"Learn what you did wrong."
"Look for ways to improve your presentation."
"Find out where your rules didn't make sense."


These are all true, but I've recently been thinking about something else. Yes, it's true that your game designs (and my designs, absolutely) have flaws. Yes, they could be improved, they could be tweaked (endlessly) to make them a little better. We all know this.

Use the negative comments about your game to focus your game. The people who found your game boring, flawed, themeless, too hard, too easy, or whatever... these aren't your target audience.

Here's the different bit, the GameDesignNugget:
* Use the negative comments to polish your game in a way that encourages the people that will love it to buy it and play it. At the same time, you want to present your game in such a way that those people that won't enjoy the game will stay away from it, not buy it, not play it, and therefore they won't leave a bad review. It's not just about production/presentation, though that's often the easiest thing to notice. You'll want to make sure your game mechanisms fit your audience's desires, and the game length, and the rules difficulty, and so on.

There are so many different genres, and we all tend to like some genres/themes/mechanisms more or less than others. Figure out how to target your audience, and put in triggers that warn the people that won't like your game, and you'll be on your way to positive reviews.

I'm trying to make it clear, in my new game Zombie House Blitz (on Kickstarter in March), that players should expect a light speed game with a zombie theme. Will I hit the right people? I certainly hope so.

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15 Comments
Mon Feb 4, 2013 3:32 pm
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Secret Societies - Party Game of Hidden Teams

Jeremiah Lee
United States
Sylvania
Ohio
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You might know that I love negotiation and hidden roles. My favorite games are Diplomacy, Werewolf, and The Resistance. I would never really need any other games, if I could always find people to play these.

Since I love this kind of game so much, I've long wanted to add to the genre, but couldn't think of anything to create something actually new. I'm not interested in re-designing something.

Then, the idea of three teams hit me. It'll require more people, as to be a team, you have to have 2 people at least. So, it's 6+ players, which makes it a party game. I can work with that, I'm a party kind-of-guy.

Secret Societies was born.
There are two obvious teams. Everyone receives a card (although it's chips right now), and the backs are split evenly between two teams (let's call them Brown/Cream right now). One of the Brown chips (on the front) has a Star, and so does one of the Cream chips. The people receiving the Star are on the same team, but they don't know who their teammate is.

The Cream chip players that didn't get Stars are on a team with the other Cream chip players, but they know that one person is actually on the Star team. (And the same for Brown).


That's the basis right now. There's more to it, but I'm looking for playtesters before I go too much further. If you have a group of 6-12 players and you'd be interested in playing a 15 min social deduction game, I'd love to hear from you. Only need to make up to 12 cards, maximum.





-------- Some random thoughts that might be useful and interesting, relevant, at least partly, to the ideas above. ---------

I love the idea of people working together, while at the same time working against each other (either openly or in secret). Diplomacy was my first love, with cooperation and deception tied so closely together that you aren't sure where one starts and the other ends. "Am I doing this because it's a great idea for my country, or because he made it look like it's a great idea, and it is, but it's not going to be in the next couple game years?"

Werewolf and The Resistance have small teams working together while trying to stay hidden. This gives people a team, thought they might not know who's on their team, and takes away the everyone-is-out-to-get-you feeling of Diplomacy.
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20 Comments
Tue Jan 8, 2013 9:26 pm
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Introduction, Greetings

Jeremiah Lee
United States
Sylvania
Ohio
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Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm Jeremiah, and there was a time that I considered myself a game designer. Then I stopped. I became focused on marketing boardgames, and I've had some success in that field. You might know me from one of the conventions I've worked at (GenCon, Essen, BGGCon, Origins, UCon). If you've met me in person, all the better. If you know me through my game Zombie in my Pocket, then welcome.

So, suddenly, I'm back to designing. I never really stopped, but I did stop putting focus on it. Now I'm excited, and I'm working on quite a few designs that have really brought me back into thinking of myself as a designer.

I'll be talking about those projects here.

I'll also be talking about them on twitter, and would love to have you with me for that journey. Follow me : @Jeremiah042

I've joined OneGameAMonth.com, and I'm really hoping to use this as an isnpriation to really push through on making some games become reality. The 1GAM thing is mainly videogamers, but I've stuck my nose where it doesn't belong, and I'm not backing out, so here I go!
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Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:53 pm
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