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Subject: OBG 58: Don't Bother Me I'm Designing rss

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Donald Dennis
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Erik, Donald, and Scott discuss the game creation process and talk about some current designs they are working on.

Erik Takes 5 on direct conflict games for those who are hesitant

Don, Erik and Scott review Van Helsing

Erik reviews Sneaks & Snitches


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Esteban Fernandez
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I still have to finish listening to it, but it is nice to see you talking about game ideas, when there are so many people that are afraid of talking or even showing it to publishers just to avoid someone else stealing his 'unique' idea.



More comments later when I finish t
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Donald Dennis
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There will be more talk about game design, I've had several listeners email me or talk to me about their designs, and some of that will go into our show.

Also, I might be recruiting here for some play test folks once I've depleted my local play test pool.
 
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Jason Lott
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Walsfeo wrote:
There will be more talk about game design, I've had several listeners email me or talk to me about their designs, and some of that will go into our show.

Also, I might be recruiting here for some play test folks once I've depleted my local play test pool.


Sweet!
 
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Magnus Esko
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Thanks for another great episode guys!

Scott:
I never watched Board Games With Scott to get reviews of new games, and I also didn't care if it was a game I had played or not. I really found the show to be very entertaining, just like I find the OBG roundtable to be entertaining but the video makes it even better. I'm looking forward to more videos from you covering other aspects of board games. I also like the Get of my lawn blog, although I've never replied. I haven't played those games so discussing them is pointless.

Your music teaching game sounds like it should be made in a digital form.


Donald:
I was wondering if there's anywhere you can go to craft your dexterity game out of wood? If you make/find a cylindrical piece of wood you can cut that into discs. BTW, doesn't all craftshops have wooden discs in various sizes?


Eric:
Have you played The Resistance by Indie boards and cards? It may have some similarities to your game idea, or maybe you can get some inspirations from it. I never start with any documentation for my games. I think about games a lot and then I just get started on components. For me to get anything done I need to get hands on as soon as possible. Well, I really don't like typing all my ideas down. It have helped a lot that I've had tons of cards I have printed for other things laying around to make cards for my new ideas.
 
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Donald Dennis
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Awakening wrote:
Donald:
I was wondering if there's anywhere you can go to craft your dexterity game out of wood? If you make/find a cylindrical piece of wood you can cut that into discs. BTW, doesn't all craftshops have wooden discs in various sizes?


While it might be possible for someone to go craft items like you mention I tried making regular sized disks for my totally wooden Shark set and that was a failure - I even had access to better tools at the time.

You are right about the wooden discs at craft shops, I just don't have a shop like that close to my house. I'll probably make a special trip up the coast this weekend. I've had a thought that I'd like to do Destroyer class ships in a way that is closer to Red Alert, but have all the fire be Dexterity oriented.

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Donald Dennis
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Oh, I play tested my new design and while it was very rough around the corners I feel like I learned enough to advance the cause. I will have a revised version by Thursday evening.

It's going under the working title of 'Dungeonoscopy'. I'm not using that name because that's what I want it to be called, or even because I think it is a good name, but just because I need to call it something shorter than "that new game I'm working on".
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Esteban Fernandez
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there is nothing like the first playtesting to know if you can pursue on that design or if you have to shelve it.

I like to design around a theme, and it is a pain when you want to do something and the game didn't work, and sometimes ideas came all together and fit like a glove.

Also about the name of the podcast is quite funny when I am thinking about a game, a mechanism, and I am watching TV making supper or something my wife came in and always say, "You have any problem?" because I think I look angry when I am at the "design" stage xD

* Edit: grammar fix
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Magnus Esko
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Walsfeo wrote:
Oh, I play tested my new design and while it was very rough around the corners I feel like I learned enough to advance the cause. I will have a revised version by Thursday evening.

It's going under the working title of 'Dungeonoscopy'. I'm not using that name because that's what I want it to be called, or even because I think it is a good name, but just because I need to call it something shorter than "that new game I'm working on".


I had a playtest myself today of my next game. I'm going to take your inspiration and start calling this game for Lords. Lords is a pretty complex cardgame that can be played on 3 different "difficulty settings". The simple version is pretty much done, and it feels good. Played the intermediate version today for the first time, and while not a bad game, it takes too long for what it is. If I can get the game down to about 30 min per player I would be happy. I have a solution for this I'm going to try.
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Robert Foose
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Scott mentioned he was culling his collection. Any info on how is disposing of the items? Is he auctioning on e-Bay or on BGG, or some other venue?
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Donald Dennis
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He had a game sale party at his house, I think the rest will be through BGG marketplace or somesuch.
 
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Magnus Esko
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The speed up ideas for Lords just keep on coming. I think my next revision is going to be a lot more fun.
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Donald Dennis
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My problem is how many elements is the right number, also I can make the game exceptionally modular but that makes things take longer.
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Magnus Esko
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Walsfeo wrote:
My problem is how many elements is the right number, also I can make the game exceptionally modular but that makes things take longer.


For proper amounts of things you really need to do some playtesting. I often pull out a number that seems to be in the region of what should work and then just playtest. I tend to go with even 5s, because I like things even like that. You could also make some quick calculations in your head (or on paper if you prefer) to see how much of something would be the max ever required. If you want something to be tight then just subtract and playtest.

Making a game modular is a good thing for 3 reasons:
1. Scalable difficulty
2. Replayability
3. Possible future expansions

Lords is a cardgame so I can just add and remove cards to create these effects.
 
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Magnus Esko
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Or with elements were you talking about whole sections/modules in the game? Kind of like the modules in Fresco? Well, the answer again is playtesting General rule of thumb: cut out the boring or fiddly parts unless you are going for a simulation.

The way I design my games is to first set up a vision of how I want the game to be. If I want a simple game I don't add or try to cut out parts that doesn't fit. Then I figure out ways to make things flow better. I personally prefer games that have good flow. If you want a more complex game then I suggest that you focus on making stuff work better without taking them out.
 
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Magnus Esko
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Well, at least I had more fun playing Lords yesterday I finally beat my friend, after straight losses. I tend to go for the "let's see what happens if" strategies. They usually prove that some element of the game cannot be ignored, and I like that. But this time it showed that some of the cards were underpowered. I didn't use them and my opponent also made some mistakes leading to a big victory for me. But the game lasted too long. Mainly because we dragged it out.

Underpowered cards have been improved. Game end triggers are made to happen sooner. Lots of cards have been removed, many were unnecessary and the rest to make the game more competitive. And other little tweaks. I'm hoping for an overall tighter game next time.
 
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Donald Dennis
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I was horribly distracted by working on an article for the School Library Journal.

Will get back to play testing this evening.
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Magnus Esko
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I had a very good playtest with my friend today. We both appreciated that the game was tighter now. It was a very enjoyable hour if you ask me. However, I have two end game triggers and one went of after only about 60 minutes while the VP chips was untouched. Sure, my friend tried going for one victory and my strategy was just about to start collecting VP chips when the game ended. Although we both had different strategies it was very surprising that we ended up 45-45 tied.

This is only the intermediate version of the game with the exact same setup each time. But there are definitely many different strategies that can be used to score points. I'm gonna try a different strategy next time, we plan to play with the exact same setup with no changes. I really think this game is a lot of fun, but then it incorporates many things I enjoy.
 
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Magnus Esko
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Since there's no new episode on design out yet I'll continue my ranting here

Had another great playtest of the intermediate version of Lords today. I really like the game. There are just a few minor things I'm going to fix that I have been thinking about before. The intermediate version feels just right and takes about 60-70 minutes to play on 2. It's so much fun trying out different strategies.

We are going to step it up next time and try the advanced version. Now this is tricky to test, you can either choose what you play with or randomize a lot of things. There are modules you can play with or without that all affect the game in different ways.

I got cards to make until next time. Most of the game is already complete so not a whole lot to make. I will add a couple of different new cards but there are only 1-3 copies of each.
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Jerzy Brzozowski
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Great episode, guys. I really wish there was an entire podcast about game design.

Don:
There are workshops that laser-cut pieces in MDF or acrylic, in all sorts of thicknesses. All you have to do is prepare an svg or pdf file with the shapes. The price is decent, at least if you're looking at a prototype-scale printing. I've made myself a custom Stone Age token set that way. If you're looking for playtesters from around the world, I can help. ninja
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Donald Dennis
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jerzyab wrote:
Great episode, guys. I really wish there was an entire podcast about game design.

Don:
There are workshops that laser-cut pieces in MDF or acrylic, in all sorts of thicknesses. All you have to do is prepare an svg or pdf file with the shapes. The price is decent, at least if you're looking at a prototype-scale printing. I've made myself a custom Stone Age token set that way. If you're looking for playtesters from around the world, I can help. ninja


I sure will be looking for playtesters, but that game has been pushed until May. My March game has changed, and April's is still percolating.
 
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Magnus Esko
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How's it going with the next episode?

Today has been pretty intense. I had an amazing idea for doing space battles, that doesn't take too long but has all the elements I want in space battles. Since then I've had nothing else on my mind for the whole day. I started on a prototype, about half done now, with enough for 3 players.

This game is based on an idea that is almost 3 years old. It is inspired by Twilight Imperium but focus far more on the space battles and research. It is far less random and more of a hybrid game. The game has much simpler rules and should take way less time to play.

Maybe I'll get the chance to playtest it this weekend. I so look forward to it. I've wanted a game just like this for many many years.
 
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Magnus Esko
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You know how I talk about boxes for prototypes. Today I bought a set of 2 black A4 sized cardboard boxes. They are meant for storage so they are a bit too tall. Probably should buy some boxes from Spielmaterial when I buy more stuff from them. This space game is my first design ever to contain A4 sized boards. While that's not the intention, they do make the game look more euro-ish.

Now I only have the cards left to make, 120 of them in total. Only made one as a test so far. Should be able to complete them today. I also need to come up with a name for a space game that has almost no story. It's not dripping with theme but I think the battles will feel more fulfilling. Hopefully I have made a design that feels like a massive game but flows smoothly. I like what I call gameflow, which is important in my own games.

Wow, just came up with some cool names while writing this Also gonna use Empire as the development name.

How are things going with your designs Donald?
 
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Donald Dennis
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Awakening wrote:
How are things going with your designs Donald?

grumble grumble grumble.
 
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Magnus Esko
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Sounds like you've run into some problems, or a designer's block. Wanna share with the rest of us?
 
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