Thematic Solitaires for the Spare Time Challenged

A blog about solitaire games and how to design them. I'm your host, Morten, co-designer of solo modes for games such as Scythe, Gaia Project and Viticulture.

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Aerion – a review with Onirim morsels

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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There are very few games that I buy without doing any kind of research. Off the top of my head the only ones I can come up with are the games in the Oniverse series by Shadi Torbey and so I preordered the latest entry, Aerion, when it was announced and I got it to the table shortly after it arrived.

At this point, you’re of course sitting on the edge of your seat with bated breath while you wait for my judgement: Was my self-generated hype warranted? OK, OK, maybe you’re not that exited, but I still hope you’ll read on .
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Sun May 19, 2019 2:41 pm
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Guest post: Designing with Theme in Mind - a Mini Designer Diary for Hostage Negotiator Abductor Pack 4 by Mikolaj Laczynski

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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First of all a big thank you to Morten for letting me be the guest on these columns. I will try to make this text appropriate considering the words "thematic" and "solitaire" in the title.

A short introduction. My name is Mikolaj and after having been the lead playtester for Hostage Negotiator I was given the opportunity by A. J. Porfirio to design the fourth Abductor Pack - Hostage Negotiator: Abductor Pack 4.
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Tue May 14, 2019 1:06 pm
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What goes into making an Automa?

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Our 16th Automa project is being wrapped up right now and we’re applying the final polish.

I’m sometimes asked how much work that goes into making an Automa and today I’ll give a very brief recap of the current one to answer that question. Before getting started, though, I should note that this one has been among the largest projects.
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Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:53 pm
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Being bipolar

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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I’m bipolar.

There, I said it. It’s out in the open.

For a long time, I’ve held back from saying it on the internet because I fear it’ll hurt my career. That it’ll stop publishers or employers from hiring me. That it’ll make people judge me or feel awkward when they talk to me. It’s also because it makes me ashamed and I’m afraid what will happen when my son gets old enough to read this and afraid of how he will feel about his friends and schoolmates being able to read about his dad’s mental issues.

While writing this, I’m debating with myself, whether I should post or not – it’s a debate I’ve had for a while.
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Sun Apr 7, 2019 4:10 am
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The (maybe not) suffering spouse of a board game publisher: Francesca Hall and Shadows of Kilforth

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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You’ve seen it again and again. Designer X or publisher Y puts a game up and Kickstarter and then goes on a blog and podcast tour.

Booooring .

Today, I’ll do something completely different. I won’t talk to the designer and publisher, who in this case is Tristan Hall and the game is Shadows of Kilforth. It’s a sequel/standalone expansion to Gloom of Kilforth, a solo-playable full-D&D-campaign-feel-in-less-than-2-hours game I playtested a long time ago and covered during the very early days of this blog

The perspective I’m going for today is not that of of a game designer and Kickstarter creator, but that of the suffering game designer and Kickstarter spouse . In this case, though, it turns out that she seems more happy and supportive than suffering.

So, instead of Tristan Hall, I give you Francesca Hall with not only the first suffering happy and supportive spouse post in the history of this blog, but also the first post where all the section titles are written by Phil Collins.
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Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:17 am
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A surprise guest at the Every Night is Game Night Awards

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Every Night is Game Night has just posted the first of their 2018 awards. If you don’t want one of the segments spoiled don’t read this post.
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:59 pm
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Morten didn’t do it :-)

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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That’s it. I’ve had it. I’m tired of always being accused of being the one who did it .
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Sat Feb 9, 2019 10:13 am
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Voluntary and forced pivot points

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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A core concept in many games – particularly engine builders – is the pivot point and understanding it is important for both game designers and gamers.

So, let’s talk about the pivot point and its evil twin.

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Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:49 am
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Are solo modes added in expansions more likely to be slapped on?

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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DISCLAIMER: This post sails smack in the middle of the waters that pay my bills, so while reading keep in mind it’s an opinion piece written by someone who has an obvious financial and emotional interest in solo modes developed independently of a game’s designer.

Thus, I’m biased and because of that I’ve argued with myself about whether to participate in the discussion. In the end, I decided to do so, because I hope that my experience with making multiple published solo modes can add something to the debate.
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Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:28 pm
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Showdown: Reykholt vs. Loyang

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Two new Uwe Rosenberg games were released at Essen this year. Spring Meadow as the final game in his puzzle trilogy (Cottage Garden and Indian Summer) and Reykholt which is inspired by At the Gates of Loyang.

In this post, I’ll let Reykholt face its parent, At the Gates of Loyang, in mortal combat to determine which one is the better game (in my opinion). I’ve seen people write that they’re very different games, but I think that the mechanical similarities are significantly larger than the differences.

Let’s dive into why I think this is so and which of the two I prefer.
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Tue Nov 6, 2018 10:59 am
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