Game Design

Women in Board Game Development: All About My Workshop

I have a tendency to do things that are both spontaneous and inadvisable. Recently, I wondered why there weren't more women in board game development. From pure anecdotal evidence, about 20% of the people I see at game shops are women, but only about 6% of the top 100 games are by women. When women do create games, few are solo designers; most are co-designers and usually with a man. But I didn't want to draw any conclusions, I wanted to find out more. So I decided to run a women's development workshop -- and the results were pretty illuminating in a way I didn't expect.

The Evolution of Kickstarter in the Board Game Industry

Kickstarter is the largest venue for board game publishing. Even companies that already have their own funding and an established following are publishing their new games on Kickstarter. Large IPs use Kickstarter to gauge public interest and to obtain funding before the development of their project. Consequently, it's no wonder that problems arise -- such as the failure of the Evil Dead 2 game

Victory Point Games: What Does Point Spread Mean When Playing or Developing a Game?

For both players and developers, point spread can mean a lot about a game and how it's played. Somewhat like accuracy and precision, "point spread" often indicates how reliable a game's strategies are, as well as the variance between the best and the worst players. Sometimes a large point spread means that a game is extremely random; other times a large point spread means that there's a lot of room for growth as a player.

Is Your Board Game Boring Your Players?

Your players enter the game excited and seem to be having a fantastic time. But, for some reason, after thirty minutes or so they begin to flag. By the time your hour long game is done, they're wiped out. They keep insisting that your game was fun, but it doesn't look like they're chomping at the bit to try it again. What happened? Why is your board game boring?

How to Price Your Kickstarter Board Game

You don't know what you don't know. Before you launch your first Kickstarter board game, there are a lot of questions you might not even realize you need to ask. Kickstarter has become the de facto standard for independent board game funding, but that also means that the market is now saturated. How can you make your game stand out? What mistakes do you need to avoid?

Well, you may want to begin with the pricing.

Why I Hate Video Tutorials for Board Games

"STOP!"

"Huh, my board game comes with a warning sticker."

"BEFORE YOU PLAY THIS GAME..."

"Is this board game seizure-inducing, somehow? It's not even Lazer Ryderz."

"...watch US play it! Go to YouTube to see our video tutorial!"

"What? No."

Why I Hate Video Tutorials

First: it isn't that I hate the tutorials themselves. It's that video tutorials come associated with a very specific side effect.

Idle Hands: Are Your Players Getting Bored Between Turns?

What do players do when waiting for their turn? If you're testing your game on a group like mine, your players will end up chatting and socializing socializing. But if the turns begin to take too long, people will start getting impatient. Take even longer still, and the game will be put away -- never to be played again.

Quarterbacking in Board Games: The Player and Developer Perspective

"This is a fantastic game," said our local game shop owner. "Everyone's loved it."

We picked up Magic Maze and set it up in a few minutes. The premise was simple: everyone controls the direction that pawns move and the movements they can take. Pawns must collect an item and then escape the maze. Oh, and it has to be done simultaneously, and in complete silence.

Launching an Indie Game on Kickstarter

Kickstarter is becoming a difficult place for indie games -- both in terms of purchasing them and launching them. It's a weird, uneven market; many people are forsaking Kickstarter's model entirely, while others are using Kickstarter exclusively. Ultimately, Kickstarter's value isn't in its platform, but rather the marketing efforts of those behind a product. Too many consumers have been burned by mindlessly consuming games, and unless a game has a lot of hype it's not likely to breach interest.

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