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E-Mail: ericp[AT]lariennalibrary.com


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Board game design Articles

Page: DesignArticle.DesignArticle - Last Modified : Sun, 15 Dec 13 - 7810 Visits
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This page contains a list of articles I have written about board game design. It contains theories and experiences related to game design which should be useful for other board game designer.

Article List

Action system and empire size (2014-03-25)

This article explains a common problem where the actions are not proportional with the player's empire size which creates many complications.

Are auctions evil? (2012-02-11)

Explains why auctions are mostly wrongly used in board games.

Beware of the artist syndrome (2013-06-01)

A syndrome that most artist that design games seems to have which is rushing their game to the end too fast.

Card Game special abilities (2010-07-13)

Various concepts behind the design of special abilities especially in collectible card games

Christopher Alexander and Board Game Design (2012-07-15)

Explores the possibility to apply Christopher Alexander's 15 properties theory to Board Game Design.

Combining game mechanics, the side dish theory (2011-01-11)

This article try to explain that to make the most out of a mechanic, it should be combined with other mechanics.

Command Window and Chain of Command (2010-12-23)

This article explains the level of information the player needs to manage according to it's command window.

Common Syndromes found in Board Games (2012-08-13)

This article list and explain the most popular board game syndrome that every designer should know.

Defining Rule Space (2013-05-04)

A new concept that represent what a group of abilities it allowed to modify

Differences between Board Game and Video Game design (2017-03-20)

Briefly explain the main differences between desiging board games versus turn based strategy video games

Each game elements should have at least 2 functions (2011-01-11)

This article explains the idea that each game elements should have at least 2 purpose to create a better dynamic.

Game Design by Restrictions (2012-08-13)

Describe an interesting discovery that I have made: if you impose your self restrictions in your game design, it will be easier to come up with new ideas.

Game design compared to a dream (2010-08-13)

This article explains a new theory I have discovered after seeing the movie "Inception".

Getting out of the initial design loophole (2012-08-15)

When designing a new game, you get stuck with the problem that you need information to play test the game but you can't create that information because you are not exactly sure how the game will work.

Hourglass Design vs. Abstraction design (2010-07-13)

A kind of mechanic that consist in massively simplifying a concept to complexify it later in a specific situation.

How to make video strategy games feel like board games (2017-03-20)

A series of restrictions to apply to strategy video games to make them feel more like board games and avoid the many pitfalls of strategy video games.

How to write rules (2012-04-01)

This is a guide for new designers that list basic guide lines on how to write rules for their game

Imagination, the psychology behind Board Games (2012-02-26)

Imagination gives the ability to the player to enhance and feel the game as a real life experience. Euro games failed to achieve this because they are designed for adults with less imagination.

Loose strategy games, or Player's impact level on the game (2012-12-17)

Explains the difference between games where the players have a strong or weak impact over the game. Introduce the concept of loose strategy games

Most published games are 80% complete (2016-12-01)

Most games are incomplete because they have not pushed the development process to the end which explains why people create variants. The article also talks about the law of diminishing marginal return and outilers.

Numeric Clairvoyance and Structural Numbers (2014-03-23)

Another article that explains how to use math in game.

Playing with numbers (2014-03-23)

This article talks about number sequences and various other ways mathematics can used in a board game.

Print and Play publishing: Stats and advices (2013-10-20)

This article gives the sale stats I have for the PnP games I have published and list various problems to avoid.

Read me first: How to get a gaming culture (2014-03-26)

This article explains the prerequisite to become a game designer and the many pitfalls or delusion people could have regarding games.

Resource Flow (2013-02-09)

How to dress up or analyze the resource flow of a game.

Rules are player restrictions (2012-09-17)

Explains what are the various ways to restrict a player using rules.

Special abilities, common abilities and values (2011-01-20)

Explains that special abilities and other rewards should be placed in a certain ratio to make the game convenient to play.

Stock Ticker Mathemathology OR Mental arithmetic training (2013-10-12)

This is some sort of training article that explain the mathematology of stock ticker in hope that players will play the gain to train them self for doing mental calculation.

The four 'S': Small, Simple, Short, Social (2016-12-21)

This are article explain 4 important aspect that should be considered when making a board game. Else it would be more appropriate to use another medium than board games.

Time ratio investment (2011-03-01)

Explains the amount of time that must be invested by comparing the design of a simple variant with the design of a new game.

Triangular theory of board game design (2010-07-13)

This is my theory where I explains that board games are not only composed of themes and mechanics. There is a third element I call the feeling that should also be part of it.

Using mechanics that reflects reality, the problem with auctions (2010-07-13)

The mechanics of a game must match those in real life in order to recreate the experience. A large section talks about the inappropriate use of auctions

Add article this is a test

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