Welcome

Featured

Hiya and welcome to the 3DTotalgames website!

We’re constantly building new things so there’s a lot on. If you’re looking for recent news, game design articles and stuff like that, just scroll down. There are hundreds of posts on the subject! At the bottom right you can see some categories if you’re interested in particular ideas or projects.

If you’re interested in one of our games the bar along the top links to pages about particular games. Each page has an overview of the game, shows off some of the art and lets you know where you can get it.

Flexible Start and End Points

In most games the possibility space extends both before and after the actual start and end points of the game chosen by the designer. Take something like Settlers of Catan. You don’t have to stop at 10 victory points, you could ignore the rules and keep playing. You don’t have to start at the game start, with everyone having two villages and some resource cards, you could step backwards and start with just one and no resource cards.

onevillage

Continue reading

Balancing Spending Options

A lot of games contain a resource that can be spent in multiple ways. For instance in Game of Thrones you might spend a power token to control an area after you leave it, to bid on an area of influence or to help defeat a Wildling invasion. Not being sure how best to spend a token is a source of tension and an opportunity to express skill – so from a game designer’s point of the view the question becomes: How can I make the player unsure of what manner in which to spend my multifaceted resource?

confusingsale

Continue reading

How should AI cheat?

Last week I was writing a cardboard AI for a game and reached the conclusion that in order to make the game fun and challenging it would have to be allowed to cheat. In this case by starting with more resources than the human player(s). An algorithm that could equal human play would be too complicated to execute and bog down the game, so a simpler one was required to make the game fun and it had to cheat to make the game interesting.

cheat

Continue reading

Quality in Context

I’m presently sorting through hundreds of cards for the SatW game, in the hopes of cutting the game down to a more reasonable size. I’ve played a lot of games with this prototype and have plenty of notes about each card. The most useful “at a glance” measure is that I’ve been ending playtests by asking “Which cards did you like? Which ones made the game worse?” and putting a plus or minus next to each card that gets mentioned (depending on whether it’s a positive or negative mention). This is less useful than you’d think.

posinegative

Continue reading

Situational Value

Board games can put a lot of different skills to the test. I think that one of their attractions is in the way that they can tickle all sorts of different regions of your brain. Today I’d like to write about a particular skill and it’s implications for designers: Recognising situational value.

ponymonchoice

Continue reading

How to Get Your Kickstarter Game First

Today I’m processing a lot of Kickstarter orders, it just so happens that while Escape the Nightmare and Wizard’s Academy were kickstarted at different times their manufacturing processes have finished within a week of each other. Essentially my goal is to process the spreadsheets that Kickstarter gives you into a pile of address labels. There are thousands to get through and there’ll probably be a noticeable amount of time between the first one and the last one, so if I do your label first then you might see your game a week earlier than someone whose got done last. With that in mind I thought I’d write a guide to “Getting your kickstarter game first”

illusion Continue reading