Enough Rope to Hang Yourself

I’m very interested in the self-destructive part of the human condition. We are in the process of making our environment uninhabitable to humans, have devised increasingly sophisticated means to prove it beyond any reasonable doubt and are doing it anyway. We’re hilarious. So most of the games that I design contain some means by which a player can make everything terrible and then finds ways to make that choice seem compelling.

Continue reading

Eighteen Plus

Today’s topic: When should you put cock into a game.

There was probably a more delicate way to phrase that, but it’s been on my mind lately. I saw the SU&SD review for Kingdom Death Monster which brought it to mind lately and as some of the art comes in for the Scandinavia and the World game it’s becoming increasingly apparent that it’s a topic that’s going to come up.


Continue reading

Games with Fire

You may have noticed a lack of posts, this is because I was and still somewhat am pretty ill. When I’m in this state I tend to do better posting out really “out there” ideas since I can’t focus or draw sensible conclusions anyway – so I solicited suggestions on what aspect shouldn’t be in a game so that I can theorycraft it. I had a lot of great suggestions from radioactive waste to flaying, but the one that caught my attention was fire. As a design exercise, let’s think about how one could (reasonably) incorporate fire into a game.


Continue reading

Are Board Games Boring?

So there’s this lovely article going around at the moment: Video games are boring. It’s worth a read, but I’ll summarise: The author is a video game designer who’s been excited by the recent boon in people playing games, only to find that her favourite games fell flat with her friends. However in some instances they had limited but amazing experiences with them. Her conclusion is that video game development has been driven by video gamers for a very long time and has failed to break outside of a mould preferred by that group. It could be a much more vibrant field if it had more voices from a different backgrounds. It could be more if it had games that keyed more with the experiences most people are having in their lives. Games can and should be more than they are. So my question for the day is: Are the same things true of board games?


Continue reading

Motivations for Gaming

One of the advantages of pulling an index of all of my games writing together was that it means I can see the gaps. I’ve hinted before that there are several different motivations for playing games, but never really dug into the idea. I was first persuaded of the notion in an Extra Credits episode. The computer games industry is light years ahead of the board games industry in terms of deep research into why people play their games. That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since the amounts of money being thrown around are so much larger, there’s more to gain from that sort of study. We can use their findings.


Continue reading