Artists for Game Designers

Last week I was interviewed by Richard Bliss on Funding the Dream which should go live on Thursday. One of the things that we discussed was access to artists. As I work for 3DTotal, which was an art company long before we made any games, I have the opportunity to work with an art director and a host of great artists. Presently I’m working with Sean, Justin and Ludwin on Wizard’s Academy and they’re doing beautiful work, I’m very lucky to have this arrangement. If possible, I’d like to try to extend the opportunity of working in this way to more game designers, so that’s today’s topic: What could I do in order to help more great game designers access more great artists?


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In most competitive games opponents start with broadly identical resources. In some games opponents start with slightly different resources, perhaps possessing a slightly different power or set of starting resources. In a few the difference in start point is very significant, perhaps the condition by which the players might win varies from player to play. Forget all of those games for now, I’d like to talk about games that throw symmetry out of the window entirely and put players in vastly different situations.


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Differences in kind

Let me start the week with a few housekeeping announcements:

1) I’m intending to have a look at how this blog works and see what could be updated. I’d love to combine the 3dtotalgames site and BGG site into one blog, but there are features of both I don’t want to give up. It’d also be good to have a bit more functionality (comment notifications etc.) if there’s anything you want please shout up this week.

2) Gamergate is still going on. It occurs me to that I hadn’t stated this formally before but, in the most diplomatic tone that seems appropriate to the issue: Fuck That Shit. Props to my brothers and sisters in the computer game design world fighting the good fight. It’s also a reminder to watch the culture that we encourage through our creations.

3) The first copy of my first game arrived recently and it looks amazing! It’s so exciting to see it rolling off the production line, there’s an unboxing video here, but for those of you who don’t like clicking on links left by strange people on the internet, here’s how it looks:


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Action Cards

Last night I was playing Viticulture at Curry and Games and experienced a disappointing opening to the game. My starting card allowed me to trade all of my starting money for a single victory point, utterly worthless until the end game. As the game has a hand limit I was forced to either play at a disadvantage by holding onto it and having an effectively smaller limit for most of the game or to play at a disadvantage by ditching it and effectively not having a starting visitor card.

"Rock, Hard Place" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

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