Playstyle Profiles

One of the least exciting parts of being a game designer is the initial tests, after a game has been developed into a prototype but before the prototype is ready to show to anyone. At that stage you put the game down, set out a bunch of places for your players around the table and hop from chair to chair playing the game with yourself. During the development of Wizard’s Academy I’m sure that I spent more than fifty hours playing with myself. While it’s more fun with company it’s useful to do this alone and it can be more fun with the right technique.



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Playtesting graphic design

I’m a big fan of awful prototypes. It’s very much my preference to translate an idea into physical form and start playing with it as fast as possible and I really don’t spend much time agonising over how to lay things out neatly before creating *something* that will do. Generally this approach is great, ideas can get a “reality check” pretty quickly and there’s always time to refine later. It’s also pretty quick because every card that I design is essentially the same.


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Sportsmanship and Game Design

Among other things, I grew up playing Titan. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the basic pattern of the game is that you start with a titan and a few other units and move about a strategic board using your existing units to recruit better units. When your units run into your opponents units then they’re moved onto a tactical board where they have a fight. The winner – in addition to having killed some things – gets some points which translate into recruiting special units and more power for their titular titan. A player who loses their titan is eliminated and the last player left standing wins. When my father was winning a game, the closing moves of the game would often look like this:


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