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What is the Board Game Design Lab?

BGDF is partnered with the Board Game Design Lab - an effort by BGDF user Gabe Barrett to create and curate regular content for game designers.

The Board Game Design Lab:

  • Curates articles from around the web, guiding users through the process of game design and publishing.
  • Publishes a podcast, with insightful interviews with industry veterans
  • BGDF is happy to have Gabe in our community, and his contributions to the site through BGDL.

    Take me back to the BGDL blogs!

    Games at my Day Job

    I've been a game design tinker for much of my adult life. Very recently, I finally acknowledged that at least a large part of my day job and how I make a living is in making games.

    As of this writing, I'm at the start of my first vacation since late December, and I took the opportunity to reflect at least a little bit on my creative (and as it happens, professional) output over the past several months.

    Game #6/12 - The Skurge - escape from an unstoppable enemy, rescuing what you can on the way


    The Skurge

    An 18 card Euro-style adventure game for 2 players about racing home from an unstoppable enemy.

    OFFICER: “Captain! What’s that?”
    CAPTAIN: “Dear God! Something’s torn that planet in half!”
    OFFICER: “We’re taking damage from the debris.”
    CAPTAIN: “Take evasive manoeuvres!”
    OFFICER: “I’m picking up multiple life forms spawning from the epicentre.”
    CAPTAIN: “That’s the Skurge! A self replicating biological nightmare destined to consume every other living entity! We need to get to Earth and warn them. There’s a jump gate 5 systems away; set a course!”

    Triptych 14 Three Subjects in One Blog Post

    Three Subjects in One Blog Post

    • Consequence and Reward in Games
    • Chinese Britannia
    • Ignoring History OR Can you function if you try not to offend anyone?

    Never Give In dev diary #2


    OK so second dev diary. See #1 for concept; this one is about my first playtest.

    AD - Admiral player
    OP - Operations officer player
    WC - Wing commander player

    I wasn't sure where to start with testing, but I've noticed that I tend to spin ideas round and round in my head and get attached to them, only to find they don't work when it comes to applying them - so I figured jump straight in and see what works; that way the unworkable ideas won't have time to take root. This blog will go through the system I used to work up a first playable version: v0.1

    The map


    I'm just happy.. I got a re-order from Indie Press Revolution, as they're down to 6 units (out of 48 originally sent). 10% of my new print run is spoken for :)

    Oh, in other news that nobody cares about, I got a new job in a new city, and I'll be unlikely to design many more new games in the future just because (I hope) I'll be too busy and engaged at the office. I do still need to finish writing Ice & Flame, of course, since I already Kickstarted it :)

    Never Give In dev diary #1

    Hello blog

    What's this?
    This is a dev-diary blog I've decided to start keeping about a game I'm trying to design. I'm hoping that by codifying and recording thoughts here it will encourage me to be more disciplined about working steadily on the project. I'm also trying to get the ideas for the game away from my internal monologue and into the outside world so, while I don't really expect anyone will read this except me, if you're interested in anything you see please feel free to comment.

    What's the game concept?

    My Heart of The Knight game


    Heart of the Knight

    On April 4, 2020, I had designed a solitaire puzzle game with 12 cards and 1 knight miniature. I sent out 10 of those games to friends and family. Of those friends, they are game designers and author.

    July 6, 2020

    My nephew and his teacher were at my nephew's grand parents house for dinner.

    The teacher had asked my nephew if I had come up with any new games. My nephew replied ,"Yes, in fact he has. I'll show you after dinner".

    My nephew had told his teacher how to play the game. He played twice and asked my nephew, "Do you think your uncle will copy some more games?"

    OverRealm - Buff me baby one more time

    Stallagrowth - Rock Smash

    Hey everyone!

    In my previous blog post, I discussed that my card game OverRealm is modeled after the video game Pokémon, and seeks to fix all of that game’s excessive complexity while maintaining (or exceeding!) all of the interesting decision making. However, OverRealm is not the first game to attempt this.

    David Sirlin’s Kongai is a fixed Pokémon.

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    by Dr. Radut