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Can we characterize tabletop game publishers? Hard to say.

This post was precipitated by a question from a reader regarding how often or how persistent he should be in trying to get an email response from a publisher, after initial contact.

What it has become is an attempt to describe, up to the point of my limited knowledge, what tabletop hobby game publishers are like and how they work. I don’t know all the publishers, of course, and in particular I’ve never had any contact with German publishers. Yet I think I can tell new game designers some things that might help them understand how the industry works.

Another AV playtest with unsure results

Played another game of AV with Brian using the flat armor saves. Simple formula: Roll X or higher, defender rolls dice equal to successes and has to roll Y or lower. It was alright. Really hard to save considering most characters had saves of 2 or 3. Nearly all damage getting through.

Intentions versus Actions (in Game Design): a warning for new game designers

“[The road to] hell is paved with good intentions.” Traditional proverb

"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." Henry Ford

One reason why so many aspiring game designers “never get anywhere” is the confusion between intention and action. Different generations view this quite differently. Older people recognize that it’s what you do that is most important, not what you intend or what you say you’ll do or what you wanted to do. They're in tune with Henry Ford. Young people tend to believe that intention is so important that it can excuse a lack of action.

Second thoughts on the new system

Played AV with Brian today with the "new" system suggested by bgdf and bgg. The verdict: Booooooring. It works, I'll give it that. But hitting 9+ or 10+ was tedious. Sure, you'd get a hit or two, but most of the time it was complete misses. You felt like you were accomplishing nothing. No one wants that. It wasn't engaging. I was bored and I'm the damn creator!

First in a long time

I have entered Buka & Back in the KGB game design Challenge

This is the first contest I have entered in a long time. Usually I miss the deadline because I can’t get the game ready in time. Fortunately Buka & Back has been ready for submission for some time and only took a little rules tweaking to get it ready.

There are several prizes
First Place $1000
Second Place $400
Third Place $200

And the possibility of licensing the game to them. We could all use a little $ and getting the games published is the ultimate goal.

Ludofact Factory

I have just viewed this video of the LudoFact board game factory. It's pretty well made.

Maintenance based economies vs. “accumulation” economies OR, Economic “Limits”

“War” games are fundamentally different from “battle” games, although most people would call both wargames. In the former there’s an economy and the war is essentially about controlling a better economy that ultimately gives you the preponderance of force. The focus tends to be strategic rather than tactical with maneuver contributing to gaining or keeping control of economic locations.

In a battle game you have an order of appearance that rarely changes, and no economy. Then the focus tends to become tactical, finding better ways to butcher the enemy before they butcher you. There may be objectives that are locations on a map, but if you slaughter enough of the enemy you’re likely to take those objectives. Maneuver then contributes to killing the enemy (or scaring them off) not to capturing/controlling economic resource/production locations.

A sailing simulation mechanic

I love sailboat racing and I'd love to tell you stories of my yacht racing victories around the world, but the truth is that I only have a radio-controlled model sailboat and I am terrible at racing it. All during this past sailing season I've been rolling ideas around in my head for a sailboat racing simulation game to play in the off-season.

“Is this game like Britannia?”

At the NC State Tabletop Game Club I attend five people were playing my prototype “The Rise and Fall of Assyria”. Someone came by and asked if the game was like Britannia. I answered no, because this game is much more fluid, is designed for 3 to 5 players, has less randomness in the combat though still using dice, has simpler scoring, and involves the rise and decline of empires rather than ones that can in some cases play through the entire game (as with the Welsh and Picts in Britannia).

But later I thought that compared with the other games that were being played in the room – we had over 50 people that day – the game is much like Britannia. Because they are both games that require “strategic thinking” (strategic in contrast with tactical, though also in the sense of having to make difficult choices about the best play) that are also games of maneuver and location. And they are both wargames. In contrast most of the games that are played at this game club do not involve maneuver and location nor are they wargames.

Looking for manufacturer of board-game pieces

Hello Board-Gamer

I listened to a 2hr games forum podcast today which was produced in Australia in 2008.

The website "Spiel" was mentioned and it has got me thinking that I may have found a potential manufacturer for some board-game pieces that I will need manufactured when I am ready to turn my board-game idea into a reality.

I have some questions to ask of Spiel Material the first and most important is... Do they manufacture plastic products/board-game pieces to order?

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by Dr. Radut