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Tracking Turns: Unlimited Game-Time versus Limited Game Time


Many playground games will allow players unlimited time or turns to achieve the game objectives. Classics like risk or diplomacy have open-ended playground style structure allowing great freedom (and sometimes very lengthy games).

The Bazaar: Where Everyone Gathers


We want to create player tension in our games, and one way to do this is to create limited public objectives.
Auctioning is one way to go, but I wanted purchasing features to be a little more free-form, and objective based on costs and resource gathering/management based on the dynamic map and player decisions.

On the Bazaar mat is a Tavern Section where some Knights are available for hire. Any player may hire any knight in the Town Phase of their turn, but each knight is slightly different and adds differing perqs to the player who hires her.

The mice

Mice - solo playtest

Just for fun: here's the rough Mouse figures I made for the solo play test. The printer at work is not high resolution and I did not spend too much time working on them.

I fully expect to come up with a more refined design in the future but this will do for now.

Solo Playtest


I have a hard time putting everything out there.

My background is in film and design and it's beaten into you not to talk about the specifics of what you are working on. Spoilers in the film community can lead to firing or lack of future employment ... and the design community is notoriously untrustworthy of anyone (Not to mention you've probably signed five NDA's during your first year of employment all of which seem to threaten the life of your first born if you even mention who your working with).

A Eureka Moment about Training, Education, Puzzles, and Games

I was thinking about a time when my department head came to my game design class unannounced to evaluate my teaching, and I wasn’t “lecturing” to the students. They were working on game projects. (This was not an introductory class.) She seemed surprised that I wasn’t lecturing, but that may be because she typically taught introductory computer literacy style classes such as how to use Microsoft Office. Classes that teach use of specific office software can be taught more or less by rote: if you want to make something bold you highlight it and press control-B or click the Bold button. If you change margins you do thus and so. And so forth.

These intro software classes don’t have to be taught entirely by rote but commonly they are, complete with what I call “monkey books”.

Strategy Dartboard Game

I have a desire to create a dartboard based strategy game. There are no games like that out there. And the ones that out there, like Cricket and Football, are extremely primitive

Game Map


I like the idea of a modular map and a fog-of-war effect, where parts of the map are not available until players have explored them.

In project KQ I'm using a medieval fantasy knights theme, so the map is prototyped as hex tiles with several features on them.

Player Mats

As I said in my first Blog Post, I'm a very visual thinker.

I'm working on a project and I have to feel the 'pretty' or a vision of the end product, so sometimes cardboard cut-outs with pencil drawings just don't cut it for me.

I have a copy of photo shop and have been practicing with it extensively. Below are some prototype sketches of major components of my game, code name KQ.

Player mats:

Digging in the Dirt

Notebook 6-12-12

Adventurers have to dig around a bit before finding what they are looking for and game design, at least for me, is about the same. I'm ok with a long season in the field: good things take time.

I do have a theme: it's a little bit "Forbidden Island", a dash of J.J. Abrams, and a little bit of "The Goonies." No specifics yet especially as the mischievous backstabbing of "Munchkin" has decided to show itself. I'm also playing around with including Indiana Jones knapsack in the game.

It's a little messy.

Origins 2012–-“Diminished”

This is not a “convention report” per se, as I had no interest in the banquets and awards, nor in the special guests, nor (with few exceptions) in new games and announcements about games. The featured guests were media people--film and TV--rather than game people, though Wil Wheaton does a boardgame videocast (which I have not seen). The others were Felicia Day and Adrienne Wilkinson. There were only two game design guests of honor (Rob Schwalb and Jeff Tidball), quite a departure from days past, one artist (Sandra L. Garrity), and one author guest (Aaron Allston, formerly a D&D writer). SF author Timothy Zahn was scheduled to be around as well. In years past Reiner Knizia, Richard Garfield, and Jim Dunnigan have been guests of honor, but if people of such stature in game design were present I did not see or hear of them.

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