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May 2013 Miscellany

Thoughts about some game-related topics that are not long enough for separate blog posts.
As I read the rules for the 2013 Game Chef contest, the "self-plagiarism" component of this one struck me as bizarre:
"Rule on Previous Work
You may draw on concepts you have thought about or worked on before the contest, but everything you submit must be new work, not existing material. Plagiarism or self-plagiarism will get your game disqualified."

It reminded me of the education community, where "self-plagiarism" is regarded as wrong, and many teachers will flunk a student for doing it.

Giving Victory Points for Fighting Battles

Occasionally I hear about a game that gives victory points (VP) for fighting a battle (not even just for winning, just for fighting).

Why would you do that? From a modeling point of view, what’s the virtue of fighting a battle, especially one that you do not win?

Three hats: the three parts of creating games

(While I begin by talking about RPGs, I am later going to generalize to all kinds of tabletop and video games - “sit-down games”.)

When I used to write lots of articles about RPGs for White Dwarf, Dragon, and other magazines three decades ago, I mostly wrote two kinds of things: game rules, and advice about how to play and especially how to referee Dungeons & Dragons successfully. I rarely wrote settings; and only occasionally in the magazines did I write adventures, which are a combination of rules and setting/story.

Buyers versus players

It’s going to take a while to get to the point of buyers versus players: please bear with me.

2012-13 Game Designer Survey Results

Game Designer Survey Results

In the last half of December through the first part of February I distributed a survey for game designers on the Internet: "This is a short (10 questions, five minutes or less) survey for people who call themselves game designers, video or tabletop (which is as good a way to define who game designers are as any other)." In the end, 142 respondents have had a game published commercially, along with 46 self-publishers, more than half of the 346 respondents. Here are the results.

Six words about the role of inspiration in game design

According to tweetdeck, one of the trending:worldwide topics on twitter last year was 6 word stories. Since then I've asked people to say 6 words about game design, programming, wargames, stories in games, casual games, zombie games, chance/randomness in games, innovation and plagiarism in games, social networking games, game sequels, and "If I could give a present to the game industry this Christmas". Contributions are sometimes amusing, sometimes serious, sometimes worth remembering.

This time the challenge is this: say six words the role of inspiration in game design.

PrezCon 2013

Once again I attended PrezCon in Charlottesville Virginia near the end of February. This was the 10th year since I started going although I haven’t attended every year. It was the 20th year for the convention.

PrezCon is a strictly board and card game convention that works much like the World Wargaming Championships (WBC).

March 2013 Miscellany

Thoughts about some game-related topics that are not long enough for separate blog posts.

February 2013 Miscellany

Thoughts about some game-related topics that are not long enough for separate blog posts.

BGDF readers might want to look at "What's in a Name (especially trademarks) For various reasons I haven't wanted to post it here.

I expect to be at PrezCon in Charlottesville, VA on the last weekend of Feburary, and at WBC in Lancaster PA. Remains to be seen whether I'll be at Origins or GenCon.

Trying to define “the board”

Britannia board connectivity diagram

On LinkedIn someone asked if there were industry definitions and names for the various aspects of a game board. There aren’t any that I know of, but it’s worth trying to analyze what we actually have in a “game board”.

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by Dr. Radut