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Why play games as a designer?

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adversitygames
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I've moved my comments here from another thread which has had some rampant deletions, to avoid them getting destroyed too.

I play a *lot* of games for various reasons.

I play immersive/thematic games: I learn about new interesting and creative stories, I experience a new perspective of the world and new people, I learn about the act of writing stories and learn about what's good or bad in how to tell a story

I play intense action games (driving or FPS): cos it's a rush, it's hard, and I either get good or I lose

I play puzzle games (which tbh most board games fall into): cos I like trying out different mechanics, learning how to overcome them, working out how to **see the matrix** which is awesome
(ahem, I mean "look past the theme and dressing and identify the underlying mechanics to exploit")

I don't think you *have* to play board games to make board games, but there's a lot of inexplicit knowledge you can get in playing board games about the end-user experience, which you *do* need to learn about either through playing board games or at least having good alternative sources of the knowledge

beside giving you a ton of new information for ideas on mechanics, and an awareness of the competition on the market, it helps to think about what you need to communicate to the player and what expectations players have of a rulebook

There is a lot of complexity in a good board game experience that is very hard to put into words, the "feel" of a game isn't about the artwork - it's about the flow of the game, insight into *applying* synergy as well as understanding the theory behind it, understanding the journey of learning each little part of the puzzle, piecing it together, having those moments where the details connect and you see the right exploit. I'm sure there *is* a way of communicating the fine details of that in words, but I don't think anyone has done it yet.

The Professor
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Blog or input?

iamseph,

I'm curious if this was meant as a blog entry or if you were looking for a dialogue.

As a designer, I don't think that I would trust the designs of someone who doesn't play games. You're formed naturally by your experiences, and limiting those experiences could only limit your design potential. I've heard that Reiner Knizia doesn't play other designer's games...I've played a few of his games, only once, and it's evident to me that he doesn't play other designer's games. To me, they're boring and quite dry.

Personally, I want to play gamrs, heavy in theme with clever mechanics. I've never played a game like that by a designer who doesn't play games.

Cheers,
Joe

adversitygames
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I meant it as a place to

I meant it as a place to continue discussing the subject without needing to worry about the threat of it being deleted for no (good) reason. I don't take my efforts being deleted lightly.

The Professor
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Curious...

It's interesting that you have had things deleted. Okay...good to know

questccg
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The Professor wrote:It's

The Professor wrote:
It's interesting that you have had things deleted. Okay...good to know

I don't think that he has had anything deleted.

But I do know that a thread concerning a logo was deleted - because the end-user of the OP felt that the attacks were becoming more and more personal. And so he deleted the thread because of this... I seriously doubt we will see much of him, considering that the thread was perhaps "a little too critical". It was sort of along the lines "your logo sucks, our logo is the best ..." that's what I remember the conversation, generally speaking.

I've delete a couple double posts ... but aside from that there has been no other deleting (that I am aware of).

We try to keep and respect everyone's opinion but I can't tell somebody not to delete their own post - if they feel like it is warranted.

Cheers.

n1x012
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questccg wrote:... I

questccg wrote:
... I seriously doubt we will see much of him, considering that the thread was perhaps "a little too critical". It was sort of along the lines "your logo sucks, our logo is the best ..." that's what I remember the conversation, generally speaking.

I'm pretty sure I know which thread you're referring to and that is NOT what happened.

adversitygames
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The Professor wrote:It's

The Professor wrote:
It's interesting that you have had things deleted. Okay...good to know

Yes, at least two posts from the thread currently called "How cool is game design"

Maybe more - but since it happened so suddenly, with no warning or explanation, I have no record and don't remember the exact quantity.

questccg
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The forum's policy is NOT to delete posts

Just wanted to re-assure you that no posts have been deleted from that thread. The Admins are rather busy and do not have the time to neither read the posts and let alone delete them.

BGDF's policy is NOT to delete posts with relevant content.

There is no censorship of any kind on BGDF... At most, the entire thread would be locked.

The only exception to the rule is what you as the OP does. OPs have the ability to delete the entire thread. Not individual posts. So if there is a thread missing, it's because the author of that thread decided to delete it him/herself.

X3M
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Wait. There was a thread

Wait.
There was a thread deleted completely that I am well aware of.
It started with a link to something we didn't wanted here. And the one who posted that was a new guy.

But the rest of the thread was a healthy conversation between the rest of us about what he was doing.

It was actually all good if you think about it.

If it happens more often and without warning. I feel worried for the safety about what we are posting. And perhaps it is time to back some things up if you have something posted here about your games. But not on your computer.

adversitygames
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My posts have been deleted

My posts have been deleted from the thread I mentioned. So have Soulfinger's.

Therefore, it does happen.

n1x012
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It's true. All of

It's true. All of Soulfinger's comments are missing.

questccg
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Trust me - when I say NO DELETING!

X3M wrote:
There was a thread deleted completely that I am well aware of.
It started with a link to something we didn't wanted here. And the one who posted that was a new guy.

If my memory serves me right this was some SPAM for a Chinese Casino... Yeah that stuff we deleted.

But nobody went into specific post topics to delete any of the content.

Unless we have some kind of indexing problem - which I *seriously* doubt, no messages were deleted. The procedure for deleting content is like this:

As a Moderator, I would have to REQUEST that either Rich (richdurham), Winston (Mindspike) or Seth (sedjtroll) have to intervene to delete specific threads.

This has happened on a couple of occasions when we've gotten garbage like a bot posting a bunch of threads or some simple SPAMMING. Otherwise nobody has the right to delete comments in threads (besides the above admins).

As Rich can tell you the Official Position of this website is NOT to delete content. Unless it's like accidental double posts where the user says: "Double post!", etc.

If you don't believe me - you can take up the matter with the Admins.

Cheers.

X3M
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Why would I not believe you?

Why would I not believe you?

And back to topic. I think it would be good to play once in a while. Just to learn about some new mechanics that new games have to offer. Further, one could see what the market is into having for games.

questccg
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Another type of game...

X3M wrote:
And back to topic. I think it would be good to play once in a while. Just to learn about some new mechanics that new games have to offer. Further, one could see what the market is into having for games.

Looks like Tablet PC Integration is *HOT* like in Golem Arcana. Their micro-dot technology is probably patented - and we won't see any one using it for the next 10 years - but the Table PC Integration, maybe done some other way, could be an interesting option for games.

I've just learned about "Fate of the Norns" (http://www.fateofthenorns.com) which is a rich story-telling Viking "game"... It's a blend between a "board game" and an RPG with a rich texture in Viking folklore. I'm not sure if it's pure fiction or actually some basis in Norwegian story-telling... That's just my latest game introduction... Kinda wish I could give more "meat" about the game - but I did not get the chance to speak with the author of the game - because he was busy doing demos and so was I...

But it seemed pretty "original" as a "game idea/concept"...

Update: About Tablet PC Integration - I have been thinking about a "Chaotic TCG" idea = having Chaotic Codes as part of your cards. And then you punch in those alphanumeric codes into the Tablet PC... And your game registers the card. Obviously you would REQUIRE the Physical card to play it... And the APP needs to refresh itself with DATA for expandable sets/editions.

It would be a very simple form of Tablet PC Integration... But it could blend "genres" together... Like instead of having a phone App, if you had a Tablet PC (or iPad) you could definitely design an App that could interact with cards with "Chaotic Codes".

You don't need Micro-dot technology in this instance. All you need is to print alphanumeric numbers which are unique and then you don't need the fancy light pen or bluetooth technology ... all you do is type in the alphanumeric code. If you use a "caching" system, you can have something like "List of All card currently in-play" and then you can just click on the card instead of re-typing the code...

Would be possible to completely circumvent the Patented "Micro-dot" technology using something like this...

Update #2: Fundamentally the patented "Micro-dot" technology is probably just a number too... but it's encoded into the printing process... So we can just skip the encoding and print numbers ... and have Tablet PC Integration FREE...

stevebarkeruk
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With the whole logo thread, I

With the whole logo thread, I believe the OP did, in fact, come back and delete it.

He initially requested that nobody reply any further because he wasn't coming back, then when people kept replying he clearly did come back and took it down altogether.

Willem Verheij
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Money can be an issue

Money can be an issue however, board games are quite expensive so that can limit the amount of games you get to play unless you have friends who are also into it.

But of course its always possible to play some games similar to the kind of game you'd like to make. I think that playing two similar games to what you intend to do is the minimum. That way you'd already get to see two different approaches to a similar thing and that can make you think about what parts you prefer and why.

Soulfinger
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questccg wrote:Looks like

questccg wrote:
Looks like Tablet PC Integration is *HOT* like in Golem Arcana.

Not so hot where I live. Several copies were in the discount bin at Barnes and Noble for 50% off, and there were even some left when the discount dropped to 75%. I've yet to meet a person who plays it.

Fantasy Flight's XCOM and their new Mansions of Madness edition, on the other hand, where the tablet plays the role of Game Master, I've played and seen people play that sort of game.

McTeddy
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There's a fundamental

There's a fundamental misunderstanding of what "doesn't play games" means which leads to the harsh reactions the statement tends to get.

Most designers who "Don't play Games" have played enough games in their lifetime to hold a strong base knowledge, enough design experience to understand players and they stay informed enough through other means that they aren't blind to modern trends and concepts.

More importantly, me identifying as "Not really playing games" doesn't mean I never ever play games... but that I generally prefer to spend my free time doing other things or just lack the free time.

Once you've played a dozen deckbuilders, you don't need to play every one released to understand the genre. It's a waste of time to spend thousands of hours "Researching" something you already know.

You don't start from scratch with every new game you play... you're building on what you've already seen before. This brings to me the games I do play.

- - -

I watch ALOT of people playing games (Far more than I play). What I'm looking for is anything that makes me CURIOUS. Just something that makes this experience different than all other games I've played.

I'm not talking about being purely unique, but an interesting twist on common mechanics, strange combinations, or sometimes just player's acting funny.

If there's anything that I don't recognize or doesn't fit my expectations... I'll generally look to play a game at least once or twice (And the occasional 30+ times)

The other exception is when someone -specifically- tells me to try something. I try to always play recommended games especially if I'm not spending my own money on it.

I own over a thousand games. I've spent MANY years playing games. But this means that very little surprises me and explains why generally I'd rather curl up with a good book or movie than play farming euro #703.

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