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Hi people of the design world!

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 11/19/2010

I'm Thomas,

I really really really like designing board games. I think I like designing them more than playing them, and I like playing my designed games even more!

Designing a board game is like solving a very difficult puzzle, one that can always be solved to a further degree...
Isn't it awesome!!!
To create something that just works together seamlessly, is engaging, entertaining, thought provoking, innovative, beautiful, educational, and downright amazing... that is my goal when making a game. I know reach that goal at some point.

So yeah, let's make some dang good games!


Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Thomas, First of all, welcome


First of all, welcome to BGDF !

I love your enthusiasm man! Yes game design IS cool, it is very satisfying when you solve a really intricate problem with a simple solution as well. To add to your lovely list of words, I would add "elegant"

There is a lot of that word banded around in games design - to sum, it means "simple and effective" - not a situation that you have contrived and contorted to jam it into an empty jigsaw place, but a very pleasing and simple solution that makes you think "wow, that's so simple, it makes perfect sense to me, why didn't I think of that before, it's just so obvious and awesome?!"


Find me 2 examples of an "elegant" mechanic or game design aspect in any of your games collections (either games you have made or games in your collection) and report back as soon as you have :)

Lovely to have you here man!


Joined: 11/19/2010
Thanks for the welcome

Thanks for the welcome Sam,

Really, most of the games I've played have some form of elegance... not to say the they are "elegant" games, but that some aspect(s) of them could be considered elegant. The use of dice to determine movement is often a very elegant mechanic (though I don't particularly like it). Another example would be the capturing mechanic in "Go"; very simple, intuitive and logical. I'm might even suggest that "Go" is one of the most elegant games in existence (arguably).

Personally though, I'm more a fan of the modern "Designer Games", like Puerto Rico, Tigris and Euphrates, Dominion, etc.

-In Puerto Rico, the inclusion of all the players every turn and the reliance on human judgment (rather than chance) to create a feeling of randomness is very elegant.

-Tigris and Euphrates is a very complex game, and I wouldn't say that it's elegant, but many of it's elements are elegant. The ability to claim a kingdom with leaders is one example.

-Dominion... is just awesome. Everyone likes it because there's a good balance between making your own decisions and having the game make your decisions for you, so it's pretty light, but it's infinitely repayable and often very enjoyable to formulate a completely unique strategy given the cards in use. In my opinion, the core mechanic of the game (using your deck to build your deck) is very elegant.

Great challenge by the way!

Currently I'm working on a game about China during the Song Dynasty, working title being "Song". The purpose of the game is to govern the workflow in the land to best provide for the people in your village and, in turn, make your village the happiest village in the land. I put lots of emphasis on the prosperous nature of the Song Dynasty and the roles of different classes in a community. The theme isn't mind-blowing, but I'm really working on perfecting the flow of play, as well as the fun-factor.

I'll post it soon to get some feedback.


Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Great answers Tom :) I would

Great answers Tom :)

I would agree that the Dominion hand building mechanic can be argued as elegant. And Go you are right has a really good mechanism through it too :)

I would say actualy Tom that your game seems to fint really well Thematically. I would say that the Theme pieces fit together very elegantly.

Song Dynasty -> Make your population happy ->Oriental Prosperity ideals.

great. :)

But Tom, no need for you to "not reveal" the game for fear that others will steal your idea - if others want to steal your idea, they will do, even if it is released and published, you cannot copyright gamem mechanics or in fact an idea of a game, so do not worry about that front too much, a lot of people on these boards argue that witholding games does more damage than good as you do not experience the collective wisdom of all these game dev. pros in here.

But don't mistake the above as pressure at all, just know that there arent any nasty people lurking here to steal your game ^^


Take a very simple game (tic tac toe / connect 4 / etc) and fit in an elegant mechanic to give the game an intersting extra layer. :)

But the mechanic must be elegant in relation to itself and the existing game structure.


(consider this samurai like training for the Song dynasty)

Joined: 11/19/2010
Ok, you have convinced me to

Ok, you have convinced me to give up my secrecy. That's really the point of this site, right?
By the way, I've been having some problems posting a gaming journal. When I hit "save" it just refreshes the page with a blank text box. It could be an error in the formatting code I used, or maybe that I tried to upload a pdf (because it didn't tell me that I couldn't), but whatever it is, it's frustrating! Any thought?

I'll get back to you soon for challenge Number 2!
PS. It's awesome that your investing so much of your time into this community. Thanks!

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