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What is the Board Game Design Lab?

BGDF is partnered with the Board Game Design Lab - an effort by BGDF user Gabe Barrett to create and curate regular content for game designers.

The Board Game Design Lab:

  • Curates articles from around the web, guiding users through the process of game design and publishing.
  • Publishes a podcast, with insightful interviews with industry veterans
  • BGDF is happy to have Gabe in our community, and his contributions to the site through BGDL.

    Take me back to the BGDL blogs!

    My Heart of The Knight game


    Heart of the Knight

    On April 4, 2020, I had designed a solitaire puzzle game with 12 cards and 1 knight miniature. I sent out 10 of those games to friends and family. Of those friends, they are game designers and author.

    July 6, 2020

    My nephew and his teacher were at my nephew's grand parents house for dinner.

    The teacher had asked my nephew if I had come up with any new games. My nephew replied ,"Yes, in fact he has. I'll show you after dinner".

    My nephew had told his teacher how to play the game. He played twice and asked my nephew, "Do you think your uncle will copy some more games?"

    OverRealm - Buff me baby one more time

    Stallagrowth - Rock Smash

    Hey everyone!

    In my previous blog post, I discussed that my card game OverRealm is modeled after the video game Pokémon, and seeks to fix all of that game’s excessive complexity while maintaining (or exceeding!) all of the interesting decision making. However, OverRealm is not the first game to attempt this.

    David Sirlin’s Kongai is a fixed Pokémon.

    OverRealm - New design, borrowed name

    Hey everyone!

    My previous game design named OverRealm had enough serious core design issues that I ended up scraping it entirely (well, everything except the name). Its blend of playing monsters akin to Magic: the Gathering and simultaneous action selection never came together in a satisfying way.

    Game #5/12 - Green, Chems & Steel - a cyberpunk reverse engine builder

    mdg - location sample 3

    Money, Drugs & Guns

    An 18 card reverse engine builder game for 2-4 players about eliminating synthetic beings.

    As an agent for hire you’re tasked with expiring a number of Synthetic beings known to be operating in the City.

    During the game you will visit locations and perform tasks in the most optimum order to bring in more Synthetics than the other agents.

    Files for playing:


    Play Window Pains on TTS

    Window Pains is available on Table Top Simulator's Workshop for free as of now!

    I hope you can enjoy it with someone from a distance now.

    An introduction to my game

    The game that I am designing is about Anglo-saxons turning a village into a Fortified town...probably in Mercia at about 900 AD

    The game starts with a royal decree that a Fortified Town be constructed at this place and that one man in five be supplied to garrison the walls and be responsible for the building of the defenses.(this was historically true and the building of these"BURHS" had already been started under Alfred the great who had died a few years earlier).
    The Burh was to be built as part of the design to defend against the Vikings(Danes). Also so that taxes could easily be collected from the land.(partly for Danegeld)

    Crystal Heroes — What to do about end-game scoring?

    I recently updated my prototype of "Crystal Heroes" (CH) and did a playtest. There was "more" Area Control and ties to the table. However, I have a question about the end-game scoring. Specifically, what to do when neither player collects more "Chaos Gems" than the other (tie) and the scoring of their Lord is also not an all-out victory. So, say a score of 7 versus 8 (Nine being the victory goal).

    In my opinion it's too close to award a victory...!? What do you think?? Should this be a "stalemate"?

    Tabletop Simulator

    I just got tabletop simulator tonight, and in about an hour I now have a functional version of Window Pains. Why didn't I get this earlier? I can't wait to see if I can improve the user experience or try it out online with someone.

    Does anyone want feedback on their prototype? I can now check it out

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    by Dr. Radut