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BGDL 23 - Morten Pedersen: Creating a Great Solo Variant

Morten Pedersen, designer behind the solo modes for games such as Scythe and Viticulture, discusses how to scale a game down to one player and create a great solo experience.

Morten has his own design company that focuses on creating single player systems for games and has even won awards for it.

To listen to the episode, go here:


Looking forward!


I'm looking forward to hearing this podcast tomorrow...Morten and I have communicated during the past year or so, as I was one of Jamey Stegmaier's play-testers for Invaders from Afar (Scythe expansion) and used Morten's brilliant Automa for later games.


There were some great things

There were some great things in this episode - I took notes, and then lost them lol! Guess I'll have to listen through again.

But I do remember a couple of points. First, he discussed avoiding the long tedious style of simulating human behavior too much, preferring to have a lot of automatic actions. However, I started reading through the online manual for solo mode in Scythe, and it seems they wrote an entirely new 40+ page manual for this! Did I get the wrong impression? I stopped after 3 or 4 pages lol

Second, it was pretty cool how much he relies on fans and hobbyists like us to help in developing a lot of ideas, to the point of even hiring on a few! Makes me feel like there's still hope for us to stand out somewhere along the way!

There was one more thought I had but gonna have to review the session to remember it.

Great Interview!


For me, personally, this one could not have happened at a better time. We recently launched Tradewars Homeworld (TWHW) and the 1-Player Guild has exploded with a desire for content. Morten has been my Yoda these past two years and I'm currently in the throes of devising a strong AI for TWHW along with Scenarios. One of my favorite take aways which really informed my decision on how to move forward was his comment regarding finding the balance between "simplicity" and "simulation" in the design of a solo experience.


I'm really glad you fine

I'm really glad you fine folks enjoyed the interview!

It's right on time for me as well as I work through creating a solo mode for my football game. Being able to put 1-4 players on a game's box goes a long way with publishers.

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blog | by Dr. Radut