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BGDL 3 - Rahdo: How to Create the Perfect 2 Player Experience

Rahdo and I discuss 2 player games and how to craft an awesome 2 player experience. We go into specific mechanics that work really well in 2 player games, and we talk through how a designer can make a game scale down to 2 players effectively. After playing nearly 1000 games with just 2 players, Rahdo is an expert on the topic.

Listen to the episode here:


This interview got me

This interview got me thinking a lot about the two player experience, which I hadn't paid much attention to overall, but now I'm really putting some heavy thought into it.

My situation is similar to Rahdo's & Gabe's - my wife & I enjoy a lot of thematic Euro-style games, but don't have many other couples who can meet up with us often to play. We have a couple of daughters, 21 & 16, who will play if they're in the right mood, but it's not often.

I think we get a lot from the interaction with other people, so I'd say that plays a large part in ignoring the 2 player experience. But out of necessity, she and I have done quite a few play-tests of my current game project, and it gave me some insights into 2 player games that meshed really well with a lot of things in the BGDL interview.

For one, Rahdo seems right-on with how trading doesn't really work with 2 players. I tried using it in my game with 3 players, and it didn't work well there either, but the couple times we suggested trades in 2 player games, we realized it just wasn't a good idea. Why should I trade with you, if it helps you as much as it helps me? I'd rather do something that helps me only! How else am I going to win?

Turns out that particular game doesn't need player trading - there are plenty of player interactions through battles and Alchemy. But the point here is that I didn't realize how much a selling point it can be to have a game that is as good for 2 players as it is for more.

I've been told Saint Petersburg is a great game for groups or 2 players but I still need to try it - it's on my list!

There were some cool, simple suggestions for dummy players to simulate an extra player, for games that normally require 3 or more. It makes me want to try that idea in a couple of games that I own.

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blog | by Dr. Radut