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Kickstarter proposal for software to make online play of tabletop games simple for non-programmers

Several years ago I tried to find out as much as I could about the effect on sales of tabletop games when an online version was available for play. My conclusion was that not many people were likely to pay for the privilege of playing a tabletop game online, so any commercial advantage would come from the publicity and the ability to “try the online version before you buy” to improve sales of the tabletop version.

April 2012 Miscellany

Thoughts about some game-related topics that are not long enough for separate blog posts.

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Quotation: "There's an old saying that I love about design, it's about Japanese gardening actually, that 'Your garden is not complete until there is nothing else that you can remove.'" --Will Wright (SimCity, The Sims, Spore, etc.)

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Is it more fun to be an expert, or to be in the process of becoming an expert, at playing a game?

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Some Game Playing Styles, and How Games Match One Style or Another

(Parts of this were originally published in Dragon magazine, September 1982, and in revised form in The Games Journal, February 2005, revised again on GameCareerGuide, 26 November 2009, and yet further revised on GameDev.net in 2010)

A big obstacle for beginning game designers is the common assumption that everyone likes the same kinds of games, and plays the same way, that they do. If they love shooters, they think EVERYone loves shooters. If they like strategic games, they assume EVERYone likes them. If they love puzzles, they suppose EVERYone does. They may say they understand the diversity, but emotionally they don’t.

Games of Maneuver vs. games of "combat dominance"

One of the first things I do with beginning game design students is give them sets of "Clout Fantasy" pieces and a large vinyl chessboard, in groups, to have them make up games. I have water-soluble markers so that they can draw on the chessboards if they choose. They enjoy the exercise, they get used to working in groups (which also helps them get to know one another), and ultimately they learn that designing a good game isn't as easy as they thought it would be. It also teaches them to work under constraints.

Six words about zombie games

(I've had some medical problems that have distracted from writing about games lately, but this should be of interest.)

According to tweetdeck, one of the trending:worldwide topics on twitter not so long ago was 6 word stories. In the past few months I've asked people to say 6 words about game design, programming, wargames, stories in games, casual games, and innovation (and plagiarism) in games.

This time the challenge is this: say six (interesting or amusing) words about zombie games.

Six words about innovation or plagiarism (or both) in games

Six words about innovation or plagiarism (or both) in games

According to tweetdeck, one of the trending:worldwide topics on twitter not so long ago was 6 word stories. In the past few months I've asked people to say 6 words about game design, programming, wargames, stories in games, and casual games.

This time the challenge is this: say six words about innovation or plagiarism (or both) in games.

Cooperative games

I recently listened to episode #16 of the “Ludology” podcast, about cooperative games. As usual the discussion between Ryan Sturm and Geoff Englestein was quite interesting. And it made me reflect again on a cooperative game I designed recently and played several times, but which I put aside because it doesn’t work suitably.

February Miscellany

Thoughts about some game-related topics that are not long enough for separate blog posts.

The Fundamental Differences between Board and Card Games and How Video Games Tend to Combine Both Functions

What are the fundamental functional differences between boardgames and card games? I’m not sure how important this question is from a game player’s point of view but it’s certainly important for game designers (even for video game designers). The obvious physical format is important, but now that we can convert physical non-electronic games to electronic formats the lines are less clear. More importantly, each type of game emphasizes or encourages different kinds of challenges and gameplay, regardless of the physical format.

Some distinctions between types of war-related games

One of the disadvantages of writing articles for magazines, such as “Against the Odds,” is that it can be literally years from the time it is submitted to the time it is published. I recently sent ATO an article about different kinds of war related games, and I’m going to briefly categorize its 4,000 words in 400.

I will not respond to any comments here, sooner or later the full article will be published.

Joe Angiolillo’s taxonomy of war related games:
● Games about war
● Wargames
● Simulations

Games about war
● no connection with reality
● symmetric

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by Dr. Radut