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My name is new guy

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Boardgamecomponents
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Joined: 01/18/2017

Hello everyone!

My name is Markus and I am new to this forum.

I am not a Board game designer, but I do appreciate Board game design and the reasoning behind the conposition of components and mechanics. I have started a blog with my girlfriend in which we review Board games with a focus on components and their design.

We are not really that good at analyzing Board game components yet and thats why we wanted to join this community. We want to learn more about what designers think and how they work (especially when it comes to bringing game designs into prototypes and complete retail models.

We are looking forward to interesting discussions and insights!

Best wishes,
Markus

BHFuturist
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Greetings!

Welcome to the BGDF!

We take all kinds here. I have learned a lot from this forum over the years and would be happy to try and answer questions you might have about components and how they are used in games.

The topic you bought up about the different stages/changes the physical game components go through before becoming something people can buy and hold in their hands is a wonderful topic. The first stages of early prototyping can have just about anything "acting" like something else... in short, great fun.

Send me a PM with a link to your "blog", I would love to see what you have going on! Or just post it here in this thread... it is not "shameless self promotion" when someone else asks you for a link ;)

-Eamon

Boardgamecomponents
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Hello Eamon! Thank you for

Hello Eamon!

Thank you for the warm welcome. :)

This far we've just basically describe the game pieces and discussed how well they, mainly physically, work in the game. We would really love to be able to understand the game designers intention and to do gap-analysis of how well the actual components match the intended concept.

We've been able to get ahold of a few game designers that have agreed to answer our questions (helping us bridging the gap between our interpretation of the components and their intended concept). But we still haven't made any final interviews with any of them as of yet. Hopefully that will help us write more decent articles.

At this point, the main criticism we've received has been related to the photographies that we've somewhat amended. We'd love to get your help in writing better texts and knowing what to focus on. We can easily discuss how well a piece works, but the mind-set of game designers is harder to come by.

Here is the url to the blog:
https://boardgamecomponents.wordpress.com

So far, we've just done Carcassonne Winter and Patchwork. Next up is Pandemic. We reached out to Matthew Leacock who suggested a few videos on Youtube in which he was presenting some of the development of Pandemic that he hoped could assist us in writing the article.

We're hoping the next article will be a bit more analytical of the actual game mechanics and how the game components affect the gameplay.

Looking forward to discussing with you and receiving feedback that we can use in developing the blog. :)

Best wishes,
Markus

BHFuturist
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I like it

So...

Here are my first thoughts after looking at your page. It is image heavy, so making sure the images are high quality and well lighted is very important. Each image should be focused on something you are talking about in the text rather than just "establishing" shots of the whole game (and you are doing that)... but it should also have a lot going on rather than just be that one part all alone and "out of its element". I hope that makes sense... I might need to show you what I mean.

Not this not good

This is better

This is what you want is

Note: for all you board game designers out there this type of picture question is also what you are looking for when making Kickstarter or web page to show off your games.

I have one other suggestion for the article subject types. Keep doing game-specific components breakdowns (as those are always fun) but also add a new type of article that focuses in on one component and then showcase all the ways it is used in many games and show the subtypes and variations of that component. Then later as you gain experience in the subject matter you can add yet another type of article, that I suspect is your true goal. In this type, you would break down a game mechanic and show different components and how each might be used to implement that mechanic into a game.

Article Types:

  • Game Component breakdowns (one game describing what components it has and how they are used)

  • Component showcases (one component and its many variations and possible uses)

  • Building Blocks (components and what mechanics they help to build and what other components might work better)

  • First Drafts (highlight one easy way to simulate or get by without finished components or mechanics in unrefined prototype form)

  • New in Games (highlight a new game component when it emerges in gaming)

  • Odd Balls (Strange and cool components or ways designers use them)

While I might be willing to help write for your blog in the future, I would like to wait and see what you can get done on your own for a few months... then we can reengage on whether you still even need help from people like me (wink wink).

If you have specific questions about something you just don't know a lot about of don't fully understand, just send me a PM and I would be glad to answer them.

Once you have my "answers" you can paraphrase or quote me in your articles all you want.

-Eamon

Boardgamecomponents
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Hi Eamon, Thank you for your

Hi Eamon,

Thank you for your extremely insightful words and your spot-on feedback! This is highly useful for us in developing the blog. I really love the article ideas and, as you've pointed out, just doing one type of articles (component breakdown) is probably not reader friendly. The article suggestions are all great and very much in line with what we want to accomplish in the future.

As a bit of 'history' (a somewhat heavy word for the short time period we're referring to), we initially wanted to help consumers to see what actually comes in the board game boxes. We think that many online board game stores miss out on the great opportunity to showcase game components in their product views. This makes board games comparable to books, and the cover says it all, doesn't it? :)

Given our starting point, the images (at least in my opinion) reflect our initial goal - to show people what board game boxes actually contained. During the short time since we started the blog and through the feedback that we've received, we're trying to go more towards to analytical articles. This is a bit funny, seeing as none of us are good at analyzing board games, writing articles or even taking pictures. But we're hanging in there and I hope people will enjoy seeing us 'Bambi' our way down the street of board game components.

I would love to know more about board game design - primarily information that can assist us in our goal to analyze components. If you could nudge us in the right direction to where we can start learning, that would mean a lot.

Thank you very much for your very appreciated response. It made us realize the shift (as described above) in thoughts that we just partially were aware of.

Best wishes,
Markus

BHFuturist
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humm,

I see that your start was more of an "unboxing" type article. You should look at some You Tube videos with the following search phrase "board game unboxing"

I was not trying to say that your pictures were "bad", just not optimal. It is possible to "focus on" and show each component from a game as it would appear in play when the is game all set up. This both shows off that one component but also gives people a feel for where and how it is used in a game.

Shots of how things are stored in the box are also great ways to show off a game piece.

So, I am sorry if I made it seem like your work up till now was worthless, because I think it is a great start!

Here is the "short list" of places that have helped me to learn.

Playing many board games for many years (sorry no link available to me playing games)

Board Games With Scott

The Dice Tower

Watch It Played

Extra Credits - (for concepts)

Classes in Game Design

The last one might be hard to sit through but is great information, get some pop corn...

Here is a great place to start branching out from.

Board Game Design Lab

All the articles listed come from many different websites... so after you are done with "linked" article, see what else that site or author might have to say before moving on down the list. (Thanks Gabe!)

And here is a link to the blogs I am writing on board games.

My Blog here on BGDF

I am a deep thinker, but not an expert on board games, so most of what I say is only based on my life experience and perspectives. I like to call it my non-authoritative views.

I am always glad to help, but I do hope other designers here at the forum post their Top 5 Online Resources that have helped them (might need to be a new thread...)

-Eamon

Boardgamecomponents
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Thank you! Not at all, we've

Thank you!

Not at all, we've been discussing the need to show the pieces in play for quite a bit ourselves. The issue we're facing is the way we are taking the pictures. If we want to keep the stale-ish backgrounds and showcase components, we need to keep them quite small. (The photos are all taken inside a moving cardboard box :) ) We're having the same issue when we're trying to take pictures of game boards - the size is simply too big. But we're trying to come up with a solution that allows us to take pictures of bigger objects and thus be able to build more interesting scenes of gameplay.

We've been discussing the 'one-component-different uses'-idea, that we love. However, we're having a hard time figuring out how to actually identify all the different uses. Most main-stream games (that we play) use them in somewhat the same way. Is there any way to use BGG to, for instance, identify games that have different types of score boards, rule reference cards or currencies?

I really love the Board Game Design Lab. I've read quite a few articles from there since this morning when I read your post. It will surely help me in becoming more proficient in analyzing board game designs. It made me curious as of whether there is a 'beginners guide' to board game design that I could use to get all the essentials?

I am not able to get on to your blog, though. It says I'm unauthorized. How does this work?

Thank you very much again for all of your help!

I'll make sure to make a new thread for the different topics we've discussed!

Best wishes,
Markus

BHFuturist
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Link

not sure what I did wrong with that link... it is here on this forum..?..

http://www.bgdf.com/node/www.bgdf.com/blogs/eamon

should have been

www.bgdf.com/blogs/eamon

I don't think there is an "elegant" way to search BGG the way you are talking about... but that would be nice if we could.

-Eamon

Boardgamecomponents
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Joined: 01/18/2017
The link works now! Thanks!

The link works now!

Thanks! Gonna take a look, seems to be a lot of useful information there.

Best wishes,
Markus

Boardgamecomponents
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Joined: 01/18/2017
Hello again! We've tried to

Hello again!

We've tried to be a bit more analytical in this review of Pandemic. But it still includes the pictures with individual pieces (took the pieces before our conversation, Eamon).

We're a bit more towards where we want to go, but we feel really uncomfortable in analyzing board game mechanics. But you have to start somewhere! :)

Please help us in identifying flaws in our reasoning and anything we could improve in this review:
https://boardgamecomponents.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/pandemic/

Thanks!

Best wishes,
Markus

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