Skip to Content

Designing war games in times of war

5 replies [Last post]
larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

Many people here have played and designed war games. There is a lot of those games out there, sometimes too many games. But that took place in a era of peace, where we look back at those past conflict and tried to find alternate outcome.

But if in the years to come we end up at war, will we have any interest in playing/designing war games when you ear about the war every day?

Maybe players will want to change their mind and play something without war or maybe even something without conflict. Not sure re-theming would be enough.

Or it could go the opposite way, to be more efficient on the battlefield, some people could like to play more war games.

What are your thoughts?

Should we store our war game designs in our basement and work on something more positive?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I still don't get it

I see people from Ukraine, playing a Russian wargame online every day.

Either way, I love wargames for the strategies that one can develop.

But a positive game would be a welcome change.
Although, pc gaming has plenty of options for me. I do not have idea's of my own.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
I guess that most games have some level of "conflict" TBH!

I mean even in a game like "Quest Adventure Cards(tm)" (Quest_AC) there is some level of "conflict" as both players try to complete three (3) quests first!

TradeWorlds (TW) is the same ... Player engage in Space Battles where Starships are destroyed and players face off against each other to win this Space Opera...

Crystal Heroes (CH) is similar there is an Area Control Mechanic but units face off against each other and get conquered to earn Loot (in the form of crystals)!

So I think MOST games have some level of "conflict" ... And unless your game is a Eurogame ... In most other games, players clash one player against the others.

Remember: There are Eurogames out there like Viticulture, Ticket-To-Ride, Agricola, etc. Those games have players compete in terms of some (one or more) Victory Tracks that advance a player towards winning the game (by some point in time or after some type of achievement).

Don't worry there are other games that are not axed on DIRECT conflict. And yeah, we do have Eurogames... It's not like there are not enough Eurogames around either.

Cheers @Eric.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Game idea's

Since I have almost no inspiration...
But one game does come to mind.

I once tried to create a race game.
Where cars would move on a track.

They had accelaration and top speed as statistics.
Also steering and brakes in a second try.
The steering was a top speed allowed in a road...bend? Google translates it as bend?

The biggest problem was, how to apply the randomness of a die.
1, would be very bad. -2
2, just bad -1
3, and 4 neutral =0
5, good +1
6, very good. +2

The number + die result would be the maximum a player could apply.
But having brakes of 3 and rolling -2 would mean, no choice but to break with 1.

And seeing as how a car could get of the track, players had a lot of down time, thinking of when to safely hit the brakes in order to prevent permanent losing.
We where 12 year olds...

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011

I think I hear you saying that you've picked up on a vibe that people are sick and tired of being bombarded with wartime messaging, and that they're seeking out different ways to entertain themselves. This being the case, it's relatively simple: start designing games that cater to that audience; that focus on interesting competition as opposed to armed or abstracted military conflict. There's definitely an audience for that.

Beyond that, I'd say this is a moderately complex issue. Some people play games to indulge in a power fantasy, or test their reflexes, to explore or be surprised by the unknown, to dominate, and so on. I think that a person's personality urges them to seek out the way(s) that make(s) them feel good the easiest. Video games are very useful with this. To a considerable extent, tabletop games are excellent at this. Movies, books, etc.

Can a designer craft and manipulate the ways people entertain themselves? My gut tells me that yes, they can. Personally speaking, my tastes have changed a fair amount over the years.

Can a designer shift popular culture or even dominant culture? I wonder. I will state that to attempt to shift dominant culture in the world is an uphill battle, while it seems like catering to violence and war is an easy way to "win," no matter what is going on in the world.

Finally: I'd suggest that there have been very few periods of actual "peace" during human history, certainly in my lifetime (and I'm 45 years old right now). It may be that we just didn't know about it when the killing was going on. Not gonna turn this into a political rant, either.

lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009
Most tabletop gamers even

Most tabletop gamers even before the Ukraine war wanted nothing to do with "ugly" history games (that is, history itself is sometimes ugly, but especially war). I don't know that the presence of an actual large-scale war makes any difference.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut