Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

STABLE TESTING (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

STABLE TESTING (by Tom Russell)

Today, a few brief words of advice about playtesting. Playtesting is of course the scalding hot viscera that brings these little Frankenstein monsters to life, and as might be expected by my choice of metaphor, it can be a messy, dangerous, and exhausting process. There's oodles and oodles of advice out there about how to choose testers, how to conduct tests, what to ask, with much of the advice often being contradictory. Really, you just have to find the method, or combination of methods, that will work best for you. But whichever method you choose - however you go about...


BREAD AND BUTTER (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, game publishing

BREAD AND BUTTER (by Tom Russell)

Sometimes you want to explore how logistical concerns dictated the ebb and flow of campaigning in the American Revolution. Sometimes you want a game that weaves together political, diplomatic, military, and propaganda into a complex simulation of recent world events. Or perhaps you want a quick filler game that reduces set-piece battles to a contest of wills dominated by feints and counterfeints. Maybe "unusual multiplayer dynamics, set in China" ticks off all your boxes, in which case, I've got news for you, as we have two of those in our catalogue!  There's certainly a market for all manner of unusual...


1. e4 (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags Boom & Zoom, gameplay

1. e4 (by Tom Russell)

The first time I played Ty Bomba's Boom & Zoom, I opened with the equivalent of "1. e4", attempting to contest control of the center of the board: In Ty's notational system for this game, that'd be 1. 3T e1-Z-e4: that is, the three-piece Tower (3T) in e1 zooms (Z) to e4. Since each tower can fire (or "Boom") in eight directions, zooming to e4 would allow it to exert pressure on the maximum number of squares. This greatly restricts where my opponent can safely move, because there's only a handful of squares on their side of the board that...


EIGHTS AND SIXTEENS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design

EIGHTS AND SIXTEENS (by Tom Russell)

I'm a better designer now than I was six years and thirty games ago, and there are a lot of reasons for that. I've had a lot of practice, for one thing. There's a greater awareness and following for my designs these days, which means more people are playing them, which means I'm getting more feedback from gamers and other designers, and I'm able to turn around and use that feedback as I continue to press on. There's a huge difference between designing in a vacuum and designing in and for an active and engaged community, and it shows. It's...


HOW TO DESIGN A TABLE BATTLE (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Table Battles

HOW TO DESIGN A TABLE BATTLE (by Tom Russell)

In mid-January, a fellow named Mark popped up in a Table Battles thread on BGG and asked, Is there a place online where the design process behind these games is exposed? I'd love to get an insight into how you approached assigning unit strengths, dice and actions, as they really dictate the game play. And now, a little later in January, being in need of a blogpost for the first Friday in February, here I am endeavoring to explain how I go about taking a battle and translating it to the very particular and peculiar language of Table Battles. It...