Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

ON PUBLISHING ERIN ESCOBEDO'S MELTWATER (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 5 Tags game publishing, Meltwater

ON PUBLISHING ERIN ESCOBEDO'S MELTWATER (by Amabel Holland)

Meltwater is probably the most important game we've published. I'm not saying that because of what the game says or how it says it, though I do remain in awe of how cogent and expressive it is. And for a debut design? Jeez louise. And I'm not saying it because it's been a bestseller, a critical darling, and a flagship title – all things that have gone a long way toward bolstering our reputation as a publisher. All of the above is true, of course, but the reason why Meltwater is the most important game we've published is that publishing...


A LOOK AT EYELET (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags Eyelet, game design

A LOOK AT EYELET (by Amabel Holland)

Roll two dice, make two moves. That's really all there is to my new game Eyelet. It's a board with unevenly spaced holes (eyelets), and moves are resolved by threading a shoelace through an empty hole. Roll a five? Then count five holes, and if that hole is empty, pull it through. Each turn you roll two dice; each turn you resolve two moves. There are two laces at the start of the game. You can move the same lace twice, or you can move different laces. One lace isn't yours and the other your opponent's. You also choose which...


NEW TOYS (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 7 Tags game design, Table Battles

NEW TOYS (by Amabel Holland)

Every time I do a Table Battles expansion, I add something new. This is as much for me as it is for the players. As of this writing I've put together over fifty scenarios spread across a base game, six expansions, and a magazine insert, and to prevent it from getting monotonous I've had to amuse myself with new toys and ideas. Sometimes this is subtle, as in a new wrinkle to a reaction. For example, the English Civil War expansion had some Counterattacks that reduced the number of hits suffered by the number of dice on the card, a...


CHUCKLES LORRAINE (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design, Table Battles

CHUCKLES LORRAINE (by Amabel Holland)

As I write this, I'm just finishing up work on the sixth Table Battles expansion, Great Battles of Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine. And upon encountering that title, I expect someone to have one of two reactions, either (a) who?, or (b), this is a joke right, please tell me this is a joke. Charles Alexander of Lorraine is not a guy the general populace will have heard of, and among the military history enthusiasts who do recognize the name, he is… not well-regarded. Chosen to command the armies of Austria by his sister-in-law Maria Theresa, he's best known as...


WEST COAST BEST COAST (by Travis D. Hill)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Westward Rails

WEST COAST BEST COAST (by Travis D. Hill)

As with many aspects of game design, your creations come from what you know. As someone who has enjoyed Winsomes and cube rails games for quite a while now, I knew that eventually I would try to design one. That journey began one November at a Washington DC coffee shop a couple of years ago. With pen in hand and my design journal open to a new blank page, I began listing characteristics of cube rails games I enjoyed: hex vs. point-to-point maps, stocks and shares, critically-timed dividend payouts, et cetera… Since then, I have designed upwards of nine different...