Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — game design

FROM THE ARCHIVES: HOW TO DESIGN A GAME (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design

FROM THE ARCHIVES: HOW TO DESIGN A GAME (by Tom Russell)

Beginnings are always difficult, as the fellow said in Trouble in Paradise, and boy do I know it. I've spent two-plus hours banging my head against the wall, writing and then discarding one intro paragraph after another in seemingly fruitless attempts to get to the part where I talk about what I want to talk about, which is kinda apt and maybe even ironic, because what I want to talk about is starting a thing - an area where, the occasional stubborn blog-thing aside, I usually don't have many problems. I recognize of course that this isn't the case for...


ONE SHARE

Mary Russell

Tags Dual Gauge, game design

ONE SHARE

In my last four choo-choo games - Iberian Gauge (2017), London & Northwestern (2018), The Soo Line (2018), and Dual Gauge (2020) - the game's structure is bifurcated into stock rounds and operating rounds. In Iberian Gauge, a stock round will continue until all players pass consecutively, giving players multiple chances to buy shares before the next set of ORs. But with the other three games, a player only gets a single go during the stock round, in which they are limited to the purchase of a single share. This does a couple of things. First, and most obviously, it...


CLOSE SCORES AND NO HURT FEELINGS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design

CLOSE SCORES AND NO HURT FEELINGS (by Tom Russell)

In my younger and more vulnerable years, a publisher gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. At that time I thought I was a eurogame designer, and I had a eurogame under contract with said publisher. Never mind the game - it never came out - and never mind the publisher - they're not really active anymore.  The publisher had been very excited about the game, though, and naturally being a designer with exactly zero published games at that time, I was likewise excited about it. A few weeks later, though, they had...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: THE SOO LINE (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, The Soo Line, train games

FROM THE ARCHIVES: THE SOO LINE (by Tom Russell)

The Soo Line is my sixth train game design. In some ways, it's similar to the others - for example, it's the fourth in a row to use some variation of the "track leasing" mechanism I introduced in Trans-Siberian. But it's also the most aggressively weird of my choo-choo games, which is the primary reason why I didn't offer it  to Winsome and we decided to go the Hollandspiele route instead.  The core bit of weirdness is that there are only three railroads to invest in, and the majority shareholder makes all decisions for the railroad. The game seats three...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: QUANTITY (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design

FROM THE ARCHIVES: QUANTITY (by Tom Russell)

Including the game I did for Winsome (Iberian Gauge) and our holiday freebie (Napgammon), I had ten game designs released last year. That's a personal record; 2016 and 2015 had only seen the release of nine games each. This year, if I manage to cross everything off my list, there'll be at least ten titles out there with my name on it, eight of which are Hollandspiele releases. I'm likely to do more; this time last year, I had no intention of designing Table Battles or brushing off For-Ex, two games that sold very well in the back-end of 2017,...