Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — game design

FROM THE ARCHIVES: AUTHORIAL VOICE IN RULES WRITING (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, rule writing, rulebook

FROM THE ARCHIVES: AUTHORIAL VOICE IN RULES WRITING (by Tom Russell)

At this point, I've written the rules for over twenty-five published games that I've designed. I've also rewritten, with Mary's help, the rules for about a half-dozen other games by other designers. So, at this point, writing rules is second nature to me; it's easy-peasy. It didn't always used to be that way, of course, but like I said, I've done this something like thirty-plus times, and after the first dozen games or so, I simply had to get better at it. The other thing is that over time I became much more confident in writing the rules my own...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: HISTORICAL INCENTIVES IN WARGAME DESIGN (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, historical goals, mandatory movement rule

FROM THE ARCHIVES: HISTORICAL INCENTIVES IN WARGAME DESIGN (by Tom Russell)

Military history is not only the story of greatness, of inspired leadership, of singular genius, and masterful campaigns, but also of folly, failure, and disaster. There are plenty of moments throughout history where you just have to wonder, "what the heck were they thinking?" A new & correct map of the trading part of the West Indies : including the seat of war between Gr. Britain and Spain : likewise the British Empire in America, with the French and Spanish settlements adjacent thereto : adorn'd with prospects of ye most considerable towns, ports, harbours &c. therein contained from the latest & best observations....


FROM THE ARCHIVES: ADVENTURES IN VIDEO GAMES (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 4 Tags game design, video games

FROM THE ARCHIVES: ADVENTURES IN VIDEO GAMES (by Tom Russell)

Before I made board games, I made video games. And long before I lived, breathed, and ate board games (and there's less fiber in that diet than you'd expect), I lived, breathed, and ate video games. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with video games. I was also obsessed with books, and with the Bible, and I'm not sure if all of those obsessions were necessarily healthy. Whenever I wasn't reading a fantasy novel, or reflecting on how I was a sinning sinner who had committed unforgiveable transgressions (I was maybe six or seven), I was playing video...


LEARNING THE DECK (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags card-driven game, CDG, game design, This Guilty Land, Toledo War

LEARNING THE DECK (by Tom Russell)

One of the things that irks people about card-driven wargames is the fact that someone who has learned the deck - who knows what events are in there and what events aren't - has an advantage over someone who hasn't.  If I place a bunch of troops or influence or whatever in Spain, but there's a card in the deck (maybe even in my opponent's hand!) that wipes out all the troops, influence, or whatever that are in Spain, it's maybe not such a great idea to pile my pieces into the Iberian peninsula, but I have no way of...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: DOUBTS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, game development

FROM THE ARCHIVES: DOUBTS (by Tom Russell)

When my first few games were published, I wasn't very sure of myself, my abilities, or my judgment. I was constantly afraid that a game would come out and gamers would immediately discover some glaring and obvious hole in the rules that had somehow gotten overlooked. Then I'd be the guy who had designed a broken game. But you do enough of these things and you'll start to build up your confidence. After six years of working in the games industry, I have worked on nearly fifty games in some capacity or another, mostly as a designer or as a...