Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — Shields & Swords Ancients

PACING (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design, pacing, Shields & Swords Ancients

PACING (by Tom Russell)

Many of my games are short. Probably the quickest is Northern Pacific, published in 2012 by Winsome and reprinted in 2018 by Rio Grande, a single round of which takes maybe five minutes. Most of my other games top out at about an hour or so, and a key part of the development process is making the thing faster, simpler, and more streamlined. Partially this is a function of the kinds of games I'm interested in making. A lot of my games are comically fragile - one mistake and you're done for. If the game keeps going for another couple...


LAZINESS AS MOTIVATOR (by Tom Russell)

LAZINESS AS MOTIVATOR (by Tom Russell)

The Shot & Shell Battle Series originated because I had designed three previous games that had somewhat similar rulesets but at different scales, with different combat procedures and different ZOC rules and different activation mechanisms (an I-go-U-go for this one, chit pull for that one, activation roll for this guy over here). I couldn't really call those three previous games a "series", because for me as a gamer the appeal of a series is that you only need to learn the rules once, then you're off to the races. Having to learn each game separately, and if you happen to...