Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

EATING PEAS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags gameplay, peas

EATING PEAS (by Tom Russell)

I don't like Cards Against Humanity. I think it's fairly rubbish mechanically, it's devoid of the social dynamics that I like in multiplayer games generally and party games in particular, and as for the gross-out humor, as Paul Simon once said about dogs in the moonlight, I don't find this stuff amusing anymore. I don't own Cards Against Humanity, and I don't seek it out. A handful of times - usually when hanging out with people who don't know what a combat factor is or who aren't particularly interested in the difference between full-cap and incremental - that's been the...


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...


COUNTERFACTUAL: BRAVE LITTLE BELGIUM (by Tom Russell)

COUNTERFACTUAL: BRAVE LITTLE BELGIUM (by Tom Russell)

The first time we got Brave Little Belgium on the table, I was convinced that Ryan and Dave had created something really special, something that had a considerable amount of crossover appeal. And we wanted to capitalize on that in the way the game was presented - the box cover, the map, the rulebook, and the counters all needed to be clean and inviting. Ryan's prototype counters used photographs of infantry and cavalry soldiers, and I originally experimented with doing something in the same vein. But I just didn't find my efforts to be particularly compelling - it didn't "pop"...