Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

COVER STORY: THIS GUILTY LAND (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 5 Tags cover design, This Guilty Land

COVER STORY: THIS GUILTY LAND (by Tom Russell)

We'll be releasing This Guilty Land later this month. The very first version of the cover went public well over a year ago. We don't usually do it that far ahead of the game's release. But given the scope of the project, and the sensitivity of its subject matter, there were a number of reasons why I would have wanted to give up and step away from the project, and announcing it that early in the development process essentially forced me to commit to it. It was important to me in designing a cover that it not tip-toe around the...


FORGOTTEN RULES (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, game development, This Guilty Land

FORGOTTEN RULES (by Tom Russell)

I remember listening to a commentary track that the director Paul Thomas Anderson did about his film Boogie Nights, in which he explained why a scene was cut from the final film. He was watching a cut of the film, and as one scene was wrapping up, he was giddily anticipating the next scene, which was one of his favorites. But when that first scene had ended, it wasn't followed by the scene he was anticipating - it was followed by another scene that he had seemingly forgot was in the film. And I'm paraphrasing here - it's been maybe...


DESIGNING HORSE & MUSKET: CRUCIBLE OF WAR (by Sean Chick)

Mary Russell

Tags 18th century, Horse & Musket, Sean Chick, Seven Years War

DESIGNING HORSE & MUSKET: CRUCIBLE OF WAR (by Sean Chick)

When I started planning out the Horse & Musket series, Crucible of War (Volume III) was originally part of Sport of Kings (Volume II). The more research I did, the more I saw key differences between the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War. The mass introduction of iron ramrods, cadence marching, light infantry, and canister were just a few innovations that explain the more rapid pace and bloodier battles of the Seven Years’ War, although overall tactics were about the same. Yet, as soon as the Seven Years’ War ended a wave of rebellions occurred, stretching...


THE BALANCE BINARY (by Tom Russell)

THE BALANCE BINARY (by Tom Russell)

I have a strong preference - as a player, as a designer, and as one-half of a publisher - for dynamic games, by which I mean games where the balance is highly mutable and prone to distortion based on player actions. One of the ways I try to achieve this in my own work is through the use of feedback loops, in which succeeding makes it easier to succeed, and failing makes it easier to fail. The winners keep winning and the losers keep losing. The balance of the game is in flux, capable of being tilted in one direction...


OLD FRIENDS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design, wargame design

OLD FRIENDS (by Tom Russell)

In November of 2017, I wrapped up development on the second game in our Shot & Shell Battle Series, a treatment of the Battle of the Alma River in the Crimean War. The Heights of Alma would be my second bite at that particular apple, it having served as the subject of my first published game, 2012's Blood on the Alma. That development process started by getting my debut game back on the table. I hadn't played it in over four years, and remembered bits of it only dimly. As I started to push the counters around the map, I...