Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

TWO WORD GAMES (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design

TWO WORD GAMES (by Amabel Holland)

We go to thrift stores fairly often. Ostensibly, I'm there to look for clothes. Goodness knows I need more than the three outfits I've managed to cobble together. So I look at the blouses, the cardigans, the hats, looking for something that (a) is appealing and (b) is in my size. So far, I haven't actually managed to find anything that ticks off both of those boxes, but hope springs eternal. I've yet to leave any of these stores with any additions to my wardrobe, but I have left with new additions to our board game shelf. This is a...


FIRST LOOK AT REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design, Republic of Virtue

FIRST LOOK AT REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE (by Amabel Holland)

Folks really dug last year's holiday freebie Reign of Witches, so when I began working on this year's game, I decided right from the start to build upon its foundations. You buy cards from a market, play them into your tableau to compete for three kinds of points,  and expend coins to activate their special abilities. But I wasn't about to make the second verse same as the first (a little bit louder, and a little bit worse), porting over the same mechanism with a new theme and new card powers. One of the core ways the game would differentiate...


SHARED INCENTIVES IN NICAEA (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 4 Tags game design, Nicaea

SHARED INCENTIVES IN NICAEA (by Amabel Holland)

Nicaea is a shared incentive game, but an unusual one. In most shared incentive games, you evaluate a potential move – a potential entanglement – based on a combination of board state and player positions. If I'm playing a train game, and a company has set itself up for a big payout, but is a few dollars short of building the track it needs to clinch the deal, there's an incentive, based on board state, for me to nab a share, pumping some extra moolah into its treasury and giving it the push it needs. But if another player stands...


ON PUBLISHING THE BIG PUSH (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags Big Push, game publishing

ON PUBLISHING THE BIG PUSH (by Amabel Holland)

Every turn, you start with this massive hand of cards – fifteen, twenty, twenty-five. So many cards, so many possibilities. You get this huge pile of cards and it feels like with those cards, you can do anything. Never mind that the person sitting across from you also has a huge pile of cards, never mind that they also feel like they can do anything. Never mind, in fact, that the decks are perfectly symmetrical – never mind that you're evenly matched. This time, this turn, you're going to use your huge pile of cards to break their line. Some...


ON PUBLISHING AT ALL COSTS! (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 6 Tags At All Costs, game publishing, Tim Taylor

ON PUBLISHING AT ALL COSTS! (by Amabel Holland)

We signed At All Costs!: The Great War in the East in early 2017. At that point, we hadn't really found our niche or our audience, and were figuring that large and somewhat detailed games would be our bread and butter. Being that At All Costs! was the long-awaited sequel to a reasonably popular card-driven game, it seemed like it would be right up our alley. By the time we brought it to market nearly four years later, we had a clearer idea of who we were and what we were about, and it was pretty clear that At All...