Bottom-Up Scoring

Len Stemberger is a designer in the North Houston design group. He is currently developing an area control game which features marker manipulation–placing and moving markers.  His core engagement is to keep players constantly jockeying for position in as many areas as possible at all times.  With this core engagement in mind, we began looking […]

Using Playtester Feedback, part 3

Playtesters are the sole authority of their own experience.  There is not a single person in existence better qualified to comment on the player’s experience than the player herself.  We designers need our playtesters to share their experiences with us.  It is critical to gather as much of these as possible. It would be ideal […]

Asymmetrical Suits in Card Games, Part 3

Our last column looked at several hypothetical cases to illuminate the proper use of asymmetric card decks.  In this column, we look at four examples which are not at all hypothetical. These are published games which feature asymmetry.  I found that each one found an interesting way to make asymmetry serve its core engagement.   […]

Ties, Damn Ties, and Statistics, Part 4

One of the principles of success is the ability to prioritize challenges.  With that done, energy can be assigned appropriately.  Important challenges get priority attention while less important challenges get less attention. Play-Driven Games Some games are built around engaging play elements that demand its accompanying scoring system be simple and quiet.  Scoring needs to […]