The process of designing a game to be played, such as the creation of the game mechanics and theme and the associated rules, board, map, cards, tokens and/or other playing implements. Also includes the process of play testing early versions of the game to refine and improve these elements.

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31
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6answers
2k views

Is kingmaking in multiplayer games a problem that can be fixed?

The original Kingmaker was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick. He was instrumental during the Wars of the Roses in the deposition of two kings. The term kingmaker has come to mean, "a person or ...
26
votes
2answers
803 views

How do game designers come up with suggested (or minimum) age requirements for games?

Is there a standard formula or procedure for determining suggested (or minimum) age requirements for games? Or do a few game designers just sit around and discuss for a few minutes and then just come ...
24
votes
7answers
2k views

Why are there fewer board games with a triangular grid?

Many games have a rectangular grid, some even use hexagonal but it's quite rare to see triangles. I have heard the argument that hexagons confuse players. Is that true? Is there any evidence to ...
20
votes
5answers
978 views

What makes a cooperative board game actually a game?

Most board games are competitive, where you have players competing against each other, trying to win. Some board games are described as "cooperative", where the players are trying to do...what ...
18
votes
7answers
508 views

Something that only happens every X turns

I'm working on a new board game where there's an action (we'll call it Brazening) that only happens every X turns (let's say it happens every 5 turns). What's a good way to keep track of when it's ...
17
votes
13answers
4k views

What's the fastest way to print a card game prototype?

My goal is to minimize the amount of time I have to spend, with a budget of about $40. Also, I'm absolutely terrible at using scissors and glue.
17
votes
3answers
436 views

How can I mitigate some of the downtime between player's turns?

For games in which it is not possible to take simultaneous turns, as the number of players increases, so does the wait time between a player's turn and their turn again. It becomes a balancing issue ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

What's a good source of generic pieces/components?

I'm interested in building up a decent collection of generic components that I can grab when I want to throw together a quick prototype of a game. I'm not aware of any "component collections" that you ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Which computer board game designer works best for card games?

I've heard of a few computer board game designers, such as Vassal, Cyberboard, and Zun Tzu. Which would work best for building a custom card game? Note, I am willing to use one I haven't heard of, so ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Which program to chose when designing my own cards?

I am working on a prototype of a board game for which I need to design several cards. The cards will have several features like name, picture, text and some additional symbols. I am not sure which ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

I have an idea for a card game. How can I best start testing it?

I've been playing around with an idea for a card game for some time, and I think I've finally got the idea fairly well in place. How can I best start testing it out to refine it?
14
votes
3answers
395 views

How do I find players willing to participate in test-playing my games?

I have some game ideas that are currently in the prototype phase. I am now looking for groups who are willing to test these games. I am somewhat afraid that they won't like the game and would not be ...
14
votes
2answers
673 views

Playing Risk in an arbitrary graph

A Risk board represents the map of the world, or of Europe. Thus, it implies some constraints for example on the connectedness of a territory. I would like to explore how graph theory could help your ...
13
votes
4answers
472 views

Hello World game for many game systems

Ron Hale-Evans mused about creating a benchmark game that could be ported to many different game systems as a design exercise. Do you think that would be a useful tool, and can you suggest a game that ...
13
votes
1answer
286 views

Are there statistic/probabilty applications specifically made for card game designers?

I am developing a card game that involves building out sequences of matching symbol pairs and also has a lose state for a (different set) of symbols that is hidden to the player. Trying to create an ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the easiest way to prototype a board game design?

In an idle moment I had an idea for a simple war game simulation. (Really simple - honest!) I'd like to prototype it, just to see if the game mechanic I thought of has any merit. I don't want to spend ...
12
votes
7answers
552 views

How can you have units with secret locations on the board?

I've heard that there are games where the units on the board are secret -- that the other player doesn't know where they are. How does this actually work? How can you have units on the board without ...
12
votes
6answers
604 views

Players who can't seem to follow the rules — What can be done?

Non--board-game people keep making up their own rules, without knowing it. I'm talking about players who are intelligent and literate, but who don't generally play board games. Is there anything a ...
12
votes
5answers
276 views

What components does “everybody” have?

When designing a board game to publish on the web, what components are safe to assume that most people will already have in their collection?
12
votes
1answer
326 views

Tri-dimensional board games: How does the additional dimension extend possible player requirements & game structure?

Recently I saw the Star Trek chess game in a serial and looked it up on wikipedia. It exists as a real game, but it seems it's not too popular, too tricky, too unwieldy to carry and play everywhere, ...
11
votes
9answers
277 views

How can I clearly detail all possible destinations from every point of the map in my game?

I'm making a game about traveling the world and I stumbled across one big problem, so I hoped you could give me some good suggestions. In my game players can choose to which cities they want to go on ...
11
votes
6answers
439 views

Creating an “Everyone but me knows my role” mechanic

I am trying to design a game where there are X citizens + 1 saboteur. Unfortunately for the saboteur he does not know that he is it. All the citizens know that one of them is replaced, and they all ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Non-disclosure agreement or no?

I told some of my friends and co-workers about a board game I designed, and we're hoping to play it sometime soon. However, I am not sure if I should let everyone sign a non-disclosure agreement or ...
11
votes
2answers
503 views

Am I at legal risk if I use a mechanism from another game in my own design?

I'm juggling with a card game idea based on a popular fantasy universe. The game still has a long way to go yet. But before I really invest in developing the card game I want to make sure I'm not ...
11
votes
6answers
315 views

What game mechanic can be used for evenly selecting other players but not yourself?

I am looking for a game mechanic for a game I am designing, that would let players randomly select other players, but that by the end of the game all the players were selected equally. My first ...
10
votes
7answers
505 views

System for secretly choosing between two options?

I have a graphics project for school and the task is to design a board game. I need to work out a system by which two players can simultaneously make a secret choice between two options and then ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do mana abilities not go on the stack?

Why this special treatment for mana-abilities? What are the design implications if they didn't go on the stack?
10
votes
8answers
14k views

What is the best way to print cards for my game?

I want to print cards for my game, without using a commercially-available site. Basically, I'm looking for materials I could find in a store. How do I make these cards in a work- and price-efficient ...
10
votes
3answers
285 views

What are the qualities of a successful beta testing session from the player's perspective?

I'm a board game designer with the luxury of a large public playing area filled with board game enthusiasts. I would like to beta test a new board game and was wondering what YOU, as the player, would ...
10
votes
4answers
512 views

Do Collectible Card Games without shuffling exist?

All Collectible Card Games (like Magic the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh!) I know require the players to shuffle their decks before the game begins. Also, the deck's card order is unbeknown to the players. ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Where to go to self publish a game?

I found this question but I am interested in a commercial or bulk printing company to print my game. The GameCrafter seems like the only solution but its rather costly per game to print which means I ...
10
votes
3answers
391 views

Board game design dictionary

Are there any dictionaries specific to the subject of board game design or board game culture? This would contain words describing elements found in board games or used by designers or players.
9
votes
4answers
485 views

How do I tell potential game designers their ideas are bad?

Many groups of gamers will eventually attract potential game designers. I love testing games or playing with mechanics and enjoy play testing or theory crafting. But a good boardgamer does not a ...
9
votes
4answers
269 views

Organizing a rule book

Bit of Background I am currently trying to organize a comprehensive rule book for a board game I have been designing for some time now that is about to go into a testing phase. This being my first ...
9
votes
2answers
255 views

What reasons would a designer want to employ squares over hexes in a battle simulation game?

In many games I have played, initial editions (eg the 1960s version of Midway) use squares for their boards. Often, later editions (eg the 1990s edition of Midway) change to a hex pattern. Hexes get ...
9
votes
1answer
212 views

Do you need a solo player variant to make a Print&Play game successful?

A friend of mine is creating a multiplayer dice game. The game rules are currently designed for 3-5 players, and don't require much of an investment for the PnP to create the necessary components. ...
8
votes
4answers
433 views

Why isn't the minimum bid for a property its mortgage value?

It seems rather odd that the minimum bid for an unmortgaged property in Monopoly is $1, instead of it being the mortgage value (or mortgage value -10% approximately). Bidding may start at any ...
8
votes
7answers
278 views

How to show turn order when turn order can change during the round

I'm working on a game where the order of players' turns matters quite a bit, and I'm having trouble coming up with a way of showing the order. During the round, each player will take their turn. ...
8
votes
9answers
702 views

Rock-paper-scissors type randomizers [closed]

Most non-luck-free games use either open-ended randomizers (like dice, or spinners) or closed-ended randomizers (cards, chit pulls, etc). But there is an alternative, which is simultaneous revelation ...
8
votes
2answers
503 views

Resolving Diplomatic actions in a RISK-style board game

I'm working on a board game called Farlanthia: Lords of War. And I need some help with resolving diplomacy during play. My original idea was to have Diplomacy be a form of "attack" like in RISK. ...
8
votes
2answers
568 views

What set of attributes can be used to describe, compare and contrast various board games?

A recent question about a good mix of board games got me thinking about how one could even objectively define "a good mix". My idea is to try and define a set of attributes that could describe, ...
8
votes
2answers
696 views

Formal Format for Documenting the Game Design Process

Is there a formal format for documenting the game design process? Before you answer with "The Game Design Document (GDD), of course!", in my opinion (and lots of people's opinions as well, I think) a ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there guaranteed winning strategies for Quarto?

As we all know in standard tic-tac-toe the game can't be won if both players play optimally. So: Is Quarto a game that will end in a draw if both players play optimally? If yes, what are the most ...
7
votes
6answers
492 views

Looking for the “magic'al” formula

Im a big fan of the Magic the Gathering trading card game. And with all these new cards coming in, I was wondering how the cards were balanced, and manacost calculated. Im thinking there must be a ...
7
votes
2answers
542 views

Are cards that interact with sacrificing rare, and why?

For independent reasons, I was looking recently for cards that interact with Sacrificing. At the time (owing mostly to my lack of knowledge in MtG templating), I found none. Looking at the Avacyn ...
7
votes
3answers
217 views

How can I identify games that would work better on the computer?

What are the things that the electronic version can do to enhance gameplay? Conversely, what could the board game version do to overcome this view? Feel free to use examples if it would help clarify ...
7
votes
1answer
184 views

Will a developer fix a (small) broken mechanic, or should I fix it before the submission process begins?

I am (co)designing a pickup-and-deliver strategy game. Extensive playtesting has revealed what I believe to be a slightly broken aspect of the endgame (basically, there comes a point when everyone ...
7
votes
1answer
291 views

Why does Cascade exile?

From a design point of view, I cannot figure out why Cascade should specifically exile the cards involved, then return them to the bottom of the deck instead of revealing them (like Spellshift or ...
7
votes
1answer
304 views

Does anybody know of a list of color-appropriate effects for new cards in Magic?

My playgroup has started to get into creating custom cards for our casual Magic: the Gathering games, but it's no fun if the cards aren't designed in a plausible way. According to Mark Rosewater's ...
7
votes
1answer
313 views

What are common replacement components?

As my board game collection grows and wears down, I find myself curious about efficiencies that can be made when hauling games around from place to place. The first time I realized that you could ...