120 votes
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Is it possible to design a two player game of skill with absolutely no luck?

By Zermelo's Theorem, every 2 player game has one of the following: Chance Hidden information (this also includes simultaneous moves) Either first or second player has a strategy that will guarantee ...
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75 votes
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Why is Agricola named as such?

“Agricola” is the Latin word for “farmer” (dictionary). It is derived from “ager” (“field”) and “-cola” (“-tiller”, “-cultivator”). “Agriculture” shares the same root, and so does “acre” (albeit ...
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  • 2,448
51 votes
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How can showing the least number of fingers be used to determine who goes first?

I believe the crucial word that is missing is "unique": The person who displayed the lowest unique number of fingers went first. i.e. if two players both showed one finger, they would be &...
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40 votes

Is it possible to design a two player game of skill with absolutely no luck?

I find it a bit odd to include the first move advantage in chess as an element of luck -- it assumes that luck is involved in choosing the color, but that choice isn't usually seen as part of the game,...
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  • 2,448
32 votes
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What makes a cooperative game require multiple players?

The biggest thing I can think of is limited knowledge. Hanabi is a cooperative game where each player has access to different information (no one can see the cards in his or her own hand, but can see ...
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  • 69.4k
26 votes

Is it possible to design a two player game of skill with absolutely no luck?

Consider the game of go, where Black starts, but White gets a number of points (the komi) to balance the advantage of Black's first move. Now, of course this may still not lead to an absolutely ...
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  • 885
20 votes

What dice to use in a game that revolves around triangles?

Doing some research shows you will still 5-9 range but it will be slightly more when you are using d4. Now if that difference causes a problem that would be up to you to decide. One other thing to ...
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  • 13.5k
19 votes
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What's the most intuitive way to use a die for a pass/fail test?

Whatever non-expert game you play (Monopoly, snakes and ladders, etc.), rolling a 6 is good, rolling a 1 is bad. So I'd say "You win if you roll a 4 or more" is the most intuitive way to speak to a ...
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  • 1,905
19 votes
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How to respond to publishers when they ask for rules?

Send the rules. Fear of having your idea copied/stolen is a uniquely amateur mentality. Daniel Solis (designer) and Gil Hova (publisher who references other publishers) cover the topic well in their ...
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  • 3,456
16 votes
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How have coop board games prevented a player(s) from taking over decision making

Simultaneous choice is another method of forcing players to stumble over each other a bit. Space Hulk Death Angel uses this to great effect - players have to choose between their available actions, ...
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14 votes

Can a Player who has forfeited win the game?

Why the phrasing "conceded to X"? A person just concedes, states they will not win. They don't get to pick who wins. Whoever has the most points wins. You can't win by giving up when you ...
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13 votes
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Handling multiple "timers" on the board and player mat

There are several ways to implement timers in board games Tokens. Games like Paper Tales or Pixel Tactics (starting from 2nd set) use addition/removal of tokens from game components to track passage ...
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  • 3,216
12 votes

Is it possible to design a two player game of skill with absolutely no luck?

The card game "Set" may qualify. (Your requirements are awfully stringent but also not precisely defined, so you may disagree on a technicality—but I believe it fits.) It's described as the "Family ...
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  • 303
12 votes

What dice to use in a game that revolves around triangles?

In general, rolling more, smaller dice will give a narrower range of possible answers and a distribution that's more concentrated around the average value, compared to rolling fewer, larger dice. This ...
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11 votes

Designing - How do you approach finding the right font for your game?

When I've put out games in the past, there have usually been two goals in font selection: Fonts that are easy to read at the angle the player will be looking from. Fonts that evoke the setting of the ...
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  • 3,405
11 votes

What kind of paper can I use for a game card?

If you are looking to prototype a game there are really three options, you'll want to weigh Expense vs Effort vs Polish. Obviously if you are just playtesting (especially early in the process) Polish ...
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  • 4,734
11 votes

Is there a method that gets beneficial diminishing returns when adding more dice, yet stays random?

You're actually asking two questions: How can I design a function that computes a result on a dice roll that gives asymptotically decreasing benefit to adding more dice? How can I have a system ...
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  • 16.4k
10 votes
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Does a game exist where some win, some lose, and some don't?

Yes. Though it's rare, some games mix up what it means to win and to lose, because why not? Games typically treat everyone as either 100% winner or 100% loser, but it doesn't have to be that way. In ...
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  • 9,546
10 votes
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How do I prevent cheating on my token based card game?

You simply need a mechanic that makes it impossible for a player to see the other players' token counts until they are all simultaneously revealed. There are quite a few ways to do this, so you have ...
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  • 1,401
10 votes
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How to randomly choose a hex tile

The best way to deal with variable count randomization is to use a drawing bag Create two sets of tiles. Whenever you add a tile to the board, add its copy to a drawing bag. Now whenever you need ...
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9 votes

Do Collectible Card Games without shuffling exist?

Zatch Bell The Card Battle TCG (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/18287/zatch-bell) is a TCG with no shuffling. It also features deck as health and deck as resource.
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  • 91
9 votes

How to make sure a player will not draw their own character card as target?

A game with a similar mechanic is Lifeboat. In that game normally you get points if your target dies, but if your target is yourself then instead you are a "psychopath" and get points for anyone who ...
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9 votes
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Balancing a Momentum Mechanic

I can imagine this system working better if implemented as an additional layer to the general action system, rather than a standalone concept of managing actions - let me outline what I have in mind: ...
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  • 8,052
9 votes
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How do I (self) publish a pencil and paper game?

If your game doesn't need any materials (or those would be more easily to come by on their own, such as graph paper), I would suppose the elements of your game you're trying to ship would be the rules....
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  • 8,052
9 votes

Is it possible to design a two player game of skill with absolutely no luck?

For perfect symmetry, you need both players to have the same opportunity to make moves. This suggests that either: Players play the game twice, rotating the first player position between them, with ...
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  • 10.1k
9 votes

Is it possible to design a two player game of skill with absolutely no luck?

Yes, 2 games of chess! After the first game players switch sides and play again. The slight advantage is completely removed. The premise in the middle of the OP is incorrect and irrelevant.
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  • 273
9 votes

Picking colors for an abstract game (game design)

If it's only for two players, you're in luck. Chess and Go are both over a thousand years old, and both use the classic combination of Black and White. If you insist on having a colour, though, you ...
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  • 2,708
9 votes

Handling multiple "timers" on the board and player mat

Not sure if this is the right way to offer a suggestion I have thought of myself for feedback, but... A time bar Labelled 0-5 or so, various items are put on the time bar, and everything is brought ...
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8 votes

Which program to chose when designing my own cards?

With a little setup work, Adobe InDesign can be a great tool for iterating on card designs. My process looks something like this: Setup an XLS or Numbers file with all the data for my cards. ...
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8 votes

Do Collectible Card Games without shuffling exist?

Mage Wars is a living card game and not a CCS, but that is an irrelevant point once gameplay begins. Unlike a CCG, a living card game sells packs open so you always know what you are going to get. I ...
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  • 3,756

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