The Board Game Design Course

Where great games begin

Game Design

You’re Like a Scientist!

Excerpt from The Board Game Designer’s Guide – being released December 2017. Sign up here to be notified when my new book is released:

As a game designer, you’ll always be testing new ideas. Think of yourself as a scientist. You come up with a hypothesis, such as “my game will play better if players are allowed to do four actions on their turn instead of three.” 

Then you test this to see if your hypothesis is true. If not, no big deal. Just go back to the previous version or try something new. That’s what game design is all about. Test, test, test. Each test will bring you closer to a finished game that people are going to really enjoy.

Try playtesting your game with new people. Ask for feedback on a specific aspect of your game. If the group is willing, see if you can try it one way, then another, then maybe a third way, and so on, until you’ve figured out the right formula. New people have new ideas, so there’ll always be something additional to ponder.

Talk about your game with other people. It could be with friends, board game enthusiasts, or other designers. This will generate more ideas and possible solutions for any challenges you are facing. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck. Talk it out. Keep your game moving forward.

Remember that your game is getting closer to completion every day. As long as you keep putting in the time and effort, your game will keep improving, and more and more people will be asking when they can buy a copy. That will definitely keep you motivated to make this effort a priority.

Are you stuck somewhere in your design process? What works for you to get out of this and keep moving forward?

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