10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing a Game

Here is our podcast episode on the 10 questions you should ask yourself while designing a game:

If you’d rather not listen to it and you just want to ask yourself some thought-provoking questions about your game, here is the list!

  1. Which feeling(s) am I trying to deliver?
  2. Why would someone play or buy this game instead of others? What’s the hook?
  3. Which core element will keep people engaged in my game?
  4. Which decisions am I giving players that will keep people playing?
  5. Which types of players am I targeting for my game? And what is the weight and play time will it have?
  6. How many high-level strategies can you win with?
  7. What is the single core mechanic in my game? (everything else you can cut, if needed)
  8. How much downtime do players have?
  9. How do players interact with one another and does it fit with the theme?
  10. What is confusing players when they play?
  11. What player counts can this support? Can you expand that count?
  12. What will the MSRP be?
  13. Do players feel like they are in the universe/theme?
  14. Where will people be playing this game?
  15. What is my exit strategy for this game? Kickstarter? The Game Crafter? Selling direct? Pitch to a publisher?
  16. Can I make changes to the game to tailor it to the publisher I think would want to publish it?
  17. Is this game too similar to an existing game?

 

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Trapped in a Room with Juliana Patel and Ariel Rubin

Richard interviews Juliana Patel and Ariel Rubin who created the extremely successful Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment that is now being published by Mattel. He learns all their secrets from their 2,000+ backer debut campaign! Some specific topics:

  • Partnering with Mattel
  • Escape room game opportunities
  • Replaying escape room games
  • Playtesting an escape room game
  • Creating the puzzles
  • Lessons learned from the Kickstarter campaign
  • Finding your audience

Audio/Podcast Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP064.mp3

 

References

Top 7 Ways to Improve Your Playtest Feedback Quality

Here are our top 7 ways to improve your playtest feedback quality. If you want a spoiler, here’s the list!

  1. Ask negative leading questions. Trash/talk down your own game.
  2. Stay focused and interested in every word play testers say. Don’t defend anything. Don’t break their flow.
  3. Focus on problems and steer away from solutions.
  4. Ask about feelings.
  5. Explain what type of feedback you’re looking to get.
  6. Record audio.
  7. Get anonymous feedback at least once and late in the process.

Audio/Podcast Version:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP055.mp3

Resources

Top 10 Ways to Build Your Board Game Industry Network

Today we have Jeremy and Brian’s top 10 ways to build your network within the board game industry:

Jeremy

J10 – Participate in contests.

J9 – Be easy to find on social media.

J8 – Place encouragement above criticism.

J7 – Do your homework to avoid wasting publishers’ time.

J6 – Observe Publisher Speed Date.

J5 – Go to Protospiel and Unpub events.

J4 – Attend cons where industry experts have time to talk.

J3 – Don’t view community as a vending machine.

J2 – Offer service or resource to the community.

J1 – Play other designer games.

 

Brian

B10 – Volunteer at con booths.

B9 – Run local events.

B8 – Playtest other people’s games.

B7 – Comment on blogs and YouTube videos.

B6 – Create content.

B5 – Be active on social media.

B4 – Go to bigger cons to meet elites.

B3 – Go to smaller cons for local community.

B2 – Find your local game nights.

B1 – Help others in the industry.

 

Audio/Podcast: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP049.mp3

How to Use Print-and-Plays

How should you use print-and-plays as a designer, publisher, or indie creator? We discuss some options!

  • Advantages
  •  Early Feedback
  • Kickstarter
  • Limited or Full Version?
  • What do players use them for?
  • Shopping Ahead
  • Evaluating Gameplay
  • Evaluating Art
  • Why a P&P isn’t giving the game away.
  • Translations
  • Other components
  • PnPs at Cons

Audio/Podcast Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP042.mp3

Hosting a Convention

Join us for a discussion on the tools you need to host your own game design convention, such as:

  • Start small
    • Monthly meet-ups
    • Prototype night
  • Location
    • Mom & Pop Restaurant
    • Game Store
  • Getting Published Designers
  • Travel and Experience
  • Supporting and Nurturing Designers
  • Getting Playtesters
  • Publishers at Conventions
  • First-time Designers at Conventions
  • Untested Games at Conventions

Audio Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP041.mp3

Balancing Your Game

We sprinkle in these game balancing topics, among others, into our discussion:

  • Easy to Balance Games
  • Hard to Balance Games
  • How many playtests?
  • How to Make Adjustments
  • Cutting to Balance
  • Balancing and Adding
  • Types of Players
  • Length of Game
  • Keeping Scores Close

Audio Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP039.mp3