Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

Design Time

I’ve been collecting and playing miniatures games for over 2 decades now. In that time I’ve designed a number of expansion, scenarios and supplements – several were published in Games Workshop’s sadly defunct Citadel Journal.

040I haven’t turned my attention to developing a full game for many years. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and I find it necessary to design a game to use my extensive and eclectic collection of miniatures.

The ‘Design Time’ series will follow me through the game design process – wherever it leads. I hope it provides entertainment, information and even inspiration for any budding game designers out there, with their own models gathering dust (with or without paint!).

Every game must have its own unique point of difference from the others on the market. If a game can be summed up as “like Warhammer, only the leadership rules are different” then what you are looking at is a house rule that thinks it’s a game. Warhammer is already the best Warhammer on the market, there’s no need to create another one.

Take inspiration from games and mechanics on the market, as a unique combination of what is out there already may give you a great platform to build on. One useful approach is to design the kind of game you would like to play but can’t because it hasn’t been made. Chances are there are other gamers wanting to play that game too.  Looking at the existing market and seeing the games that aren’t there is important and goes a long way to making sure your game is unique.

This game (currently on its third playtest name) is:finalad

– a fantasy skirmish game

– scenario based

– character driven

– playable as a one-off scenario, or as a longer campaign of several linked battles

From reading those four points you’ve probably got a fair idea of where things are headed.

Anything that you design will be a reflection of you, the designer. In this case, from the above points you can tell that I

– have a varied collection of fantasy miniatures

– enjoy character-driver gameplay

– like games that are played quickly, but the the option to expand to a longer game if I have the opportunity for one

And there we have it – designing the game I would like to play but can’t as it doesn’t exist… yet.

Join me for part 2 where I look at some basic design considerations, how they are shaped by the game I want to create, and how those decisions then shape the game itself.



[On to part 2]


This entry was posted on November 3, 2013 by in Game Design, Miniatures, Tabletop and tagged , , , .
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