The Tabletop Designers Association proudly presents:

Making better games

A blog on game design

Welcome to the TDA blog

What is the Tabletop Designers Association? Currently in the process of being established, the Tabletop Designers Association is a non-profit organisation found with the single purpose of bringing together and supporting designers of tabletop games*. This support, much like Chandler’s time in the box, is threefold: With the help of sponsors and donations, we will…
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MOPED Lessons: Modularity

Alright, let’s get this show on the road. This is the first of the detailed posts I’m going to do regarding MOPED (link to the outline/concept here). As the title suggests, we’re gonna be tackling the topic of modularity in games. To that end, I’ll be splitting this article in a few distinct sections, and…
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Resource-related Rambling

Last article I talked about MOPED. This article, I won’t talk about MOPED. Instead, working on one of my games got me thinking about a subject I’ve found a bit lacking in categorization in the past. And, it often feels like categorization is something game designers enjoy doing more than actually designing games. Theory is…
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Respecting Player Interest in Roleplaying Game Design (2/3): Communication

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about using a theme and concept to center a game on what players are interested in. Today we will talk about how to use communication strategies–both in-text and in marketing–to link your game to particular player interests.  Communication If you make a game that is tremendous and…
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Respecting Player Interest in Roleplaying Game Design (1/3): Themes and Concepts

One thing that I constantly struggle with as a tabletop role-playing game designer is making sure that my designs match the interests of the players who will play my games. This requires a process, there’s no magic “players will like this because…” formula that you can plug into game design. The first step of this process is…
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MOPED Lessons: Introduction

Last post I mentioned something called ‘my MOPED design principles’, and I intend for this article to be a brief overview and introduction to each of them. I’ll be doing a full article on each of the five principles, going in detail and with examples from games I’ve played or have worked on. Talking about…
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Sidequest: What I done did

Sidequest #3, eh? I don’t have much of an intro for this one honestly, but I’ll make up for it by some next-level rambling, cause boy do we have a topic fit for that: MY PROJECTS! See, while completely shitting on other people’s work is considered rude, apparently completely shitting on your own work is…
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Better gameplay: skill resolution

With this article, I’m starting an entirely new series on tacking problems in RPGs that aims to explore the ways we can speed up play and make it a smoother user experience by reducing the lag that happens when interpreting roleplay through mechanics. This streamlining process can be applied to everything, both during the session…
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A Complex Conundrum

Welcome back to our little slice of the Internet. By now, we’ve covered the bare basics of what design is, the core things you need to start working on a game, and which issues you should try to avoid during the process. Now I want to tackle a subject that is useful to both beginners…
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Sidequest: Harsh Truths

Howdy! Welcome to another Sidequest, where we have another topic, but the same kind of semi-coherent ranting, raving, and rambling, courtesy of yours truly. So, I wrote this article thing regarding beginner mistakes, but the original idea was to write about the harsh truths of game design. Y’know, the shit no one tells noobs because…
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Games, Licenses, and You: A Practical Overview (Part 3: Popular Licensing Methods)

Previously, we looked at the sorts of rights you get on your work and how you can protect your rights. Today we’re going to look at how people traditionally license games. Most licenses apply to the copyright of a game and its trademarks, with a notable exception in the form of the Open Game License…
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