Category: Theory

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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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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The Trials of Error (2/2)

Pictured: 4 versions of the same card from one of my games, none of which was final.A whole lot of valuable lessons learned, though.(Disclaimer: Art’s not mine) To continue directly where we left off from Part 1, we resume the list of common beginner mistakes in no particular order: Project scope getting out of control…
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The Trials of Error (1/2)

Pictured: Cards from 4 prototypes of the same game, all of which were scrapped eventually.A whole lot of valuable lessons learned, though. mAking mistkaes Where we last left off (So, you want to make a game…), we discussed the core aspects of design as a process and some simple steps one can follow in order…
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