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Making better games

A blog on game design

Games, Licenses, and You: A Practical Overview (Part 2: Remedies)

Last week we talked about the various intellectual property laws and how they apply to games. Now let’s talk about what happens when things go wrong. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. Find a lawyer who knows their intellectual property law if you’re anywhere near an actual lawsuit. Objectives Describe…
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Games, Licenses, and You: A Practical Overview (Part 1: Know Your Rights)

Let’s talk about the legal implications of intellectual property rights in games for a moment. Since the vast majority of complexity comes down to copyright, we’ll focus pretty heavily on that. I’m based in the US, and I’ll be using their law as the basis for this, but most things I cover are internationally agreed…
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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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Designer’s glossary: non-choice

One-time disclaimer on this first post – scroll down to the About section to learn more about the project and how You can contribute! non-choice[nɒn-tʃɔɪs],[non-; nan-chois] noun The act of presenting your players with multiple options, one of which one is strictly better than the rest. This can either be done intentionally, in order to test…
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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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Teaching Games By Design: Making Good (Part 3/3)

The past couple weeks, I’ve talked about how to assess and categorize players’ knowledge of a game and what things tend to limit players’ engagement with your game. Today, I’m going to talk about making your game approachable to players and how you can work within the framework of the concepts we’ve discussed to make…
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Sidequest: Terrible Templating

Welcome to Sidequest, a sporadic column thing that will pop up when there are things that I want to “discuss” (read: rant about), but don’t deserve an entire fully-fledged article. Expect semi-coherent ramblings, a reasonable amount of F-bombs, and just whatever came to mind at the time of writing. Today’s topic is one that is…
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Candle in the dark

Hello. My name is Nickolay Krumov, also known as Hegemon on the internet. But feel free to call me Nick. I am one of the writers for TDA and with my articles I am mostly going to focus on three main types of content: Theory: Highly conceptual pieces that mostly lay the ground work for…
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So, you want to make a game…

A brave new world Welcome to game design! Whether you’re completely new to the craft, or an already-experienced designer/developer, it never hurts to take a look at the basics and see things from a new perspective. In this post, I will attempt to shed some light on the process of starting a new game, as…
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Teaching Games By Design: Barriers to Knowledge (Part 2/3)

Slightly more than a week ago I talked about understanding knowledge in the context of a game designer’s scope of work, and today I’d like to go over the barriers that often face players who are seeking to learn a game. Note that I’m talking about barriers and not assets here. Traditionally in education or…
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