Books: Pleasures of Small Motions

Pleasures of Small Motions: Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards, by Bob Fancher Ph.D. Bob Fancher is an avid pool player and a columnist on all things billiards for the Washington Post. He is also a trained philosophy and psychotherapist. In this short book he brings his expertise in [...]

101 Things I Learned in Game Design?

I recently received a copy of 101 Things I Learned in Film School as a gift from one of my students, having already expressed my enthusiasm for 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School. I really like these little books; they condense a lot of wisdom into a number of key insights. Clearly [...]

Saving the Date

http://paperdino.com/games/save-the-date/ Me: So, I did it. Felicia: What? Me: I quit the game, like you said. Felicia: Are you sure? Then why am I still here? Me: I’m writing my own ending. Felicia: Oh? How does it turn out? Me: I’m not sure, I haven’t thought that far ahead. [...]

Narrative-driven Design

In designing my zombie-survival card game, The Road, recently I’ve taken an approach to design that I haven’t really seen discussed before. I’m calling it “narrative-driven” design. The idea is that you choose a particular set of narratives that you want to see [...]

Design: Visual aesthetics

Owen Doyle has agreed to do graphic design for the game. I am looking for an art style that is realistic, sombre and gritty. I am thinking of something similar to graphic novels The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man. I also want the setting to be distinctly Australian. I love the recent Wyrmwood [...]

Design: Fighting Zombies

In this post I look at the design of combat against zombies. I’ll leave the issue of fighting other players to a later post. The zombie battle should contribute towards several parts of the target experience: To force the players to coordinate against a common threat. To increase dissent [...]

Design: The Zombie deck

The distribution of cards in the Zombie deck is designed to add dramatic tension to the game. It contains three kinds of cards: 10 “Safe”, 10 “Zombie” and 5 “Draw 2”. The weights were chosen so that the average number of zombies per card draw is 2/3. This can [...]

Design: Health vs Food

The main design element of the game is the health vs food vs strength tradeoff. Let us first consider food and health. Every player starts with 5 or 6 health points, 2 or 3 pieces of food. Health and food are closely related. Each day a player must consume a piece of food or starve […]

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