Starting fresh but with constraints

Dave Berlin Design 1 Comment

This is part 1 of a series about our new game, The Council of Adventurers. I’m documenting the development of this game in order to keep myself honest about its prospects for publication, and to share some mistakes I’ve made with others on the same journey. This post is about the initial game that came out of the death of Prism. Part 0: The Death of Prism Part 1: Starting fresh but with constraints I got home from meeting with the publisher and broke the news to Jessica. And then we had a long talk. You know the kind. I wasn’t sure that we should spend any more time on game design. I wasn’t sure that I could design a great …

The Death of Prism

Dave Berlin Playtesting 5 Comments

This is part 0 of a series about our new game, The Council of Adventurers. I’m documenting the development of this game in order to keep myself honest about its prospects for publication, and to share some mistakes I’ve made with others on the same journey. This first post is about the death (at least shelving) of our last game in development, Prism. Part 0: The Death of Prism Part 1: Starting fresh but with constraints When I heard that a publisher wanted to meet with me to get a demo of our wizard themed, mostly co-op adventure built around the idea of a prisoner’s dilemma, I was more nervous than excited. I had just changed the “finding a portal” mechanic and its effects …

Ten major time sucks when designing a board game

Dave Berlin Process 2 Comments

If there are only five things you must do during the game design process, there are at least twice as many things that can distract you from completing a game design. So if you catch yourself doing any of these things, ask whether it’s the most important thing to move your game design toward getting published. Art and graphic design: We often worry too much about the aesthetic of a game. You don’t need art or fancy graphic design to determine whether your game is fun. Much of the early art will be replaced later as you change cards, components, or themes. And publishers will often have their own ideas about design and art. Try to catch yourself before you spend a day in …

The five things you must do when designing a board game

Dave Berlin Process 8 Comments

How many times have you had a brilliant idea for a board game, and you race home from work or school or a board game designer meetup and can’t sleep because you’re so excited about your game? You pass out that night jotting down notes and dream of seeing your game on store shelves. And then, after working on this game furiously for days, you catch yourself wasting time sifting through stock photos of bacteria, looking for a good set of Proto-Norse runes, or meticulously cleaning stray pixels on your character designs in Photoshop. Maybe you’ve started working on your Kickstarter video script before you’ve played your game a single time. And no, these examples are not random. I’ve been there, and …