Friday Game Break: Theme vs. Mechanics

Friday Game Break: Theme vs. Mechanics

There are battles, and then there are BATTLES. And what bigger battle is there than mechanics vs. theme? Ask any game designer which is more…

Mechanics and Theme: The Best of Friends!

Mechanics and Theme: The Best of Friends!

Designers endlessly argue about whether you should start with Mechanics or Theme and which is more important. This is a fool’s errand. Seth Johnson joins…

Embracing Thematic Design or: How I learned to stop hating and love the story

Embracing Thematic Design or: How I learned to stop hating and love the story

I have always been a lover of mechanics. For as long as I can remember, I have felt the pull of new and exciting ways…

Past, Present and Future Blog

Past, Present and Future Blog

Last week I managed my past selves both in a fun time travel worker placement prototype by Aaron Vanderbeek and also in a recently published…

One of You Is a Bear: A BEARanoia Design Diary

One of You Is a Bear: A BEARanoia Design Diary

My very first game, BEARanoia, is about to be released at Essen and I couldn’t be more excited. But for this design diary, I decided…

Component First: A Design Challenge Part 2

Component First: A Design Challenge Part 2

Part 2 of a 3 part series on the DFWNN Design competition – perspectives from two League of Gamemakers design teams! — We are two…

“Farmpocalypse Pirate Ninjas”: Making Mash-up Themes Work

“Farmpocalypse Pirate Ninjas”: Making Mash-up Themes Work

It’s not easy standing out as a mash-up game. Mark and I have been testing and demoing our flagship game Zerpang! since 2006. Back then,…

Component First: A Design Challenge Part 1

Component First: A Design Challenge Part 1

Part 1 of a 3 part series on the DFWNN Design competition – perspectives from two League of Gamemakers design teams! — Debate has been…

Subtext and the Dangers of Default Design

Subtext and the Dangers of Default Design

What is default design? Default design is a body of design choices, particularly thematic, that you don’t think about. You include them in your game…

Finding Harmony by Changing a Theme

Finding Harmony by Changing a Theme

This is part 2 of Randy Hoyt’s piece from a publisher’s perspective, describing how he worked to re-theme Lanterns: The Harvest Festival from a game…

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