Dr. Lew Pulsipher started playing boardgames more than 50 years ago. He designed his own games, then discovered strategic "realistic" gaming with early Avalon Hill wargames, and ultimately earned a Ph.D. in military and diplomatic history. His book "Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish” was published in July 2012 by McFarland. http://bit.ly/MSRs8e He contributed to ETC Press' Analog: Tabltop Game Design. Formerly contributing editor to several role-playing game magazines and author of over a hundred game magazine articles, he is designer of Britannia (UK, US, and Germany in separate editions), Dragon Rage, Valley of the Four Winds, Swords and Wizardry, and Diplomacy Games & Variants. Britannia (2nd edition) appeared in 2006, with foreign editions (German, French, Spanish, Hungarian) in 2008. It was described in an Armchair General review of a 2006 edition as "ready to continue on as one of the great titles in the world of games".
Latest published game, Sea Kings (2015).
Latest published book, Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish, 2012.
Online audiovisual courses at https://www.udemy.com/u/drlewispulsipher :
- Learning Game Design (parts 1 and 2)
- Brief Introduction to Game Design
- How to Design Levels/Adventures for Video and Tabletop Games
- Get a Job in the Video Game Industry
- How to Write Clear Rules (and game design documents)
- The Joys of Game Design (hobbiest game design)
- Brief Introduction to RPG design
- Playteseting: the Heart of Game Design
- Conceiving a New Game: Tips for Aspiring Designers (free)
- Prospering at Game Conventions and Conferences (free with coupon)
Discounts and current projects are at PulsipherGames.Com.
YouTube "Game Design" channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/LewGameDesign
Game design blog: http://pulsiphergamedesign.blogspot.com/
Computer RPGs (especially MMOs) appear to be a "grind" aimed at rising in level. People don't enjoy the journey, they only enjoy the destination ("I'm 80th level!"). That's why there's a big market for sale of items and gold and even entire accounts.
Party games, and to a lesser extent family games, have always been reward-based (you're rewarded for participation) rather than consequence-based (winning and losing is important, plus more), but hobby games were usually the latter. Not any more.
What is the "natural" format of a game? You can program a boardgame on a computer, or vice versa, but the physical format difference is more cosmetic than real. A man dressed as a woman is still a man, a boardgame on a computer is still a boardgame.
Creativity in game design may amount to about 10% of the whole. The rest is more or less engineering/project management. Some people rely on trial & error (guess & check), throwing things against a wall to see what sticks. Find a more efficient method!
Author Robert Heinlein says this about the nature of jokes: "Funny once, funny twice, or always funny." Games follow this pattern. E.g. I know people who have played my Britannia 500+ times. Which kind of game do you want to make?
I don’t use the word “theme” any more, because there are so many different meanings. These meanings are not even close to the same things. If you cannot know how your reader/listener understands a word, you can’t use it (if you want to be clear).
[Blog - 05/13/2016 - 01:45]
Every battle should feel like ...
Every battle should feel like a boss fight. But then every boss fight feels just like fighting any other monster. r n r nGood pacing requires highs and lows, or the highs lose much of their feeling. r n r nNow if you mean something like, a battle should feel ...
[Blog - 04/29/2016 - 03:16]
Bart, your comments are as ...
Bart, your comments are as succinct and illuminating as ever. r n r nWhat we call games is a vastly greater spectrum than in the distant past, when board games such as chess, go, nine-men 's morris, checkers, were very much consequence-based, where your every move had to be predicated ...
[Blog - 04/21/2016 - 02:02]
If you 're looking for ...
If you 're looking for realistic-looking terrain maps, there 's an infinite startup supply in existing maps of the earth. Scale something up or down . For example, if you take a bit out of the Falkland Islands, or Tierra del Fuego, who 's going to know where it came ...
[Blog - 03/22/2016 - 06:36]
I must agree, given the ...
I must agree, given the large number of creative people who don 't make a living at their creation - and often don 't even try to - work might belong on the top of this pyramid.
[News - 02/18/2016 - 08:10]
Not surprising that game writers ...
Not surprising that game writers have had an uphill battle. Considering that the programming teams often disrespect the role of game designers , you 'd expect game writers to come off even worse. And then some of the writers start to think of themselves as game designers, which is a ...
[Blog - 03/19/2014 - 04:50]
Has anyone examined whether allowing ...
Has anyone examined whether allowing under-18s access to alcohol as in France where many drink wine makes it less likely, or more, that they become alcoholic The same question applies for gambling. r n r nOn the other hand, I knew someone who was a beer drinker most of her ...