The past year has given us a wealth of sage advice and valuable resources for board game designers. We’ve been putting together monthly lists of our favorites for a while, but now, as the end of the year approaches, we’ve gone through our archives again and pulled out the best of the best.
The following posts about game design theory, prototyping, publishing, the design process and more are the ones that we’ve found to be the most helpful, insightful and inspiring for our own games. We hope they’ll help you too.
Happy New Year!
– Chris & Suzanne Zinsli, Cardboard Edison
- What would you learn about board game design if you created and published a new game every month for 10 years?
- A warning for new designers: why your actions are more important than your intentions
- “Play some games you’re excited about with people who you love to play with. Win or lose, enjoy yourself, be epic, do epic stuff, and you’ll be inspired with your game designing.” – Bryan Fischer (@bryanfischer)
- “Look at the games you like, and see what works, and what doesn’t work. Sharp analytical skills are a game designer’s best tool.” – D. Brad Talton Jr., Level 99 Games (@Level99Games)
- James Ernest (@cheapassjames) on the biggest obstacle to becoming a game designer
- How to create an “idea machine”
- “Focus is the key to move from someone with a great game idea to a game designer with a great game.” – Jesse Catron (@ktronod)
- “Never give up. Rejection is part of the process.” – Chevee Dodd (@cheveedodd)
- “If you never make mistakes, you are not working on challenges that move you further. And that’s a BIG mistake.” – Reiner Knizia (@ReinerKnizia)
- “The single hardest lesson I learned is not letting perfectionism become a roadblock to success.” – Doug Bass of Meridae Games (@MeridaeGames)
- “Don’t pin all your hopes on just one game idea. If you’re creative enough to come up with one game idea, you’re creative enough to come up with a half dozen game ideas.” – Keith Meyers
- “If you are not enjoying the creative process then it might not be worth your time.” – Trevor Clifford
- Things to avoid in game design. Thou shalt not…
- Giving players meaningful choices to make
- “Look for the central tension in whatever you’re trying to evoke, and concentrate on this.” – Sam Liberty (@SA_Liberty) & Kevin Spak (@Captain_Spak)
- “Don’t confuse depth with complexity.” – Grant Rodiek (@HerrohGrant)
- A BoardGameGeek forum discussion about creating games with traitors
- Free icons to use in your game
- “Making a prototype is like making a pinata; you labor over it, but you know it’s going to be smashed to pieces the first time it’s used.” – Kevin Spak (@Captain_Spak)
- Lists of publishers that are accepting submissions
- “It is the sparkle in your eye that will sell your game. If you don’t believe in it first no one will.” – Michael Coe (@Crash_Games & @Gamelyn_Games)