This past year was an exceptionally busy one for the Cardboard Edison tips blog. We’ve made nearly 1,000 posts over the past 12 months, a 50% increase from 2013.
To support our expansion, we launched an ongoing Patreon campaign. The success of that campaign means you can look forward to even more from us in 2015: a first-of-its-kind industry survey on licensing contract terms, regular Meaningful Decisions discussions with designers, a new series of publisher interviews and, with your help, even more to come.
But for now, we hope you’ll find the following list of our favorite board game design tips and resources from 2014 to be as helpful as we did.
Thanks once again for your support, and have a happy new year!
~ Chris & Suzanne Zinsli, Cardboard Edison
- Meaningful Decisions: Matt Leacock on Design Choices in Forbidden Desert
- Meaningful Decisions: Ben Rosset on Design Choices in Mars Needs Mechanics
- The 5 W’s and 1 H of Good Playtesters
- The Matthew Effect—It’s Like the Runaway-Leader Problem, Only Worse
- A Game Designer’s Guide to Gaming Conventions
- Some thoughts for designers who are worried that someone will steal their game idea
- “When someone takes a shot at a game you created, smile, thank them for their time, and say that you hope they like your next game better.” - Kevin Wilson
- “Development is working with people who teach you things about your own game that you never would have noticed or were incapable of seeing.” - Ben Pinchback
- A massive post touching on lots of legal issues facing board game designers and publishers
- 10 steps to design a board game
- “Consume knowledge and experience as though starving. Then, go by your gut.” - Eric Lang
- How to research a theme
- “What I have learned over time is to not rely on one strength, and not to have one fixed methodology when designing games. Designing games is not a science where you have a specific method that you always repeat.” - Reiner Knizia
- A #BoardGameHour was all about game design—lots of knowledge was shared
- Finding and serving your game’s core engagement: What do players do in this game?
- Basic probability for game designers
- Geoff Engelstein discusses humor in games, real-time games, “making stupid things happen” and more
- A taxonomy of game scoring methods
- “A designer should work out what people enjoy about their game and then organise the rules such that achieving victory involves doing the enjoyable thing as early and often as possible.” - Gregory Carslaw
- “Take a critical look at your game: Why does it need to be published, and how is it excelling? How is it doing something different than other games have done in the recent past?” - Stephen Buonocore
- How to quickly and effectively pitch your game to a publisher
- What to look for when signing a contract with a publisher
- Common pitfalls in licensing contracts for board games—and how to avoid them
- “Playtest other people’s designs. It’s the best game design education you can have.” - Gil Hova
- A playtest that breaks your game isn’t necessarily bad—here are some examples of genuinely bad playtests
- “If no one has fun playing your game, then you need to change it. It’s not enough that YOU find it fun.” - Randy Hoyt
- 10 insightful playtest questions
- “During the creation and development process, don’t hesitate to change it if it is for the best, and refine it the number of times you feel it needs. Talk to people about it, and change it until it clicks. It will, don’t worry. You will know when it does.” - Vital Lacerda
- “Broken is far easier to solve than almost there. In one, your patient’s leg is gone. Easy. In the latter, you have to be House.” - Grant Rodiek
- Advice for quitting your day job—if you must—to start a game publishing company
- “Working on the first game that you’re serious about self-publishing? Start small. No, smaller. Smaller. Keep going.” - Daniel Solis
- A giant post packed with Kickstarter knowledge
- 10 Kickstarter mistakes to avoid
- JT Smith of The Game Crafter shares lessons learned from the Village in a Box Kickstarter
Cardboard Edison is supported by our patrons on Patreon.
SENIOR INVENTORS: Isaias Vallejo, Richard Durham
JUNIOR INVENTORS: Luis Lara, Behrooz Shahriari, Aidan Short, Jay Treat, Stephen B Davies
ASSOCIATES: Marcel Perro, Zachery Cook, Nathan Miller, Doug Levandowski
APPRENTICE: Brad Price