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Top Organizational Tools for Game Designers

I don’t know about you, but my head is a really messy place to be. As I’m sure many of you know, a crowded mind is one of the drawbacks to being a creative person—   It can’t be helped when you have so many games, books, paintings, songs, or whatever else you make jumping around all the time.   Because of this, I find it helpful to have a very structured, but easily edited, place to store my thoughts, and I thought I’d share three of my favorites with you guys!   Two of them are free, but the third is a physical product which obviously costs money, but it’s worth every penny.   Enjoy! Trello (Free) Trello is one the best tools out there for organization, and I’m sure many of you have already heard of it.   In essence, Trello is like a digital pin-board, but a with a few handy little tricks built in, such as shuffling and programmable buttons.   It’s available on desktop, mobile, and in-browser, with syncing between them all, so if you make some changes on the fly, t
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Game Design Predictions for 2020

Hey everybody, I’m back! I hope you guys had a great holiday season, be it spending time with friends and family or just taking a quiet break for a few days.   I know I did, and now I’m ready for a new season of game-making madness! For my first post of the year(and the decade!), I thought I’d give my predictions for what kind of new games will be coming out in 2020.   Now, I obviously don’t have any secret knowledge, just educated guesses based off what I’ve seen through the last few years(also, I’m a member of the tabletop version of the Illuminati— Shh!).   So without further ado, my guesses! Micro Games: Some good evidence for this trend would be the incredibly popular Mint Tin contest at The Game Crafter, as well as the brilliant 18 Card Challenge from Buttonshy Games, particularly September’s ICG contest.   Apparently, micro games are on everyone’s minds, game designers and gamers alike.   The benefits are numerous: low cost, short play time, and easy

Project Heracles - Design Journal, Day Four

Day Four(11/25/19) After a full, but sadly gameless, weekend, I finally got some playtesting done today, as well as a rough draft for the graphic design of my cards.   Not too bad, but I wish I could have done more. The playtesting mostly just verified that the system was solid enough, though I did end up doing a bit of power-tweaking to make things more even.   I’m considering taking out the more mundane abilities of Marksman, Brawler, and Multi-Tasker, as they don’t add much flavor, and they are impossible to reflect on the standees.   A possible replacement for Marksman(+3 Ranged Skill) would be X-Ray Vision(+1 Ranged Skill, Ignore line of sight).   Other than that, the only new content I’ve added is a new power, Flameskin(Ranged attack, and when you’re attacked in Melee, deal damage). As for the graphic design, I’ve got a pretty decent draft for my cards done: As you can see, it’s very rough at the moment, but I think it gives a pretty good impression of

Project Heracles - Design Journal, Day Three

Day Three(11/22/19) Well, day three was a bit less productive than I would have liked.   My non-game design life was particularly demanding today, so I wasn’t able to get my game to the table.   That being said, I was able to create 7 pieces of gear, as well as one new power. The gear is still very rough, and probably unbalanced, but here’s what I have in order of creation:   Veritanium Sword and Shield, Mk III Seeker Bow, Utility Belt, Grav Net, Power Gauntlets, Stun Ammo, and Ballistic Ammo.   The new power, Veritanium Skeleton, is the first to increase HP. I also made some progress on the dice system, thanks to a handy app that lets me make custom dice so I can playtest on the go.   I found it to be mostly solid, but it became tedious retooling dice too frequently.   Perhaps I will increase the quantity of dice from 5 to 10.   Oh, and I added an Armor stat which I forgot I hadn’t created yet. Well, though I didn’t get as much done today as I had hoped, I did at

Project Heracles - Design Journal, Day Two

Day Two(11/21/19) Today I finished the board, created the new dice system, made my first ten powers, and actually played a solo run of my game.   All in all, a productive day! The new dice system, the biggest thing I added, uses custom d6’s, each with three blank sides and three printed sides.   The printed sides are identical, each yielding a result of 1, so each die can result in either a 1 or a 0, and X number of dice results in a number between 0 and X.   The point of this system is a) simplicity, and b) ease of scaling.   Additionally, unlike my old system, my stats all use numerical values of the same scale, so I have the freedom to translate one stat, say strength, to another, such as armor, without fear of making something explode.   As a side note, these dice were inspired by those from the Royal Game of Ur. The powers might have been the most fun part to create;   Translating things into game terms has always been my strongest suit.   I started with invisibil

Project Heracles - Design Journal, Day One

I know I said I was going on a holiday break, but I saw a shiny and couldn’t resist. While I’m going to stick to my guns on not doing my normal posts, I thought this would be a good opportunity to experiment with another style of design journal— the daily entry. That’s right, I started on a new game, and I’m going to be writing about it every day.   Well, not every day, just each day in which I make significant progress in my game.   So that means (probably)no Sunday posts or holiday posts, and intermittent posts the rest of the time. In case you’re wondering, the game is called Project Heracles , a superhero-themed Flip and Write/Wargame which I may or may not enter into TGC’s Roll & Write Contest.   So, without further ado, the journal! Day One(11/20/19): This is the only retrospective entry in this journal, as I started writing on day two.   It’s also arguable that the   design actually started far earlier, perhaps a few days ago when I was thinking abou

Christmas Break

Hey there, fellow geeks and nerds!  As you all(y'all?) are probably aware, we're approching christmas season again, and, like many of you, I'm going to be a bit busier in the coming month than I normally am(It's not easy balancing normal life, game design, blogging AND holiday cheer!), so I'm going to take a break from TMG until the end of the holidays.  Don't worry, though, I'll be back on January 8th with a fresh post! So now you know what I won't be doing this holiday season, and I'd like to know what your plans are!  Will you be traveling for Christmas?  Do you have something special planned?  Or perhaps you're just going to spend time with family like me?  Have a merry Christmas, and , as always, keep on geeking on  to all a good night!