Posts tagged ‘game design’

And it’s off.

I wrapped up my initial crediting of ideas on the game design wiki and started publicizing it last Tuesday night. Less than 24 hours later there about 30 edits by four named people, and several dummy pages where someone bounced into the required logins – which annoy me greatly. Maybe if does well enough I can looking into running it myself on some kind of hosting service.

Update and link

I dumped my list of game design ideas onto the wiki, but I still need track down proper references and do a whole lot of expounding. Once I’ve got the references straight, I’ll probably do a little advertising and hopefully get some help on the rest.

Or maybe I should just sign up for a Masters Degree in Gaming? ;^)

Another project begun…

I decided to do the patterns of game design project in a wiki so others could easily contribute. It’s still pretty skeletal right now, but you can have a look (and improve it a bit, if you are so inclined) at

A mind awash with wonders

A few weeks ago when I went to Protospiel, I had a great time. I saw some really neat stuff, but mostly got the type of comments I expected. In short, it wasn’t a life changing event. About a week later, I remembered the list of web links James Kyle had given out with his talks. This greatly assisted the list game design patterns I decided to put together. I also blame it for about four major new game ideas in the last week, and getting (partially) unstuck in most of my old ones.

It might be helpful to note that I haven’t had very many new ideas in the four year or so. Progress on other things had been stop and go, but it was still progress.

Let’s see, 3 major games in progress (one of which has drifted in a direction that suggests it would be more appropriate with a different theme. Which means coming up with a new theme, and then a new direction for the old theme.) And 6 on the list of ‘things to work on some day.’

Meanwhile, I’ve got the urge to learn linux, sql, and web hosting so I can start up a web site.

Next week, I work on the video (we have something on screen, with numerous glitches) to earn my keep, and then run off to GenCon for the later half.



Today I returned from Protospiel 2002, which was in East Lansing, MI, where either the weather is nicer, or I just happened to be away during a nice week. :-)

Last weekend, I was away, so I didn’t get ready. Monday was martial arts class, so I didn’t get ready. Tuesday morning, I started looking at maps and packing ;^) Finally got on the road a little after 11, with a lunch packed. The trip was pretty uneventful; I stopped once to eat and buy Indiana and Michigan maps. It was hot. My yogurt-covered raisins melted.

The one interesting thing was the road to Lansing, which was under construction, so I had to wing it a little. Mostly it was following the detour signs, although the detour was also under construction ;^) East Lancing itself turns out to be the home of Michigan State University, so it’s definitely a collage town. On the upside, this means that it is quite pedestrian and bicycle friendly (makes me which I’d brought my bicycle, but it’s not something I normally bring along for a trip ;^) ) MSU has a few natural areas, so, arriving with several hours to spare before duck, I set off to explore a nearby one. It had been fenced in to keep the aforementioned bicycles out, but there were still a few pedestrian access points. It was certainly popular with the joggers, which are, in general quite prolific. I think I saw a running down the sidewalk every day I was in East Lancing. Anyway, the park was pretty, although not quite large enough to get away from the patches of light that mark it’s end. Kind of makes me wish I had a camera. One tree looked like a column of smoke. In another section, most of the trees had proclamations of love on them. Which is kind of cool, but it’s a shame they had to carve up the trees.

The East Lancing Inn was something of a flophouse. This didn’t completely surprise me, since the prices were about half of anything else nearby. They have recently redone the exterior, which gave me a little hope when I saw it, but the rooms look fairly old and not terribly well maintained. Take my first room, for instance:

The key (a nifty electronic thing, kind of like a miniature, key-shaped, video-game cartridge) worked fine. This was encouraging. The fact that the door didn’t work the second time, was not. (It should perhaps be noted that by ‘second time,’ I count both entering and leaving the room, no key required.) Thankfully, the phone did work ;^) Getting a new room wasn’t so bad; I had been headed out to ask them if they really had no non-smoking left anyway.

Wednesday morning, I headed out to Protospiel, which was being held at a local game shop. Thankfully, either then or the previous night, I remembered that Wisconsin was in a different time zone ;^) I arrived well before things were supposed to start up, figuring that there would be some organization going on first, but I was just way too early. The people organizing it hadn’t been expecting enough attendees to warrant any set-up time ;^)

The event was great fun. As much as I’d like to babble on about all the cool games, I don’t really want to do so in a public forum. Suffice it to say that there were many people there who have been doing this better and longer than I. I got to try out several of my games. The completely untested one turned out fairly well, I just may need to clarify a few things. I also got some feedback on where Harmony needs to be headed. People liked Pi *. I completely drowned one person with M:tM, which reinforced my belief that it needs to be redone from scratch. Forgot to try a brainstorming session on the trapeze game, since I don’t know what to do with it at the moment.

Sunday I headed back. It was hot. The remainder of the yogurt-covered raisins melted again. I randomly stopped for lunch at the same place as I did last time.

* Even if the contest judges didn’t. The results were waiting in my mailbox when I got back. Between this and last years, they have shown a very definite bias for trivial changes to classic games. Since they have allowed two entries in the past, maybe I’ll have to submit one next year after I design something interesting ;^

Random Update

I went down to the waterfall this morning. I didn’t stay very long because it was raining (it wasn’t when left the house.) It had in general been raining for a while, however, so the stream was pretty full. I missed the peek though; there was definite evidence that it had earlier overflowed what I had considered firmly part of it’s bank. There was lots of green too; I hadn’t been down since the bloom. Previously bare parts of ground were waist high in plants with tiny white flowers. It’s amazing to think they grew so much in only a few weeks.

My parents came over for dinner. Consequently, I spent most of the day cleaning. It was getting time to do it anyway, company just forced the issue ;^)

Oh, and Pi didn’t get mentioned in the contest preview issue of Abstract Games Magazine. The upside is that last year Cross did make the preview, and didn’t win ;^)


Lots of interesting progress on the trapeze game I started tinkering with a while back… I’ve generally been too busy to think about it since. I lost the game board and am forging boldly forward into the abstraction of non-location. I also lost the dice, which are being replaced by cards. Both of these things were slowing the game down. The new version takes heavy inspiration from

15 minutes later… Jeesh, I try to be nice and go get one little link for you people, and get sucked into James Earnest’s web of wondrous things. I suppose I should pay more attention to such things normally… of course, then I’d probably just buy more of them, and I still have things I haven’t played from years ago.

(Hup is a trapeze term; it is used by the catcher to tell the flyer when to let go and perform the trick.)


I don’t know why I didn’t go out and look for this sooner, but there is, in fact, a game design convention.

I’m not officially registered yet, but I have the definite feeling that is a matter of when, not if ;^)