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Made in us
Incorporating Wet-Blending





Houston, TX

This post is a very good summary of some of the concepts I feel are fundamental to good game design, especially simplicity, clarity, and meaningful decisions. His observation that the rules should fit on 1 page is interesting, though I am not sure I agree. I also disagree with his statement on abstraction, though I do agree that D&D models combat completely wrong (though hit points management can be made into a fun game).

What are some core concepts that you feel are essential to any design? What are some that vary by project?

-James
 
   
Made in us
Slicing Orb of Xandros






SoCal, USA!

That was a bit of a longish read. A fair bit is subjective and arguable. but he's basically on point.

The "1 page of (core) rules" recommendation is an excellent one, and is similar to how I designed KOG light, along with how GW did Age of Sigmar and 40k 8E.

In addition to KOG light, I've been working on a few other games, and I've been doing similar things to try and streamline games to improve comprehension, which feeds playability and correctness.

-- 9k Craftworld Tian-Bing Eldar
-- 7k Ragnarok 1st "Einherjar" Imperial Guard
-- 4k Knights Sovereign SM
-- 2k Pale Templars CSM
-- 2k Ordo Lucifer =I=
-- 1k Sisters SoB
-- 4k Solland's Ghosts WFB Dogs of War 
   
Made in de
Dakka Veteran




 jmurph wrote:
His observation that the rules should fit on 1 page is interesting, though I am not sure I agree.
I think that's more about having a rules summary/cheat sheet that fits on one page and not all rules. From the site: "It should be possible to summarise the key rules on one side of one sheet of A4. I don't want to have to turn my fast play sheet over. "

I also disagree with his statement on abstraction, though I do agree that D&D models combat completely wrong (though hit points management can be made into a fun game).
I think it makes sense in context. Armour class works by providing protection against hits but not against damage in D&D and that's kinda odd when you actually have hit and damage in two different rolls and it feels like heavy armour affects the wrong one. His point is about making good abstractions and not arbitrary ones. If you combine that with the aim of finding good rules that give you interesting choices that matter (instead of just more or very detailed ones) you should end up with a fun game even if it's not realistic and some rules break the rule of "wrong abstraction". And I think he's talking about D&D-like level in the context of a wargame (and not in D&D itself) although a simple levelling system is fun in campaigns. Maybe he's against levels in general and wants a skill based system that's more fluid and not as stratified as a levelling system is where you get better in big chunks every level but have nothing in between?

The bit about D&D hit also depends on which D&D you are talking about because sometimes you die at zero, then there were rules where you are just unconscious at zero but lose 1HP but really die at -10. I think I remember three variations of how HP work in 2nd edition (and with extra rules for bleeding) that were made to fit into certain expansion books (like the one books that split your attributes into two: If I remember correctly "Strength" became "Muscle" and "Stamina", or something like that).

What are some core concepts that you feel are essential to any design? What are some that vary by project?
I think overall all those points are quite good but I would also say that realism/authenticity is not that important if you have a fun game (despite what I wrote above) because his ideas seem to be more about historical games. It needs to be fun and your decisions need to have an impact. There's not much to add as the post seems to already cover quite a lot.
   
Made in hr
Regular Dakkanaut





Croatia

He speaks a lot about how the game should force you to make difficult decisions, have depth and should be written on 1 page, but he doesn't actually tell you how to achieve this. And all of this can be summarised by 1 piece of practical advice: have 1 mechanic have multiple roles.
I am actually in the process of writing a ruleset and this has helped me shorten the rulebook and add a lot of depth to my would be game by using a single mechanic.
That mechanic is that when you shoot, you push your target and you also push yourself vack because of the recoil. In an instant the decision "who to shoot" becomes much more difficult to make. Do I shoot backwards to come closer to the enemy? Do I shoot my other models? Do I shoot the enemy? Do I bounce the shot off the wall?
In esence, have as little mechanics as possible, but have those mechanics serve multiple purposes.

I do commissions: https://www.facebook.com/BoxyBrush/
knezovicp@gmail.com
http://www.puttyandpaint.com/PowerElephant
You can follow any projects I'm working on here: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/722207.page 
   
Made in us
Slicing Orb of Xandros






SoCal, USA!

@PE - that sounds very videogamey, in a good way.

-- 9k Craftworld Tian-Bing Eldar
-- 7k Ragnarok 1st "Einherjar" Imperial Guard
-- 4k Knights Sovereign SM
-- 2k Pale Templars CSM
-- 2k Ordo Lucifer =I=
-- 1k Sisters SoB
-- 4k Solland's Ghosts WFB Dogs of War 
   
 
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