Game Design

This is the central page for all the blog posts which tackle the topic of the game’s design in one way or another. Specific article series which fall under this umbrella are Design Debates, Breaking the Game, Ignoring the Rules and What Might Have Been.

Design Debates

From time to time I like to look at some particular element of the game and consider it from a game design perspective (not that I have much personal experience of game design, I just have a bunch of opinions), particularly if it’s a subject where one could debate that the designers may have screwed up in places. Generally I come down more or less on their side, especially allowing for the fact that designing this game must be incredibly complicated to do, but regardless it’s always interesting to do.
If there’s an area of the game’s design you’d be interested in seeing me discuss, feel free to suggest it to me!

Design Debates – Threat Costs
Design Debates – Threat Costs part 2
Design Debates – Cancellation
Design Debates – Errata
Design Debates – Resource Costs (Allies)
Design Debates – ‘Printed’
Design Debates – Tests
Design Debates – Choices
Design Debates – Doomed Player Cards
Design Debates: Encounter-based Deckbuilding Encouragement
Design Debates – Multiplayer Scaling
Design Debates – Other Scaling
Design Debates: Debatable Traits
Design Debates: Keywords
Design Debates: Battle/Siege

Breaking the Game

It is an unfortunate truth that despite the great effort the designers put into this game, sometimes there are problems with certain cards and certain quests, and sometimes there are things which are flat out broken and can be exploited. And when I say broken I don’t mean broken in the sense that you might say for instance, “Outlands are totally broken and overpowered,” I mean broken in the sense that certain quests under certain conditions stop functioning as intended or significant parts of them get trivialised.
Where these instances come up I do like to focus on them a bit as I pass the relevant quests in The Line Unbroken. They vary in severity of course, contrasting between the potential for a boss fight quest in which the boss doesn’t attack and simply quests where the divergence between building for them and not is much larger than it normally is.

Breaking the Game: Shadow and Flame
Breaking the game: Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim
Breaking the Game: Flies and Spiders/The Lonely Mountain
Breaking the Game: Power of Mordor
Breaking the Game: Boromir
Breaking the Game: Side-Quests

Ignoring the Rules

A series in which I consider certain rules by seeing what could happen if they were removed. Mostly just idle fun since the reasons for the rules are pretty obvious.

Breaking the Uniqueness Rules
Ignoring The Rules: The Zigil Miner Errata
Ignoring the Rules: Restricted
Ignoring the Rules: Multiple Contracts

What Might Have Been

A series in which I look at a quest which for one reason or another I think failed to live up to its potential, break down the encounter deck to analyse the problems I see and ultimately put forward ideas for how I might have designed the quest differently to fix those issues.

What Might Have Been: Escape from Dol Guldur
What Might Have Been: Flight from Moria
What Might Have Been: Into Fangorn