Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

More to Come on Craft

In game design, mechanics on January 19th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I didn’t intend for my post on the role of craft in game design to be the start of another series of articles, but it appears that there is some demand for more on the topic. Well, from Ryan Macklin and Seth Ben Ezra anyway. I guess I’ll try writing a couple more pieces and see how it goes.

Seth suggested that I dissect a few games, looking at the craft (and lack thereof) in their designs. Doing an adequate job of this for an entire game would require a pamphlet, not a blog post, though, and I’m not up to taking on such a large project. Instead, I’m going to pull out individual rule systems, or clusters of closely-related systems, and discuss them. So far, I have four subjects in mind, and we’ll see if there is demand for more after that. Read the rest of this entry »

Craft and Game Design

In game design on January 5th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Large swathes of the gaming community devote themselves to finding new mechanics and (for roleplayers) new techniques of play. Games are routinely dismissed with the simple statement that they offer nothing new. I am something of a neophile, so I understand this position, but I also feel that it misses the point. Often, these games do not suffer from a lack of novelty, as their critics say. Instead, they are poorly crafted. Craft is something you have to feel, though. You cannot (easily) point to it in a rulebook or explain in a review (let alone a quick, dismissive comment), so it’s easier to fall back on something superficial like a lack of novelty.

This, of course, begs the question, what is craft? Read the rest of this entry »


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