Episode 79 – Agile Design and Publishing

Agile Design and Publishing
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Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Rob Donoghue and Emily Dresner

Join our panelists for a discussion of how nerdy business concepts such as Agile software development to can be applied to your gaming experience. Key concepts of agile software design include rapid and flexible response to change – let’s talk about how to apply them to running games.

More about Agile from Rob over on his site, at this blog post!

Yes You Kan(ban)

 

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RPG Design Overview Sheet

I have a tradition of running RPG design workshops in my local community, either at local gaming conventions or as part of Game Chef. It’s always a great time, but I often feel a need for more robust tools to help new game designers. That’s why I prepared the RPG Design Overview Sheet

The basic principle underlying this little tool is the idea of limited resources. Designers need to account for the amount of complexity associated with their designs, and to prioritize the elements they find most important for the desired play experience. Certain focused games in the story games tradition may be quite streamlined, emphasizing very specific kinds of play experiences.  Other, more traditional game may be structured for versatility and diverse play experiences instead. In all these cases, the designers has made intentional choices which this sheet can capture.

Game Design Sheet - Spark

 

 


In terms of the overall purpose of the exercise, it’s two-fold. Firstly, the intent was to establish a foundational document at the start of a game design project. This foundational document would fill the same general role as the old power 19, allowing designers to both examine their design and discuss it fruitful with others.

The second purpose of the sheet is the potential of using those as snapshots of different game designs. I could foresee a reference document full of the things so that someone could cross-reference designer intent with mechanics/experiences in play. It would be a fascinating to use this tool to document a single game from a variety of different perspectives.


Game Design Sheet - D&D 4E


What do you think? Where this could be adjusted to be a more useful tool for designers young and old?

 

Where Credit is Due

A similar idea has already emerged independently in the Larpwright community, and would be worth your attention. https://nordiclarp.org/wiki/The_Mixing_Desk_of_Larp

The Big Three questions (at the top the sheet) were created by Jared Sorensen of Memento Mori Theatrix.

The types of engagement are derived from Marc “MAHK” LeBlanc (http://8kindsoffun.com/)

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Episode 78 – Creativity In Business

Creativity In Business: Pixar’s Success and Lessons For Tabletop Publishing
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Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jeff TidballCam Banks

Managing a company of creative people can be challenging. New ideas are always being introduced into structured spaces that resist change and fear innovation and imagination. Tabletop game publishers and managers can learn from the success of Pixar, Inc, who have mastered the art of ushering in and protecting the new, releasing their employees from common limits on creativity, and not being afraid to try things in often radically different ways to create bigger and better projects

As a fine example of creativity in business, the kickstarter for Unknown Armies 3rd Edition is currently up. Dig into the occult weirdness from Atlas Games!

Unknown Armies Kickstarter Image

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Episode 77 – Project Budgeting For Tabletop Games

Project Budgeting For Tabletop Games
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Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jeff Tidball, Cat Tobin & Justin Jacobson

The process of producing a board game, card game, or role playing game is lousy, with opportunities for financial disaster. Learn what financial factors you should take into account when planning a game production, and walk through a spreadsheet that’ll help you plan your own projects by estimating their profitability (or lack thereof).

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Episode 76 – Formalizing Your Game Business

Formalizing Your Game Business
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Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Fred Hicks, Steve Segedy, Darren Watts and Brennan Taylor

Is your company ready to take the next step? We’ll discuss how to turn a tiny game company into a slightly-larger game company.

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