Designing Game Rules
PAX South 2016
The rules of a game literally define it. In videogames, they are intrinsic limitations. In tabletop, players must enforce them. In all games, players need to learn them. There are good and bad ways to teach a game. From awful tutorials to unparseable rulebooks, elegant demos to hour-long slogs, join us for a mechanical discussion of how game rules are (and should be) written, how players learn games, and why so few people are willing to read a 100 page rulebook (nevermind the appendices)!
How to Love and Hate Tabletop Games
PAX Prime 2014
How do I get into tabletop gaming? How do I talk about board games I like? How about the ones I hate? How do I find more I want to play? How do I avoid those that would waste my time? How do I preserve my hard earned dollars? Join this expert panel as they get into the details you need and want to know about board games – from how to talk like a board game enthusiast to criticize them and find a critic you like.
Senior Tabletop Editor
Luke Crane - Games Specialist - Kickstarter
Donna Prior - Professional Game Evangelist - Green Ronin
Christopher Badell - Design Director - Greater Than Games
Rym - Producer - GeekNights
Learn to Play: Zendo
Zendo is a fantastic logic game for n players. The game is self-constructed. Just buy several sets of Loony Labs "Ice Dice" or equivalents, get some colored glass counters, and go nuts. To quote wikipedia:
"Zendo is a game of inductive logic designed by Kory Heath in which one player (the "Master") creates a rule for structures ("koans") to follow, and the other players (the "Students") try to discover it by building and studying various koans which follow or break the rule. The first student to correctly state the rule wins."
Threats in Games
What is a threat in the context of a game? Can they affect the outcome? A snippet from our larger Practical Game Theory at PAX East 2013, we briefly explore some aspects of threatmaking in games, and what it truly means to make a "credible" threat.
Rym and Scott of GeekNights (www.frontrowcrew.com) appeared on two panels at MagFest X, and also performed this lecture: Beyond Dungeons & Dragons. Herein, they discuss the nature of role playing games, what their mechanics really mean, how they affect play, and why D&D is probably not the best system for the kinds of games you're trying to play.
There is a huge catalog of "indie" tabletop RPGs just as there is for videogames. Burning Wheel, Dogs in the Vineyard, Inspectres, Lacuna, A Thousand and One Nights, Mouse Guard, Prime Time Adventures, Pendragon, Freemarket, Dread, Kagematsu, Apocalypse World, these are a TINY smattering of the possibilities. Play the game that affords the play style best suited to your story, not the one everyone just happens to know the rules for.
If you enjoy this, many more of our lectures from other conventions are available on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD03FB084B11A0454
Burning Apocalypse con (http://www.burningwheel.org/?page_id=111) showcased the triumphs of tabletop role playing game design from the minds of Luke Crane and Vincent Baker.
Here, Rym and Scott of GeekNights (www.frontrowcrew.com) asked the question "How did you find Burning Wheel?", and the answers are herein.
Thanks to The Al Holbrook Band for their song "Burning Wheel" - http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Al-Holbrook-Band/268856187844.
We have some related GeekNights content for those interested in more:
Interview with Luke Crane: http://frontrowcrew.com/geeknights/20061031/interview-with-luke-crane/
BAC Interview with Luke Crane: http://frontrowcrew.com/geeknights/20111108/burning-apocalypse-con-with-luke-crane/
Two episodes about Burning Wheel: http://frontrowcrew.com/geeknights/20060214/ubercon-and-burning-wheel/ http://frontrowcrew.com/geeknights/20071002/the-burning-wheel/