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I have learned very few things so far, but what I have learned (cribbed shamelessly from others) is:

  1. Any principle is breakable.
    1. (But lots of advice is still worth taking)
  2. Simple is good.  Players have enough complexity internally already.
  3. If a token is called for, ideally that token should be edible.
  4. If your game needs a scoretrack, then you are doing it wrong.  Game position should be visible and intuitive.
  5. Three big questions (What is it about (theme, not setting)?  What do the characters do?  What do the PLAYERS do?  How do the rules enhance these things?) are useful.
  6. Playtesting is good.
  7. Better is the enemy of done.
  8. Emergent behaviour is good.  Very good.  But it's also worth documenting (at least in notes), because other people have different base assumptions.
  9. If there is usually something in a UI slot, there should always be something there.  Even if it's some form of zero.  The invention of zero was important and useful, in this case if only to prevent miscommunication.  Use it.

And that's my soap box, so far.

Ok, I have my own 'big three questions' variant:
  1. What is it about?
  2. What do the players do?
  3. How is that fun?
  4. Is it the simplest possible thing that does this?

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Last edited October 20, 2009 11:20 am (viewing revision 5, which is the newest) (diff)