251. Recognise What Computers Can Do, And You Can’t
No, you can’t just fucking translate Hearthstone to physical cards and no it’s not a good idea to fucking try, oh my god. Hearthstone is a videogame that borrows mechanical concept space from physical cards but it’s SO bad an idea to try and duplicate physically. Look at the WoW CCG for how awkward things are like ‘using counters to track damage every turn for every card’
252. Mashup Pitching
Considering odd stories as inspiration yields exciting pitches: SMOKY AND THE BANDIT is a HIDDEN MOVEMENT ASYMMETRICAL RACE GAME.
253. Look Into Fonts More
Fonts: Tall, straight, narrow fonts look really swank they are also dyslexia-hostile. Basically if your font makes d and b and p and q look just like one another rotated, it’s harder for dyslexic people to read. Sadly, one of the best, most available fonts for fixing this problem is Comic Sans
254. Avoid Comic Sans
Never use comic sans.
Even as a fucking joke.
Comic sans will get you whined at endlessly by font nerds and let me tell you that is a whine that punches through all antiwhine measures.
255. Shuffling Vs Bottoming (Stop Giggling)
Do you expect a player to go through their entire deck in your game? Consider ‘shuffle in’ vs ‘put to the bottom’ in that context.
256. Trust Artists And Pay Them
As an Indie, don’t haggle with artists. Odds are close to 100% they’re undervaluing themselves. if you are a multinational company with lots of money to spend on gaming, well, Mr AEG, pay artists more.
257. Oral Rules Vs Written Rules
MOST of the people who play your game will not learn it from the RULES, but from a player who DID. So your rules are usually going to be, as it were, a photocopy of an explanation. What makes this harder to deal with is that you can’t rely on a verbal explanation! You need to design your rules that anyone can pick them up, and that they can then communicate them to players in short, explanatory sentences. Designing good rules is REALLY hard, and worth practicing.
258. Unbearable Silence
Games that require silence/an absence of communication have to be very engaging throughout the whole silent period. Also it kinda breaks the learning process of the game if players know they can’t talk at all, so cooperative silence beats competitive
259. Don’t Add Clutter
Players will have tokens, dice, and coins if you’re pitching at an Established Gamer style. Adding them can be just adding clutter. I learned this year that players have a super weird grossout reaction to using and handling real-currency coins I have no idea why. It’s a shame, because using pennies as game counters seems an actual valid use for the damn things.
260. Holy Hell How Long Is This?
Jesus christ, you people. Anyway, mode switching works best if the two modes have an easily understood difference. Like the Runepriest in D&D 4ed? Is basically ‘Switch between A and B’ but if you’re, say, a werewolf shifting between wolf and hunk? Or even like, a penguin, turning around from white-face to black-back would be good. The metaphor conveys the mechanism.
260.5. Bonus: Hey, Remember Tits The Girl?
It applies with aliens as well, and with whole class structures in games about combat or building character types. So, here’s the obvious, simple thing: Don’t gender classes, don’t race-link classes, and work on sexual dimorphism in your alien races.