2016’s Lessons Of Gaming #11: 101-110

101. Look To bad Examples

OneUpManship is the first monopoly variant I’ve seen that’s actively and aggressively worse than Monopoly. No kidding. Seriously, game is gross and odious. It shows you can take a bad idea and make it worse.

102. Be Aware of the Kickstarter Environment

Do not make your first kickstarter until you have backed a few kickstarters, even if just to see how they go, and to get your stats up. Seasoned kickstarter investors skip out on kickstarters with ‘1 project, 0 backed’

103. Be Aware of Who’s Listening.

Be careful when and where you talk shit. It’s one thing for me to call OneUpManship assballs here, but on BoardGameGeek, it’s not nice. Know your audience and environment. BGG is a place to hype up games you like, be positive, be kind.

104. Beware Unecessary Mixes

Just because you like two things doesn’t mean they belong together. Big space battles across huge distances don’t need tactical movement, for example. Nitpicky load and encumbrance rules don’t really belong in games where your load can be measured in half-tons.

105. Beloved Are the Playtesters

Early on, some people will try your game with nothing in it for them, and they will give feedback these people are glorious angels

106. Look To The Public Domain

Public domain art assets are great and give you lots of options for weird or interesting game ideas.  Old maps, old biological books, historical diagrams – look at what people like Wondermark do with this kind of resource. When you pick up art from a particular period in history, that period influences and defines the work. Alt-history games can be cool! (Alt-history is like steampunk without the popular racism, at least, right now)

107. The Quandrary of Horror

Horror is SUPER HARD to do well because game rules make ‘winning’ possible, but horror tends ask ‘can we even win.’ If you can stat Cthulhu out, you may have missed the point.

108. Ingesting Conception

Watch a review video for a game you’ve not played, then try describe the game’s rules to someone else. See what stands out to them. This pair of filters mean you can often hear ideas that were never in the original work.

109. Building Legacies

Legacy games are The New Thing but if you want to delve into that mechanical space look to older campaign games like Chainmail. D&D’s earliest versions did the same kind of thing. A print-on-demand or print-and-play legacy game needs to hit that kind of standard

110. Contextualising Sources

PULP IS GOOD. There’s a reason we have a HOJILLION Cthulhu games (it’s public domain) there are TWO reasons we have a hojillion Cthulh—

Pulp gives you a pre-existing story structure, and a handful of signalling tropes you can use. The connecting tissue informs itself; Using a pre-existing story base to theme your game helps players get into the right space, and you can design your mechanics to fit that. AND DON’T THINK I JUST MEAN THE AGE OF ADVENTURE BURROUGHS STUFF. Go to Pulp Librarian and grab ten covers there that’s your game’s aesthetic. Lesbian biker satan? Okay, let’s go

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