GeekNights Food Chain Magnate Design Analysis

Some very interesting discussion of the board game Food Chain Magnate by the GeekNight guys. I’ve seen these guys floating around doing GDC talks and a couple other places, but this is some particularly insightful commentary. Check it out!

Some game design talk about “big stuff never used”, “attractors”, heuristic tress, the learning process for games, and abstractly the information horizon!

Jamey Stegmaier Design Videos

In case you haven’t seen them, Jamey Stegmaier (designer of Scythe and Viticulture) has a cool bite size video series about game mechanisms. Jamey is a cool example of a rags-to-riches game designer success story via the sucess of his Viticulture Kickstarter, which is always awesome to see and is very inspiring.

The playlist is here.

Game Design Blogs!

There’s been an awesome resurgence on the Dinofarm discord of people blogging about game design! Tons to think about and great to have a community of people to bounce ideas off of. 

You can check out a list that Redless made on the Dinofarm forums here!

Logic vs Intuition

I was watching a Lewis Pulsipher game design video where he talked about players who like to use Logic vs Intuition in games. He broke things down as follows

Logic Players:
-Tend to balk at randomness
-Tend to like to “figure things out”
-Tend to want to come to a definitive conclusion
-Tend to like more serious “thinky” games

Intuition Players:
-Are okay with randomness
-Tend to go with heuristics or instincts
-Tend to be OK with fuzzy conclusions that may be incorrect
-Tend to prefer “beer n’ pretzel’ style games

I wanted to push back on this a bit an mention that I like to think about this in terms of Keith Burgun’s forms. Kieth defines puzzles as interactive systems that have “correct” solutions and games as those that feature much more ambiguity in terms of your approach. Basically this means that it is not ever confirmed whether your move was “best” or correct in a Burgun game (as it would be when you have solved a puzzle), but you can have some sense of whether it was good, or whether some moves are better than others through a developed intuitive/heuristic sense of the game system.

These Burgun games – systems that rely on heuristics/intuition rather than calculation – are what I am most interested in playing and creating. For starters, you can circumvent the calculation/busywork involved in taking a purely logical/conclusion based approach, and secondly, because your “solutions” are ambiguously correct, there is a lot of room for continual development of your internal heuristic framework as you continue to engage with the game system!