GDC Talks from Board Game Design Day

Obviously I’m much more of a fan of strict match based play than the legacy stuff, but I’m sure there are some interesting nuggets contained within! Paul Dean and Shut Up and Sit Down basically do the best reviews of any kind ever with their board game reviews.

You can watch them for free on the GDC Vault website. Link courtesy of Polygon here:

BattleCON Print-n-Play

My girlfriend and I are major Print and play fiends, so we decided to check out BattleCON today (I think I heard Tom Vassel say he really liked it, which makes sense because it has variable player powers 🙂 ).

Anyway, after a couple plays seems like a pretty interesting lightweight system. I really like how the two card attack combos give a good amount of emergent complexity in a very intuitive way. Interested to play some more.

Dominion Second Edition

Played some Base Set dominion this past weekend, and it reminded me how much I appreciate the clean and elegant design of this game. As a result, I’ve been reading through a bunch of the Dominion 2nd edition changes. 🙂

First off, it’s very cool that Donald X Vaccarino and Rio Grande are willing to go back to tweak and fix things in already released games (a rarity in the board game industry).

More specifically, it was very gratifying to see that a lot of the card removals were in line with the cards that I felt were tedious/not pulling their weight/underpowered in the base set (Spy and Adventurer being excellent examples). The replacements also seem to be in line with the elegance of the other Base Set cards, which is something I tend to value highly!

In short, Dominion 2nd edition is cool, DXV should feel good about it.

Influence for Next Game

Ever since bumping into Keith Burgun’s perspective on game design, I’ve wanted to create a “game” as he defines it – a contest of ambiguous decision making. It seems that this kind of game is extremely uncommon among video games. In fact the types of sensibilities he describes are much more in line with hobby board games. (For more info on what that means, head to 

To that end, I’m learning the Grids Pro library in Unity, because it seems eaiser to create this kind of thing in discrete space (a square or hex grid probably) and likely in discrete time as well (turn-based). Here are some of the games I’m likely going to be riffing on.

Advance Wars
Hexcells Infinite


Games that look like they’re probably influences but I haven’t played them yet.
Invisible Inc
Close Castles