Game Design

Flavor Text Is Actually Red Meat - by Nikhil Murthy Blogs - 21 May 2018 - 6:56am
It's time to give flavor text the respect it deserves.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Esoteric Design of Fighting Games - by Maurice Edwards Blogs - 21 May 2018 - 6:42am
The average traditional 2D fighting game has usability problems most modern games try to avoid. To help newcomers learn the genre, fighting game developers need to acknowledge the issues and the attempted solutions and work towards a new genre status quo.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Winning In Enterprise Gamification Initiatives - by Jennifer Lynn Blogs - 21 May 2018 - 6:42am
Gamification opportunities for businesses are great – from having more engaged customers, to crowd sourcing innovation or improving employee performance.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Behind closed doors.. A guide to dwarven door mechanics - by Michela Rimensberger Blogs - 21 May 2018 - 6:42am
This blog post illuminates how to be realistic in creating environments and mechanics in a fantasy setting. The example uses the mechanics for a dwarven door to illustrate the process of developing rules and properties.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Games Workshop Taking Orders For New Harlequins Codex

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 May 2018 - 6:00am
Why so serious? A fan-favorite army that existed and then didn’t for quite some time, the Harlequins are getting a new Codex for 40k. You can pick up these stealthy, laughing jokesters now. They’re Eldar, but without the angst. Pre-orders are being taken now for the updated Codex, along with a collector’s edition. From the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fuzzy Thinking: Some Play to Win ...

RPGNet - 21 May 2018 - 12:00am
Fuzzy competition.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: The Secret Of Harry's Binding

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 20 May 2018 - 8:00pm

This week's highlights include a gigantic video on the seminal The Secret Of Monkey Island, a look at Harry Potter vs. Fortnite in the mobile arena, and the future of The Binding Of Isaac, among many others. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: The Secret Of Harry's Binding - by Simon Carless Blogs - 20 May 2018 - 7:39am
This week's highlights include a gigantic video on the seminal The Secret Of Monkey Island, a look at Harry Potter vs. Fortnite in the mobile arena, and the future of The Binding Of Isaac, among many others.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Review Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 May 2018 - 11:00am
It’s Saturday and I’m finally playing in our second session of a D&D campaign that had its first one over a month ago. Tom Petty was right, the waiting is the hardest part. Anyway, while I pretend that I’m a magical music-man, you can read about all the games that people wanted to talk extra […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wyrd Previews Rail Gunner For The Other Side

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 May 2018 - 1:00pm
Sometimes, you just need a bigger gun. When that’s the case, you might want to call in a Rail Gunner. It’s what’s on preview today for Wyrd’s The Other Side. And lemme tell you, I don’t want to be on the wrong end of that thing when it goes off. From the post: Although not […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

ESRB points devs toward IARC ratings as it looks to phase out short-form option

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 18 May 2018 - 12:14pm

The ESRB will stop offering its 'short form' ratings process in the future, though the organization notes that it has no "hard date" for when the option will be fully retired. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

From Beyond: First Strike Starfinder Adventure Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 May 2018 - 12:00pm
Being a relatively new game on the block, there’s not a lot of extra resources out there for Starfinder GMs. Well, Angry Golem Games is looking to fix that. They are creating their From Beyond adventure path. The third installment, First Strike, is up on Kickstarter now. From the campaign: In this episode the PCs […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 May 2018 - 11:00am
We’ve finally made it to Friday! I don’t know about you, but this was a really long week for me. Partially because I’ve been anxious to get back to playing D&D. Our second session will be tomorrow, and I can’t wait. Later today, I’m going to pick up snacks and whatnot for the game. But […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tickets On Sale For PAX Unplugged

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 May 2018 - 10:00am
Who doesn’t love convention season? Nobody, that’s who. Getting to go and hang out with all your friends, all sharing together in the community of gaming. It’s glorious (even if it can be exhausting). As with everything, being prepared for a show is key. That’s why you need to plan early, like getting your tickets […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dog Might Games is Looking for Playtesters

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 May 2018 - 9:00am
Games don’t just form, fully-created from the minds of designers. They have to go through rigorous playtesting before they can make their way to your game tables. Dog Might Games is looking for players out there who will help them make sure that their games are all that they can be. Send in your application […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Spark Now Available For Punkapocalyptic

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 May 2018 - 8:00am
It’s always nice when you can look at a Kickstarter campaign and see that it’s been fully resolved. As you know, for me, that really happens when everything is available to the public. In this case, that means the Punkapocalyptic Kickstarter is now fully resolved, as the final piece from it, Spark, is now available […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Million Dollars, But… The Game Coming From Cryptozoic and Rooster Teeth

Tabletop Gaming News - 18 May 2018 - 7:00am
If I had a million dollars we wouldn’t have to walk to the store. If I had a million dollars we’d take a limousine ’cause it costs more. If I had a million dollars we wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinner. Though saying what you’d do if you had a million dollars is jumping the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gnome Stew Notables – Alex Roberts

Gnome Stew - 18 May 2018 - 6:15am

Welcome to the second installment of our Gnome Spotlight: Notables series. The notables series is a look at game developers in the gaming industry doing good work. The series will focus on female game creators and game creators of color primarily, and each entry will be a short bio and interview. We’ve currently got a group of authors and guest authors interviewing game creators and hope to bring you many more entries in the series as it continues on. If you’ve got a suggestion for someone we should be doing a notables article on, or want to do an interview with someone send us a note at – Head Gnome John

Meet Alex


Alex Roberts is a writer, designer, journalist, and roleplayer of boundless enthusiasm. She wants roleplaying to be a site of interior exploration, transformation, and healing. When not hosting her acclaimed interview show 

  • Talking With Alex 1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.  Big question! All right, here’s my deal. I’m bright and enthusiastic, and I have a podcast called Backstory where I interview fascinating folks in roleplaying. It’s thoughtful and gentle and even people who don’t like podcasts like it. I write fun stuff for other people’s games, like Sig, Dialect, Threadbare, and Misspent Youth: Sell Out With Me. I do production support and project management and marketing stuff for game publishers; right now with Bully Pulpit Games. And, of course, I make my own dang games! My first was HUGPUNX LIVE, for Pelgrane’s #Feminism supplement. I’m semi-secretly working on a little card-based thing right now. And of course there’s Star Crossed, the two-player RPG of forbidden love, which will be on Kickstarter April 10th – May 10th! That game has been in progress for years and I am losing my mind over how great it’s going to be.
      You’ve probably heard me on podcasts or at cons talking about two player games, or romance and sexuality in game design. These are some of my favourite topics!

    Backstory Podcast

    2) What project are you most proud of?

    It’s hard to pick just one! I do feel a certain special love for my first RPG writing credit, in Sig: the City Between. I had no idea what I was doing; Crystalia just kind of emerged from me. Sig is planar fantasy, and I was moved to write about a beautiful, perfect world of vibrations and lights in glorious pastels. Beings grow in caves and emerge fully formed, and where things are easily broken and impossible to repair. Without my intention, it came to represent this overwhelming fear of making mistakes, of imperfections, of asking for help or accepting nurturing. I still get into that headspace sometimes but I’m at least better at recognizing it, since writing it out as something external to me. I’ll think to myself: whoops, I’m in Crystalia again. Better turn around.

    3) What themes do you like to emphasize in your game work? Queerness, obviously, but also the excruciating joy of being alive. 4) What mechanics do you like best in games?

    I like when a game system perfectly matches the real, felt, lived experience of something in the world. Sometimes a game mechanic makes apparent something you only sensed before, but couldn’t express. You point to it and go, “yes! That’s how it is!” Not an external realism, but an internal resonance.

    5) How would you describe your game design style?

    Intuitive. I am making games to feel my way through what the heck is going on. With me, with the world. Star Crossed is not just about Attraction and Relationships, it’s me making meaning of my experiences of attraction and relationships, and trying to make them into a system that I can comprehend (if not master.) Even “comprehend” is a bit too intellectual, actually. Maybe a word like “integrate” is a bit closer. Really, by making a game I’m going, okay, this is how attraction works, it’s sorta like this, a thing I can see the whole of, and live with. Star Crossed is my little diorama of attraction, with moving parts.

    6) How does gender/queerness fit into your games?

    I like when my work is very obviously feminine even though I find femininity hard to define. I guess, again, I must prefer to make stuff to understand rather than express. More likely I’m doing both. If pressed I would say that all my games, even when I was working digitally, put harmony, creativity, and grace at the forefront. And of course my games are going to be queer because that’s where I’m coming from. I could never make a game where relationships have a pre-determined path forward which is generally agreed upon by not only the people in it but also their broader community and culture. I’ll keep letting you get into messy, baffling, ecstatically exciting but fraught relationships instead.

    7) How do you make sexy games fun?

    Star Crossed

    Sex is already absolutely ludicrous. And I think sex is one of most adults’ few opportunities to be playful. So, let’s just acknowledge that and make a game where you can tell ridiculous, sexy stories. It’s so much easier than people seem to think. I get the fear around making anything about sex (even in this answer I’m resisting the urge to say something like “Star Crossed doesn’t just tell sexy stories!” which is true but irrelevant) because we’re taught that whole area of life is inherently dangerous. Reflecting the reality of sexuality – that it is honestly just the most ridiculous and interesting thing – is better than trying to deliberately frame it any particular way.

    8) How did you get into games? Like everyone else, I played all the time as a kid. I was just lucky enough to keep doing it. After absorbing the cultural concept of “Dungeons and Dragons” I ran what were essentially ongoing fantasy storytelling sessions, with no rules except total DM fiat, in various treehouses and backyards and slumber parties, until I was a teen and I made friends with some boys who had the actual books and knew the actual rules. It took me a couple of years of trying to get into that to get bored and decide I didn’t like RPGs after all! Then I met a friend who showed me The Burning Wheel. And then organized a game of Fiasco. And then gave me his copy of Kagematsu and asked me to GM it. The rest is history. Thanks, Patrick! 9) What one thing would you change in gaming?

    I would like to have a sophisticated culture of critique. “There’s no wrong way to have fun!” is an attempt at kindness, of course. I get that it’s a fallback to avoid a recurring set of self-fuelling arguments. Unfortunately, there are lots of ways to have fun that hurt other people. I’ve seen play used to bully, and game systems that reinforce and re-create much broader systems of harm. Being able to precisely and compassionately critique different games might help us build more fun, innovative, groundbreaking work while also helping us avoid some of those problems.

    10) What are you working on now?

    I have a little game about a queen’s retinue that I’m specifically cultivating for first-time roleplayers, and it turns out long-time roleplayers have been enjoying it too. It’s been fun so far! It’s been a lifeline of creativity while pushing Star Crossed past the finish line. Those are two different kinds of satisfying that fuel each other.

    Thanks for joining us for this entry in the notables series.  You can find more in the series here:
    and please feel free to drop us any suggestions for people we should interview at
  • Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Wyrd Seeing Freelance Writer

    Tabletop Gaming News - 18 May 2018 - 6:00am
    I am not good at writing stories. Well, I mean, I can write news stories semi-ok, and articles about games, but when it comes to an actual story, I’m not so hot. But if you are, and you’d like to write for Wyrd, they’re seeking a new Freelance Writer to join their team. From the […]
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    3 books all Producers should read - by Richard Wood Blogs - 18 May 2018 - 5:59am
    You can't learn Production from a book, but, I do believe you can take inspiration and ideas from these three and I would recommend them to all Producers, no matter your level.
    Categories: Game Theory & Design


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