Game Design

New Miracle Mile Pledge Added To Pacific Rim: Extinction Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 March 2018 - 9:00am
The new Pacific Rim movie is hitting theaters. Over on the Kickstarter page, the Pacific Rim: Extinction campaign has added a ton of new stuff in honor of the movie’s release. They’ve also got a new, “All-In” pledge level called The Miracle Mile level. If you just gotta have it all and you’ve gotta have […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

CMON Previews Spoiler Abomination For Zombicide: Invader

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 March 2018 - 8:00am
You can’t have a Zombicide without an Abomination. They’re the greatest threat to the Survivors, as they’re nearly impossible to defeat. Zombicide: Invader is no different, with its own brand of Abomination called the Spoiler Abomination. It spreads the horrible Mold throughout the mining facility. Too much Mold the Survivors lose. Get a look at […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How we create a games interface - by Alex Balamutenko Blogs - 26 March 2018 - 7:51am
We are CoffeeCatGames and we'd like to tell you a bit about our game - Hazardous Space and its UI.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Part 2, Don´t show, involve - on Narrative construction - by Katarina Gyllenback Blogs - 26 March 2018 - 7:47am
Part 2 of the series "Don´t show, involve", which concerns the narrative as a cognitive process, is about the hands-on plotting of Jenova Chen´s "Journey" with the thought-based method "Narrative bridging".
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Are Hybrid AIs the Answer to Better Gaming AI? - by Jakob Rasmussen Blogs - 26 March 2018 - 7:46am
Hybrid approaches, combining machine learning with design-based AIs, are the delivering the most promising results for state-of-the-art AI for modern games. In this blog post we describe how we are approaching this in Unleash.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Helping the young ones grow - by Anne Gibeault Blogs - 26 March 2018 - 7:45am
5 points to build up trusting relationships and helping the young ones grow in the Industry.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tiny Trees Post Mortem: How Math Helped Design A Game - by Michael Perce Blogs - 26 March 2018 - 7:24am
Tiny Trees is a competitive tree-growing board game where unlike most board games, the trees you grow branch into the third dimension. I investigate the math that influenced our design so that you can apply the ideas to your own games. Written for #notGDC
Categories: Game Theory & Design

One Life Left x GDC podcast: Representation, storytelling, and war

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 26 March 2018 - 7:12am

In the second GDC x One Life Left show, we talk about space, representation, storytelling, and war over 90 minutes of scintillating chat. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Necrons Codex Available To Order From Games Workshop

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 March 2018 - 7:00am
We keep getting told by experts that AI is one of the most dangerous threats to humans. Well, if the 40k universe is anything to go by (and, I mean, why shouldn’t it be?), they’re right! Out in the depths of space, the Necros are gathering their forces and launching an assault on all the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Announces New Star Wars: Legion Expansions

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 March 2018 - 6:00am
In the base game for Star Wars: Legion, the Imperials get themselves the iconic Speeder Bikes from the battle of Endor. In the expansions that are out, they can pick up an AT-ST, also from that same battle. However, the Rebels don’t have much in the way of Endor-related figures. That will soon change, as […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

An Open Letter to My Impostor Syndrome (Maybe It Will Help You Too)

Gnome Stew - 26 March 2018 - 5:23am

This week at the Stew, some of us were inspired by a series of disparate recent events to send some love and sentiments out to young gamers, especially those who are marginalized. We wrote these letters to our younger selves, because in you, we see ourselves, and we hope that we can give you the words of encouragement we needed to hear. You are welcome in this space. 

Dear little Senda,

There’s a trick to it, not letting it get to you. We’ve internalized it so much already—all the stereotypes that tell us we aren’t the people who play games, who run games, who write games, who work in this industry. I’m not saying I’ve got this down pat now, because the impostor syndrome still gets me. The trick is, as hard as it is, to do it anyway. And when you do it, you prove to that little voice you can, and it gets easier every time. The trick is, as hard as it is, to do it anyway. And when you do it, you prove to that little voice you can, and it gets easier every time. 

It’s Okay To Love Your Games

Okay, past me. You love games and you know you do, and you do that thing where you admit it grudgingly, laughingly downplaying your passion so that others won’t be uncomfortable. You say things like “oh, I’m just a player. I can’t imagine running a game.” I have some news for you. You can run a game. Your ideas are good, and people like them. It’s okay not to know every single rule in the book backwards and forwards. You don’t need to. These are your friends. You can craft this experience together. You will help each other out. When you don’t know, it’s okay to ask – even if you’re running the game – whether it’s grapple rules or what to name this NPC. No matter how it may seem from the outside, GMing is a set of skills (some people would say eight but I’m not committing) that is completely learnable and teachable. There is no magical master GM springing forth fully formed from Zeus’s head. They are not some rare breed. There is a game that will work for you, that you will enjoy running, and it’s out there—and you can do it!

I know you tried running D&D, and then Pathfinder, and it didn’t really work for you. It made you nervous, flustered, feeling like you couldn’t track all the moving parts of your carefully constructed adventure. That’s totally okay, although once you can let go of your players having to follow your exact path, it will become easy to run nearly anything. Sure, knowing the rules helps keep things smoother at the table, but it’s your ability to have a story, to think like water (allowing it to move and shift so you are never at a loss) that makes running anything possible. Heck, here we are, ten years later, having run a 4e campaign without ever having read the book whatsoever. And that game was awesome. Don’t let it hold you back.

What will make running a game fun and comfortable for you?

  • Appropriate prep
  • Comfortable genre
  • Giving yourself permission to stray from your plans or the module if occasion calls for it
  • Playing with people who know the rules when you feel comfortable asking
And There’s More

And now . . . it’s not just that I believe in you to run games. I know you can. With a little bit of chutzpah to get over that initial hump, to get that first good game going and the energy clicking at the table, I know you will be hooked. Now I know you are saying “I just play games. I run them too, but I don’t know enough to write them.” Except . . . you do.

Shakily, with not very much confidence right now, like a new foal. To build confidence, the foal uses its legs more, and learns to walk. To build confidence, you can start with little games, or commenting on games you play, or internalizing their mechanics and seeing why they’re there, what the designer put them there to do. And having seen why something is there, looking in to that next layer, you can do this too.  Sometimes, no matter how much you know and how much you’ve done and how involved you are, someone is going to ask you if you have a right to be there. You can talk through why something works and why it doesn’t. You can learn this language—you have been learning this language, without even meaning to. And now, you can write games too. It’s just the same, a little bit of determination to get over that first hump, just like GMing. A little bit of bravery. I believe in you, and now it’s your turn to believe in yourself too.

You Belong Here

Sometimes, no matter how much you know and how much you’ve done and how involved you are, someone is going to ask you if you have a right to be there. They won’t say that exactly, they’ll say something like “What games do you run?” or “What games have you written?” or “How long have you been playing RPGs?” And they’re saying it because they’re trying to decide if they think you have enough cred for them to care about your opinion. It doesn’t matter how many games you’ve played. It doesn’t matter how many games you’ve run. It doesn’t matter how many games you’ve written or if they’re published or not. You have the right to be here. You do belong here. This is your space too. And when they ask you those questions, my friend Kate from Blue Stockings has some suggestions you can use to prepare yourself with appropriate responses, because it can be really hard to think in those moments.

  • Return the question—ask them their qualifications.
  • Point out what they are doing: “Why do you need my credentials? Are you asking how important my opinion is?”
  • Walk away.  Sometimes, these people are not worth engaging. You do not have to defend yourself and your passion to these people. You are worthy and you do get to be in this space as well. And you are worthy of safety and comfort in your games and at your tables.

Sometimes it’s not other people, though. Sometimes you cred check yourself before anyone else even has a chance. You already know what they’ll say, and it’s the same every time: you don’t have enough experience to do this, you don’t know this well enough, you haven’t practiced enough, you’re not prepared. You are your own worst critic. This is the part where you have to take a deep breath, trust yourself, and leap. The worst case scenarios are not as bad as your head would like you to believe, and even if it doesn’t come out the way you envisioned, it’s still okay. It’s still a triumph because you did it. It’s still a stepping stone. It’s still creation, it’s still passion, it’s still forward momentum. So take it. Don’t let yourself hold you back from being passionate and creative in the activities that make you passionate and creative.

There is one last thing I want you to remember. You can make a difference. By existing in these spaces and supporting each other, we’re all making a difference. And we can tell the next people how worthy they are, and that their passion is valid, so that they can tell the next, and the next. And we can all belong in this space, together.

Have you ever cred checked yourself, as in, nah, I can’t do that I’m not x enough? Has anyone ever cred checked you? Do you have any other recommendations for dealing with it?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

How Monster Hunter: World's director breathed new life into the game's old bones

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 26 March 2018 - 2:04am

"The most appealing aspect hardware was its memory & processing power," says game director Yuyu Tokuda. "Without this, the rich, living ecosystem we envisioned...would not have been possible." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fuzzy Thinking: Cell Phone Call of Cthulhu

RPGNet - 26 March 2018 - 12:00am
Fuzzy reception.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: We're Through The GDC Valley

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 25 March 2018 - 7:22pm

This week's longform article & video highlights include plenty of GDC standouts, as well as a fascinating profile of Stardew Valley's creator.  ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: We're Through The GDC Valley - by Simon Carless Blogs - 25 March 2018 - 7:15am
This week's longform article & video highlights include plenty of GDC standouts, as well as a fascinating profile of Stardew Valley's creator. 
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Review Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 24 March 2018 - 11:00am
Ah, the blessed Saturday. What cannot be done on a day like today? I’ve got several projects I’m working on, as always. Some cooking, mostly. Gonna try making some new types of cookies. Always a fun project. Also fun, gaming. Let’s get you the reviews I know you so desperately desire. Today we have: Railroad […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wyrd Previews The Engineer For The Other Side

Tabletop Gaming News - 23 March 2018 - 3:00pm
Without Engineers, stuff wouldn’t get built. They’re the ones that get the plans together, figure out how things are supposed to work, and make sure that happens. The same happens in The Other Side, the upcoming minis game from Wyrd. Armies there have Engineers, too, and for their Friday preview, we get a look at […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fate Remedy Card Game Up On Indiegogo

Tabletop Gaming News - 23 March 2018 - 2:00pm
The life of a pet owner is one filled with surprises. What’ve they gotten into now? What cute thing are they doing? Did they accidentally escape the yard? How will they respond to company coming over? Fate Remedy takes all those twists and turns and make it fit on your tabletop as a new card […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

DGS Games Releases New Living Rulebook for Freeblades

Tabletop Gaming News - 23 March 2018 - 1:00pm
When a company puts out a rulebook, it’s almost inevitable that things will be changed or added to at some point. In the case of Freeblades, they’ve got the rulebook, but they’ve also got the Companion. You could get both, or you could get the new Living Rulebook which combines both into a single handy […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Hobbit Miniatures Available To Order From Forge World

Tabletop Gaming News - 23 March 2018 - 12:00pm
Forge World expands their selection of minis for the Hobbit miniatures game this week. One is that they’ve got the newest set of their Nazgul. A further trio of horrors all looking to get back the One Ring. Then, in the decidedly more “living” side of things, there’s a set with Hilda Bianca and Percy. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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