Game Design

Midweek Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 3 January 2018 - 11:00am
Gee. Halfway through the week already? It’s just flying on by. But such is the case, apparently. Man, maybe the whole year will go by this quick. What? It’s 2145 already? … oh, wait, no it’s not. Damn. I guess we’ll just munch on these bite-sized gaming stories as we wait for 2145 to get […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Old School Tactical Volume II: West Front 1944-45 Now Available Digitally

Tabletop Gaming News - 3 January 2018 - 10:00am
Flying Pig is pleased to expand their Old School Tactical game with a new book of units. Volume II takes players to the Western Front during the years 1944 and 1945. It features all manner of American and German units that partook in late-war actions all across the plains of Europe. You can download your […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

River Horse Previews Vasilek The Knight For The Highlander Board Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 3 January 2018 - 9:00am
As an Immortal, there’s two ways you can go about trying to be the last one. You can hermit yourself away in some remote place, practicing your swordplay continually, just in case anyone finds you, but hoping that they don’t. Or, you just run around beheading anyone and everyone you come across, just in case. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Modiphius Posts New John Carter Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 3 January 2018 - 8:00am
January is looking like it’s going to be a month just chock full of Kickstarter campaigns. And Modiphius is tossing their hat into that ring with their upcoming John Carter of Mars campaign. In this preview, they give us a look at the miniature for Sab Than. After Santa Claus, he’s the next biggest threat […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Extra Loops - Donkey Kong Country - by Donald Kooiker Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:59am
Everyone knows that the more cycles you can put your game through the better it will become. But in almost all cases, you run out of loops! In this post I wanted to give Donkey Kong Country some extra loops, and see what could be improved.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Tutorial Two Step - by Harold Bowman-Trayford Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:58am
A brief discussion on software development tutorials and two ways to make them better.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Carryable Torches in Unity Without Shaders - by Max Clark Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:56am
Tutorial for using Unity's SpriteMask component to provide dynamic lighting in a 2D, sprite-based world. In my game, it allows multiple players to hold torches while moving.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

What Does 2018 Hold for the Art and Business of Gaming? - by Andrew Heikkila Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:43am
A lot happened last year. Virtual reality (VR) became much more accessible, and the Nintendo Switch proved that mobile is definitely popular — and there’s plenty more to come. Here are a couple of my predictions for gaming in 2018.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Game-Wisdom's Best of 2017 List - by Josh Bycer Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:43am
2017 was an amazing year for video games, and I wanted to share with everyone my personal top 10 of the year.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Building a Recommender System for Destiny Players - by anders drachen Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:35am
Analytical systems designed to help players learn and improve can have a huge impact on games in the future, not the least in esports. Here we present the process behind building a recommender system for Destiny players.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Maturing Mobile Market: Learning the art of Games as Service - by Lauri Lukka Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:34am
This two-part series explores the contemporary practices in mobile game development by interviewing nine Finnish mobile game studios.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Online Marketing Strategy of Online Games - by Robert Thomas Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:34am
Just what does "free money" indicate in online computer games? Exactly why do they give away cash and most of all could it be the real deal?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Four Common Ways App Publishers Are Leaving Money on the Table - by Benjamin Chen Blogs - 3 January 2018 - 7:34am
Most freemium game developers live in constant fear of leaving money on the table. Here are the four most common ways that F2P app developers are failing to monetize users appropriately, and what they can do to fix it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

WizKids Posts New Thor Dice Masters Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 3 January 2018 - 7:00am
The Dice Masters train keeps rolling along. The game is going to be getting a new set soon based on one of the popular Marvel Avengers characters. It’s Thor, god of thunder (and rock and roooooooll!!). But he’s hardly the only character coming in the set. Who else can you expect to see? Well, check […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Posts New Omens of the Pharaoh Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 3 January 2018 - 6:00am
Knowledge is power. That’s been known for quite some time (and thus, has been powerful for quite some time). Knowledge of one’s enemy in a conflict can certainly make the going easier. And when the enemy is an ageless deity looking to destroy the Earth, yeah, you might want to know what you’re going up […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Undeveloped Game Elements And Borrowing From Table Talk: Fair or Foul?

Gnome Stew - 3 January 2018 - 3:00am

I was talking to a fellow GM recently and they said (paraphrased): “You know what I like to do when I GM and you should write an article about: I like to sprinkle in random dressing and clues with no pre-planned purpose in my world and see what the players make of them and maybe retroactively make their theories correct.” I suggested that they write it and submit it as a guest article, but not everyone is as comfortable with their imposter syndrome as I am apparently.

So, on the one hand, I think this is an interesting technique and I can see a lot of value in it. It would certainly cut back on prep to just drop in a strangely worked sword, an odd mural, a mangled corpse, a whispered rumor and then only expand on it if the players show interest and use their speculation to guide how you do so. It also would make your players feel clever that they “figured it out” if you keep mum, or feel like they’re contributing and that they’ve had a good idea if you flat out tell them you like what they came up with and are using it.

On the other hand, my gut reaction is that this feels an awful lot like “cheating”. First, placing random stuff in your game with no clue as to what it is and where it came from seems like lazy GMing, but that might just be my nitpicky drive to over prep. Second, taking credit for your players’ speculation and playing it off like you had it planned all along seems like borderline asshattery, though I suspect there are both good and bad ways to do this.

Some of my reaction is certainly due to a GM I played under a few times years ago. One of those who thought he was God’s gift to game mastery, he would often launch into self congratulatory musings over how he actually planned out very little and just listened to table talk and swiped player ideas, took credit for them and let everyone think he was the most creative GM ever. (Not that I suspect he actually got accused of that all that much.) His games weren’t BAD mind you, but he wouldn’t shut up about how great of a GM he was and that he had nothing to learn and that everyone always gave him praise and it was both hard for me to listen to and for him to live up to that sort of hype. Side story: when he started GMing for our group, he used to have us fill out a little post game quiz before he handed out xp bonuses for MVP etc. The last question on that quiz was “What could I have done better?” I always tried to put in some polite constructive criticism there. (Nothing too harsh. Like I said, his games weren’t BAD, but everyone has little areas they can work on.) About the third week, that question disappeared from the quiz because “No one was putting anything down for it.” So, asshole that I am, I wrote it in and kept providing constructive criticism. It was worth it for the looks he gave me every week.

I think the technique is self explanatory, so if you haven’t already, give some thought to if it would enhance your game. Ultimately, my misgivings only matter in my game.

So I put the question to you dear reader: Is this technique fair or foul? And if it’s on a scale, where is the fine line between the two? And if you like to use it, give us your best practices and a few table tales.

P.S. Also, if you want to tell me I’m a big jerk for giving that GM a hard time, feel free. Totally guilty.


Categories: Game Theory & Design

Character Class: Types of Game Masters

RPGNet - 3 January 2018 - 12:00am
What do GMs really want?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Nightcrawl Film Noir RPG Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 2 January 2018 - 3:00pm
I’m a big fan of film noir. The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, it’s all good stuff. Plus, I really wish I still had that trench coat I used to have. Well, Nightcrawl will let me relive those great movies right on my tabletop. It’s a noir-inspired RPG that’s up on Kickstarter now. From the campaign: Nightcrawl […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Children of the Apocalypse RPG Setting For Savage Worlds Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 2 January 2018 - 2:00pm
Well, the world’s come to an end again. Damnit, Todd! I told you to stop fiddling around with that gear that the Tinker Mages made. You’re not qualified to handle it! Well, I guess we’ll have to form into tribes, each of which follows one of the Nine Gods, as they look to influence the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Castle of the Archmage: Musicland Adventure Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 2 January 2018 - 1:00pm
Music is a pretty important part of my life. I’ve pretty much got it going all the time. I used to play trumpet. But even then, while music might be my life, it’s not my entire world. Such is not the case in Musicland. There, instruments come alive and people speak in music notes. It’s […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


Subscribe to As If Productions aggregator - Game Theory & Design