Thematic Solitaires for the Spare Time Challenged

A blog about solitaire games and how to design them. I'm your host, Morten, co-designer of solo modes for games such as Scythe, Gaia Project and Viticulture.

Archive for Morten Monrad Pedersen

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That’s it, I quit :-)

Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
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Thu Nov 1, 2018 4:58 pm
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Fine Sand: Solo campaign – first impressions (updated after the full 10-game campaign)

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
I’m back home after two days of the chaotic madness that is called Spiel (or Essen). The games/expansions that I was looking forward to the most were: Reykholt, Fine Sand, and Nusfjord: Plaice Deck.

I basically knew nothing about Fine Sand apart from thinking that it’s the first game in Friedemann Friese’s Fable series that is solo playable. I’m very interested in trying it out, because the series’ concept of a campaign where the game evolves from play to play.

Also, after last year’s Spiel Friedemann’s game Fast Forward: Flee (the first solo playable game in his Fast Forward series) was the most interesting one that I bought because it does some things that I hadn’t seen in a game before and like Fine Sand it has an evolving campaign system, which was fun to play and explore.
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Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:17 pm
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Essen: Day 0

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
It’s time for the madness to start again, it’s the day before tomorrow, it’s the day before Christmas Spiel in Essen.
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Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:51 pm
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Guest post by Scott Allen: Automa Alternatives in Solo-Only Games - My Experiences

Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
Automa Alternatives in Solo-Only Games - My Experiences

Morten has done an outstanding job creating automa opponents that allow us to solo-play many games originally designed for multiple players. And Morten’s blog posts in this space have educated and entertained many of us who are interested in solo games and the design of solo games.

I think when designing a game from the start to be a solo only experience, the design process is a bit different. So, in this post, I will take a bit of a random walk (as opposed to Morten’s somewhat scientific approach) ”behind the curtain” on a few of my solo game designs in hopes of providing maybe a small bit of wisdom to this community, or at least maybe start an interesting discussion.
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Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:43 pm
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The 2018 People’s Choice Top 100 Solo Games Meta Contest

Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
I heard a scream yesterday. It sounded like someone fleeing from their worst nightmare.

I couldn’t figure out who it was at the time, but after I saw that Kevin had started this year’s People’s Choice Top 100 Solo Games it became blindingly obvious that the source of the scream was my wallet.

I’ve spent all the night comforting the poor thing. Hope you’re happy now, Kevin, picking on small defenseless wallets. Tsk tsk.

As in previous years, I’ll host a meta-contest, where the winner gets to go home with the world famous No Prize™ award (if the winner is already at home she or he is allowed to stay there without doing any going).
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Tue Oct 2, 2018 12:28 pm
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Fixing the biggest flaw of Stonemaier Games :-)

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
Since I joined Stonemaier Games a few years back, I've noticed that the company has one reaaally big flaw. I know that Jamey has also noticed it but he has skirted the issue. So, yesterday my family and I took matters into our own hands.
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Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:29 pm
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How important is solo playability when you buy games?

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
Since I make a part-time living developing solo modes it’s crucial that publishers believe that solo playability drives significant number of sales.

Because of this and because I’m primarily a solo gamer myself I’m interested in knowing how important solo playability is to purchasing decisions and to figure that out I need your help.
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Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:11 am
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How common have solo playability become?

Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
Yesterday while I was super busy, I decided that the time was right to make searches in the BGG database and create a graph that had absolutely no relevance to what I should have been doing. Yes, I make good decisions like that.

The reason I started my detour was that I wanted to see how large a fraction of games published in 2018 were solo playable.
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Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:09 am
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Help us bring the Euphoria Automa to life [PLAYTEST OVER]

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
When the Automa for Viticulture (to our great surprise) got a great reception, we started work on an Automa for Euphoria. Since the game was already out the automa wouldn’t be included in the game itself and so finishing it wasn’t time critical.

Many other projects showed up that were time critical and we’ve now finished Automas for 7 other games as well as 5 expansions. This means that the Euphoria Automa was put on hold again and again.

The upshot is that it has been improved based on what we’ve learned from all those other Automas and now the time has come for it to rise and claim its rightful place in the ranks of the Automa Factory Automas . To make that happen we need your help.
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:49 pm
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The Making of an Automa for Patchwork – a guest post by Lines Hutter

Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 17 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
The Making of an Automa for Patchwork – a guest post by Lines Hutter

THE BEGINNING

Just like many other players I ignored Patchwork for a while after its release. It just didn´t look appealing to me. The theme didn´t grab me at all. Eventually it was the app that made me realized what a brilliant design it is. The button and time board concepts are great. You´re juggling three resources: Buttons, time and space. The set of shared tiles could also be considered a dwindling resource with various costs in the three other resources.

The way those resources are interwoven is new and fresh and exciting. In addition, you have to look for the right shapes and which ones your opponent might be going for. Furthermore, with careful planning you can manage to get two or three turns in a row. This is one of my most underestimated games.

After playing the App I immediately bought a physical copy but unfortunately didn´t find the right people to play it as often as I wished. I wished someone would create an Automa for it.
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Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:25 am
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