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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To my great surprise a new Automa from Automa Factory was available at GenCon :-)

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
Board Game: Patchwork: Automa

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Tue Aug 7, 2018 7:24 pm
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Almost 4 projects I’m backing on Kickstarter because I work with game design

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
Because I work with game design I regularly study game designs that do novel or interesting things, follow what’s hot in current board games, and do design exercises.

Lately there’s been some Kickstarters, which seem to help me do all three of those things and I’d like to tell you about those Kickstarters and why I think they’ll help me.
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Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:20 pm
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Same same but very different – the 2018 Solo PnP Contest interviews

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
Same same but very different – the 2018 Solo PnP Contest interviews

If you’re into solitaire game design or want to start a journey to become a solitaire game designer, then I have an order for you (it’s my blog, so I’m allowed to give orders here ): Go join the 8th edition of the The Solitaire Print and Play Contest, which launched today.

My participation in the 2013 edition was not only one of the best gaming related experiences I’ve had, it was also an important stepping stone in going semi-pro as a designer.
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Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:47 am
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Pivot points, VP clogging, and catchup mechanisms

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’m a big fan of the Board Game Design Lab podcast. It has taught me a lot about game design and if you’re into game design, you should go subscribe to it and go through the back catalog - some of the episodes are pure gold.

In the latest episode on catchup mechanisms, however, there was an important point made that I disagree with (and a lot I agreed with). That disagreement got me to write this post on pivot mechanisms. A topic that I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time, because it’s important if you want to understand and design engine building games. It also ventures into the territory of catch-up mechanisms, which is a topic I also find interesting and useful in my work.
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Thu May 31, 2018 3:38 pm
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Viticulture: Toils of the Vines 1905-1918 – "EP03: The Fungal Disease" & "EP04: The Great War"

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
This post contains episodes 3 and 4 of my experiment in making a progressive solo campaign for Viticulture and Tuscany.

If you're interested in helping out, then please go here.
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Wed May 16, 2018 2:14 pm
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Viticulture: Toils of the Vines 1897-1908 – "EP01: Starting from Scratch" & "EP02: Repairing the Vineyard"

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
As mentioned in my previous post, I’m doing an experiment to see whether there’s interest in helping me make a progressive campaign for Viticulture + Tuscany. If there isn’t sufficient interest I’ll stop the experiment, since there’s no point in putting the campaign out there if it hasn’t been at least somewhat playtested and balanced.

If you want to help out out, then start by reading the rules in this Toils of the Vines – help me make a continuous campaign for Viticulture: Tuscany.

Please post your score, stuff you have at the end of the episode, and any feedback you might have in the comments below.
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Tue May 15, 2018 9:23 am
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Toils of the Vines – help me make a continuous campaign for Viticulture: Tuscany

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’ve gotten requests for a campaign for Viticulture with Tuscany and therefore I’ve tried to make one where contrary to the other Viticulture campaigns this one is based on carrying over structures you’ve built, wines in your cellar etc. with twists along the way to keep you from getting overpowered and special challenges in each episode.

The notes for the has been sitting on my hard disk, because I haven’t had the time to work on it and I’ve now concluded that it’ll likely be years before I can get it to the table and do proper development.

Therefore, I’m posting this to see whether some of you are interested in helping me test and tweak the campaign.
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Tue May 15, 2018 8:57 am
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The Artificial Opponent Simulation Scale – games in the gray areas of classification

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
In my previous post I introduced a system for classifying artificial board game opponents based on how large a part of a human player they simulate.

Let me start by saying that in that post I wasn’t sufficiently clear that I intended the scale to handle only bots that replace human players in the game, that is it must be a multiplayer game where a bot can take the seat of one of the humans.

As any other attempt to fit from the real world into neat categories there are games that refuse to be neat and instead insists on sitting awkwardly between categories. It’s rather impolite of them, but what can you do apart from stare disapprovingly at them?
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Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:48 pm
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5 years old and still limping along

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 curse you Mildred and Patty Hill for giving us such a short time interval between “happy birthday dear” and “happy birthday to you”. How on Earth do you expect me to sing “Thematic Solitaires for the Spare Time Challenged” that fast?
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Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:25 am
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The Artificial Opponent Simulation Scale – a classification system

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
Over the years I’ve been refining the definition of what an Automa (the kind of artificial opponent that I’ve helped make) is, but they’re just one type of artificial opponent among many and I think that it can be useful to have a classification system that organizes them all in order of increasing fidelity in simulating a human player.

Having classification systems help us communicate, discuss, and think about game design – I’ve previously argued that a good game design vocabulary is the best tool in a game designer’s tool kit.

So, let’s go create such a classification system or at least have a first go at it .
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Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:57 am
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