What is a broken game?
Gilad Yarnitzky
Israel
Reut
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
While we were talking on the BGG chat (yes, there is something like that on BGG that most of you are not aware of, so please come and check it out), we had a discussion about what defines a broken game.

As a aspiring game designer it is important for me to think about many things in my designs and one very important one is to make sure my game is not broken.

Here are what I think makes a broken game.

Please add your comments on the subject and what you think breaks a game.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Master of Rules [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:6091]
Gilad Yarnitzky
Israel
Reut
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Of course the first basic thing are the rules.

If the rules are unclear and players constantly argue over them of as they play the game, then the game is broken.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Unfair Quest [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Gilad Yarnitzky
Israel
Reut
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Unfair advantage:

If a player gets an unfair major advantage by random and not by skill and this will happen on regular basis to some player, then the game is broken.

Whats the point of working hard if at some point someone will gain an a major advantage that will probably will win him the game and there is nothing you can do about it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Dead End [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:13595]
Gilad Yarnitzky
Israel
Reut
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Killer end:

You reach the end of the game and some random action/cards negates everything all/most the players have done so far giving the player who draw the needed cards the win.

Most games which have this do not take this to this extreme but close to this.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Path to Glory [Average Rating:5.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.97 Unranked]
Gilad Yarnitzky
Israel
Reut
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Winning path:

games that appear to give the player choices but actually don't. If you stray from a well defined path of play then 95%+ you'd lose. Game after game you'll play the same game which means there is no real game to play there, hence the game is broken.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Leader 1 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1690]
Gilad Yarnitzky
Israel
Reut
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Leader run away:

This is a bit more tricky. If a player leads the game and win then you'd say he deserve winning right? in most cases that is correct, but in very some rare cases from very early stages of the game the leader which sometimes was selected as a starting player by random, just by the fact that he is leading gains unfair advantage and the game does not have balancing mechanism for it, so the players leads at the beginning and then other players can't really catch up since the game is broken.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Stonewall [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:12517]
David Whitcher
United States
Manchester
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A game is considered broken if one player can mount a defense that keeps the other player/s from wining despite his inability to win effetely prolonging the game indefinitely.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Hammer & Nails [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Mal Content
United States
Caln Township
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.