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Subject: Design styles rss

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Craig McRoberts
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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I was looking through my various works in progress today, and I noticed a few things pointing to a very definite style. It's not something I ever consciously worked toward, but it's there. I tend to like modular gameplay (boards and bits that are randomly determined with each game), absolutely zero hidden information, and asymmetrical player abilities. Not all are present in every project, but all of them have at least one or two.

Anyone else have a "style?" Anything that you, consciously or not, work into everything you do?
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Matt Loomis
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Illinois
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I don't have a specific thing that I try to do in each game I design, in fact I try very hard to design things that are different than I've previously designed as well as design with mechanisms that I'm not comfortable designing with. But I have noticed that I will always follow the system of:

Mechanisms > Theme > Mechanisms

That is to say, that I'll find a mechanism or two that I want to build a game around, I'll find a theme that I think matches that mechanism to force all future choice to be restricted by the theme, and that will help in determining what additional mechanisms I can or need to add to the game, if any.
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john jo
Singapore
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i work like how i draw

i start with a sketch, and put in finer and finer details from there. sometimes i erase the details, to replace them or leave the area empty.

in the sketch phase of my method, it will be very disjointed with many floating variables, free to be debated over

with subsequent revisions from playtests and/or flights of inspiration, the design gets more and more solid and refined

my preferences however leans towards simplicity and abstract representation, so my opinion of refinement is also represented by the brevity of the rules relative to the complexity and depth of the design
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Matt Pierce
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salinas
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I love drafting. If it isn't already in a design, it'll find it's way in there later.

I also always start with theme. If the premise isn't interesting, I won't have any motivation to work on it. Trading spices? bleh. Trading spices as a dragon who has to convince his clients he's a human? Much better.
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Ian Richard
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Overly complex.

I spend the first half of my designs building a massive project with lots of details and choices. Then, I start cutting out the weak points to create a focused experience that is more acceptable to the average player.

The other trait that I feel is important to mention is rapid design.

Everything I do needs to be implemented in a small scale and tested TODAY. If a mechanic is too big to be implemented in one day, then it will either be cut down or removed entirely. After the small scale test works I'm able to expand the design a little at a time until everything works.
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