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Subject: Things to avoid in game design: Thou Shalt Not... rss

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Gladen Blackshield
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There's plenty of threads here about what to do when designing a game, but what should one avoid doing? Give your opinions, experience, etc.

A couple of mine:
Thou shalt not be possessed by hubris
Thou shalt not ignore thine playtesters

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Jens Kreutzer
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Thou shalt not ignore thy playtesters,
as playtesters starts with a consonant.

Sorry, could not resist.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Thou shalt not publish without a great deal of playtesting.
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Gary Selkirk
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1) Avoid getting stuck in your own final analysis of the game. I mean, you know what you want to portray. You playtest it to death with your own preconceived ideas of how it should play. The unknown variable is - how will other players of the game see it.
2) Avoid closemindedness. By all means, seriously consider all other queries put forward by playtesters and outsiders. Regardless of any thoughts and suggestions you may accept, it's still your design.

Good luck.
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dave
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and correlarary to the above 2 rules on the importance of playtesting:

Thou shalt not try and get only 'yes-men', 'brown-nosers' and 'kiss-asses' for your playtesters.

And for gods sake, find some rules lawyers to beat up your rulebook. It is difficult to write something clear and concise, but it's not brain surgery so it is certainly doable.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Thou shalt not become enamored of thine own ideas. Design is the process of coming up with ideas. Development is the process of killing them. You need to be able to step back and realize that the brilliant subsystem you've spent the last month fine-tuning is irrelevant to the rest of the game and the whole game would play better if you cut it out entirely.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Dont insult the people you are asking help from.
Dont cop an attitude. (Near death sentence for your career.)
Dont treat the fans like dirt (even if they sometimes deserve it.)
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Dylan Posthumus
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Thou shalt not give up...
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Carl Nyberg
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Thou shalt not make the prototype too elaborate.

I break this one all the time.
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Nate K
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Thou shalt not beg friends and strangers for free art before you have even put together an initial prototype.
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Nate K
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Thou shalt not kill fun.
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Nate K
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Thou shalt not steal bad ideas.
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Nate K
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Honor thy inspiration and thy theme.
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Nate K
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That shalt not bear false witness about how awesome your game is.
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Nate K
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Remember the value of playtesting, to keep it holy.
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Nate K
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Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors success, nor thy neighbor's theme, nor thy neighbor's exact mechanics, nor thy neighbor's publisher.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Thou shalt not post on BGG forums during designated design time.

Thou shalt not drool over and/or consider commisioning an artist on the BGG Board Game Art and Graphic Design fourm until after playtesting.

Thou shalt avoid thinking thy game in terms of Kickstarter stretch goals and other such nonsense until thou hast a finished fully playtested product.
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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Tinweasel wrote:
Thou shalt not ignore thy playtesters,
as playtesters starts with a consonant.

Sorry, could not resist.

thou shall not ignore editors any more than you would playtesters.
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Ben Pinchback
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Thou shalt not be afraid.
Once your game is good and polished, get out there and market that sucker. Hit the internet, go to all the cons in your radius and network. Believe in yourself and in your game.
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scott Murray
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If you are considering expansions, thou shall avoid power creep
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B C Z
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Thou shalt not add to fix a problem, thou shalt remove

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Dan Taylor
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When thou playtestest, thou must find at least one person who reduces most gamers to tears through his misuse of the rules.

Thou shalt give him a copy of thy prototype and say "Please break this."

Heed the methods by which he does so. Ponder anew if this was intended.




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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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Thou shall not add complexity for complexity's sake.

(To clarify, don't just add stuff to the game unless it increases the enjoyment of playing.)
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Ben Pinchback
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byronczimmer wrote:
Thou shalt not add to fix a problem, thou shalt remove


This one for sure.

To add to this thought:
Thou shalt not add some wonky rule just to cover a flaw. Fix the flaw.
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Travis Worthington
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thou shall not design games that must be played in the "spirit of the game"
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