Moonflight Development: Learning Lessons

Bad playtests are the ones when nothing goes wrong. I'm happy where Moonflight is right now as a game still developing. The Jack O' Clay and Bones deck is in a very final form and when I play the game solo it makes good sense, is filled with interesting choices and satisfying moments. The problem is I know how its "meant" to be played. Now every game has a right and a wrong way to play it, hopefully a lot of the right ways and some fun wrong ways, but every game can be ruined by playing it wrongly. As a designer my job is to make it clear what the wrong path is so that players don't walk down it accidentally and to make unfun wrong paths unrewarding so that competitive players don't go down

Copyright, Trademark and Patent: Protecting IP for Independent Designers

What designers should do in relation to protecting their designs when showing them to others is, for obvious reasons, a concern for many starting designers. The short answer is, don't worry, you don't actually need to do anything. There is a good deal of professional advice freely available on this subject to anyone with access to a library and I would strongly suggest referring there if you have any worries or doubts. My opinions are formed from a range of sources but two excellent places to start are the "For Dummies" range of books for general legal advice and Jeremy Holcomb's "White Box Essays" for an industry specific view point. I'm not going to try to give advice for all people, becau

How I Write Skirmish War Games: Introduction and Manifesto

I've worked on a few miniatures war games now, written a handful and studied a whole bunch, as such I've formed a set of hopefully useful opinions and advice on writing them. I don't consider myself an expert, which is why the title of this blog series is "how I" write rather than "how to" write them. However, while there is a good deal of support for those writing their first boardgame and quite a lot for those looking to create a new miniatures war game there is relatively little on creating a small, highly narrative skirmish game. I'll start by trying to define a few terms. Wargames are a board subject and definitions are at best vague. Firstly, there are massed combat wargames, also know

Useful Pages and Blogs

No designer stands alone and there are a wide selection of blogs we at Man O' Kent refer to ourselves. I'm not going to recommend bloggers or blog streams as such but want to recommend some specific blogs we go back to again and again. This blog will be updated from time to time. First of all Entro Games' excellent blog about where to find free to use images. If you do any Print and Plays or producing prototypes for pitching, this is an invaluable resource. Game Design 101: Where to find free icons, pictures and graphics for prototypes Martin Krzywinski Science and Art includes this excellent blog with examples and resources for checking your game in reference to different forms of colour bl

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