Their talk is pretty fun!
Ars has a great review on the conversion of the popular board game Catan Junior.
It was at this point that Owen came to the realization that he had accidentally cornered the market on wood. His stockpile was enormous, and only three additional wood remained in the marketplace for all the other players to compete for. Owen was suddenly a very popular person, the youngest lumber magnate in northern Illinois. Owen and William both began to haggle mercilessly with Teagan and Jeff.
The kids simply lit up over the game. I talked a bit with Jeff after the game was over about how he felt the kids took to the game. “I enjoyed it. It allowed me a lot of opportunities to get them to start to think about (consequences). I think continued play will reinforce the next level thinking.”
Get the game on Amazon:
Thanks to Trevor for bringing this to my attention.
Avi: What is Game Design?
Charley: Game design is the craft and process of inventing games. It’s an inherently rewarding practice that’s equal parts fun and frustrating. All game designers are also players and the best perspective to design a game from is that of the player. To design a game, you must consider things like how a player will learn to play; how a player will get better; how a player will understand their game state and assess themselves; how the game systems will create emergent systems and how players will explore these areas, etc. So in essence, game design is about designing a complex space to be navigated by players. It requires a lot of testing, a lot of balancing, and a lot perseverance. But this is what games do best: rewarding a decision with another decision to make. Not badges or points or leaderboards.
Avi: Why is designing games important?
Charley: It’s naive to think that game design is going to solve all of the worlds problems. But games are important because games say a lot about who we are. They are a reflection of us as individuals when we play and reflections of cultures around the world based on their design. And even when you consider folks games (games that sort of emerge on their own, like hide and seek) at some point, somewhere, someone suggested a rule that stuck. So we’re all game designers in some sense if we’re all players. And it’s through this sort of play that we develop a common language and experiment with ideas.
I teach a lot of game design classes at General Assembly in NYC and my students are a fairly diverse set of minds, ranging from twelve year olds looking to make the next Grand Theft Auto to fifty year old product managers looking to know more about gamification. A question I get is how can one game design class serve all of these interests and the answer is that the basics of the game design process of iteration through physical prototyping and playtesting has something to teach everyone.