Game Design

Think About Your Game Thematically

I’m working around the clock to get my first prototype ready, so this is going to be a short one!

Thank god

Most people would argue that mechanics are the most important aspect of a game. And, I agree. One realization that I’ve had though is that mechanics which run incongruent to the theme can make your game appear sloppy and uninteresting; however, if you can make justifiable changes or shifting in your mechanics (give someone else an ability or switch the order of phases), you can make your game shine.

In my game, players gain coins and special abilities through the guilds that they join. Players can switch to different guilds once per turn throughout the game. All players have a different win condition, but that core gameplay remains the same for everyone.

Through various playtests, I’ve found that sometimes a character won’t switch factions for most of the game. Typically, that’s because of two reason:

  • The barrier of entry for one of my factions was too high
  • The abilities for one guild were just too damn good

One factor in my game that I find important is that I want players to switch guilds. To achieve this, I did something that I should’ve done a lot earlier: I thought of which guild abilities would help a player win, and made sure they were in different guilds.


On that note—back to work.

By Neutrino Burrito

A writer and board game designer currently puttering about the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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