Game Design

/Game Design

These are posts about how we design our games, the things we consider, how we tackle the problems that come up and the satisfaction that comes from developing novel mechanisms for play.

Periorbis – Employee skill levels

Believe it or not, getting the employee deck right was one of the most challenging aspects to designing Periorbis. We starting off believing that we could simply put in as many cards as we wanted and players would quickly sort out what was good for them and ignore the rest. It turns out that doesn't work very well! There are lots of things that need [...]

By | 2015-04-24T19:48:13+00:00 24 April 2015|Categories: Designer Diary, Developer tip, Game Design, Perihelion News, Periorbis|Comments Off on Periorbis – Employee skill levels

Periorbis – The asteroid track

Following the launch of our Kickstarter campaign, we've had a lot of questions and a number of suggestions about the asteroid track which makes up much of the main game board, and controls which of the asteroids is available to players on each turn of the game. It's fantastic to have people interested in Periorbis, and we love to hear your ideas and suggestions. [...]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:14+00:00 24 April 2015|Categories: Designer Diary, Developer tip, Game Design, Perihelion News, Periorbis|Comments Off on Periorbis – The asteroid track

Developer tip #7 – Naming your game

Picking a name for your game demands some clear thinking and outside opinion! Remember, we are all told never to judge a book by its cover, but often we all make snap initial decisions.  Getting the name right can help get you the snap decision you want. Here are some of our thoughts on the matter. 1 – Try and stay on [...]

By | 2015-03-13T23:14:49+00:00 12 May 2014|Categories: Developer tip, Game Design|Comments Off on Developer tip #7 – Naming your game

Developer tip #6 – Shipping and posting

The last thing that is on your mind when carefully designing and creating your game is shipping and posting.  This cannot be overlooked.  At some point, once your game has been made (probably in a low cost territory – such as China), it has to be shipped to a distribution centre for onward fulfilment into the hands of your customers.  What does [...]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:15+00:00 8 May 2014|Categories: Developer tip, Game Design|Comments Off on Developer tip #6 – Shipping and posting

Developer Tips – Find links to our series here

Here’s a handy list of links to our Developer Tips Developer tip #1 – Game ideas and concepts Developer tip #2 – Making time for game design Developer tip #3 – Importance of team work […]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:15+00:00 12 December 2013|Categories: Developer tip, Game Design|Comments Off on Developer Tips – Find links to our series here

Developer tip #5 – Meaningful play testing

Everybody assumes play-testing is fun and easy! But in reality it’s not.  Play testing revolves around trying to figure out what is not quite right about the game and therefore which tweaks you require to make.  The more complex the game, the harder it is to make tweaks without changing the dynamic of the game.  And often the range of tweaks you [...]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:15+00:00 12 December 2013|Categories: Developer tip, Game Design|Comments Off on Developer tip #5 – Meaningful play testing

Developer tip #4 – Don’t miss Essen

Essen, or to give its full name “Internationale Spieltage SPIEL” is the main trade fair (arguably globally) for games held in the City of Essen in Germany.  It’s held over 4 days and importantly, it is open to the public as well as game designers and publishers. Everybody who loves playing board games or creating them should at least visit Essen once [...]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:15+00:00 20 November 2013|Categories: Developer tip, Game Design|Comments Off on Developer tip #4 – Don’t miss Essen

Developer tip #3 – Importance of team work

There is no “i” in team.  Unless you are multi-skilled, have endless time and enjoy being a hermit, you will be designing your game as part of a team.  When making board games, a team often consists of friends getting together to talk about ideas and building proto-types.  This is all very fun, although quickly you will need to bring some order [...]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:15+00:00 16 November 2013|Categories: Developer tip, Game Design|Comments Off on Developer tip #3 – Importance of team work

Developer tip #2 – Making time for game design

Developing a board game takes time, and a lot of it. Fortunately, we all enjoy working on Periorbis, but some tasks are more satisfying than others, and they’ve all got to be done. A big problem when you are starting out is that you don't really have a sense of how long things will take. Even simple tasks such as picking a [...]

By | 2015-03-13T23:07:02+00:00 8 November 2013|Categories: Developer tip, Game Design|Comments Off on Developer tip #2 – Making time for game design

Developer tip #1 – Game ideas and concepts

There isn’t any rhyme or reason for where game concepts and ideas come from.  They sort of just come to you. But here a few things to think about that may aid you coming up with that great game idea! 1 – Play a wide range of games It’s all about getting experience and exposure to a wide variety of game mechanics.  [...]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:15+00:00 5 November 2013|Categories: Developer tip, Game Design|Comments Off on Developer tip #1 – Game ideas and concepts

Play test update – Butterfly effect

Since the last play test update, we've been trying to simplify the rules and mechanics to strip out anything which adds unnecessary complexity or game time. The end result is good, but it's been very interesting how sensitive the economic model is to seemingly small changes. One of the changes we made earlier this month to simplify the contract mechanics resulted in [...]

By | 2014-01-10T18:12:11+00:00 25 August 2013|Categories: Game Design, Periorbis|Comments Off on Play test update – Butterfly effect

2 player games

Someone wise once said, "Strike while the iron is hot." Well, it's more the weather than the iron that's hot at the moment, but strike we did with tweaks to the 2 player game. The slight issues from last night's game have all been resolved, and the balance has been restored to what we've come to expect from playing with more players. [...]

By | 2015-04-03T21:53:13+00:00 3 August 2013|Categories: Game Design, Periorbis|Comments Off on 2 player games

Number of players

When we designed Periorbis, our main focus was on getting the 4 and 5 player versions of the game to work well, and so that's where we focused our initial play testing. For a lot of the early games it was just the three of us, so Jase and Gareth have had to work pretty hard managing two players at a time. [...]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:15+00:00 2 August 2013|Categories: Game Design, Periorbis|Comments Off on Number of players

Periorbis Play Testing – Success!!

Wow! What a game. If they're all like that from now on I think we're done on the game design! Four players, four different paths chosen, four different challenges encountered, and the scores so close at the end. So much so that Jase was up standing on his chair. I can't resist sharing the photo with you. Even now it makes me [...]

By | 2017-01-22T19:03:16+00:00 28 July 2013|Categories: Game Design, Periorbis|Tags: |Comments Off on Periorbis Play Testing – Success!!

Periorbis – End game and replayability

End Game Following the game with Jim earlier this week, we've been thinking about and testing some tweaks to the agent abilities to deal with the end game problems we encountered. After much debate, the solution we've settled on is to allow agents to sell ore from the warehouse to local traders at a knockdown price as a way of getting victory [...]

By | 2015-03-13T23:03:41+00:00 27 July 2013|Categories: Game Design, Periorbis|Tags: |Comments Off on Periorbis – End game and replayability