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The Three Elements Of Success

A recent debate over at The League of Gamemakers has brought to mind an old dilemma of mine: why do some games sell and other do not? On the margin between the two points brought up in the League I think it’s true that Mechanics must outweigh Theme as far as sustainability goes: while Theme […]

Bolt From The Blue : Fiscal Fantasy

I am what you might call an “Inspired Designer.” The majority of my game ideas strike me like a bolt from the blue – powerful and unexpected – typically with at least the 3 basic questions answered, but sometimes with entire outlines of the game as well. That doesn’t mean the game is done, of […]

The Basics of Good Game Design

In addition to designing games, I also run the Chicago Game Designers Meetup for Chicago Game Lovers as a way to keep in touch with my fellow Designers and, hopefully, to build a robust Game Design community in Chicago. In the course of running this Meetup I’ve come up with a basic guide to put […]

D&D Next: Final Playtest Packet Review

Shortly after the final D&D Next Playtest Pack was released, a friend of mine chided me for forming opinions on D&D Next without giving the final packet a thorough read-through. As a result, I used my travel time to-and-from a wedding as an opportunity to read through the packet and do my best to analyze […]

Settings in RPG Design: On Carts and Horses

I’ve noticed that many other amateur game designers I’ve talked to focus heavily on the setting of their game, often getting into minuate of architecture and fashion before even considering fundamental design concerns such as Character Advancement. This isn’t particularly surprising when you look at some of the older generation of RPG and compare the […]

Four-Color Heroes Playtest (Saturday 6/8)

If you are in the Chicago area and want to meet the creator of Four-Color Heroes (me!) I will be holding a public playtest of the latest build this Saturday (6/8) from noon to 4pm at Mad River Bar & Grill (2909 N Sheffield Ave). The Playtest group is already filled up, but if you […]

Mundane Design for “The D&D That Never Was”

Of all the things that D&D has done well over the years, providing mechanics to allow mundane characters to do interesting things hasn’t been one of them. In particular, mundane characters in combat have typically been limited to hitting things for damage as far as tactical choices go. To that end I am adding a […]