Grey Fox Games

design

mascarade

Bruno Faidutti is known for games that pair social interaction with a looser game structure. Games like Mascarade and Citadels (a.k.a CITADELLLLS!) rely heavily on the meta game of players bluffing, misleading, and jockeying for position. These game structures can be very exhilarating and memorable, but can also be highly unpredictable earning Mr. Faidutti the moniker “Master of Chaos”.

“I’m not that fond of being the ‘Master of chaos’. I’d rather be described as the designer of games in which players cannot hide themselves behind the rules, games that are eventually played with – and against – players and not against pawns and cards.”

In his latest blog entry, Faidutti addresses this classification of his game designs and draws an important distinction between terms that are often used interchangeably: chaos and randomness. It’s a fascinating glimpse into design theory and Bruno Faidutti’s own philosophies. Next time you sit down to play a game with seemingly random elements, you might just look at it a little differently.

“What makes the game uncontrollable is the fact that all players are trying at the same time to control its many interlocked and convoluted elements.”

Head on over to Mr. Faidutti’s blog to learn more. It begins in French, but the content repeats in English right after. Fair warning, the article does compare playing games to a certain intimate adult activity, though in a completely non-graphic way.

hyperbole

Designer Grant Rodiek has written “Asymmetric Beginnings” over on HyperboleGames.com.  Focusing on goals and using examples from Rodiek’s upcoming game, Sol Rising, Rodiek builds on his previous foundation of asymmetric design and delves into where to start.  Rodiek states that:

…every asymmetrical component should have a very clear purpose or theme. If it doesn’t need to exist, if it doesn’t have a purpose? Cut it and move on. In fact, if you can’t justify the exception at an early phase, and asymmetry is just that — exceptions — you should focus on a symmetrical design.

 

cheapassjames

Designer James Ernest of Cheapass Games (Pirates of the Spanish Main, Light Speed) provides the basics of probability theory in a recent article, “Probability for Game Designers.”  Ernest goes into some detail on odds, serial probabilities, results, events, and “the gambler’s fallacy,” stating that “a well-known misconception about random events is that their results tend to ‘even out’ over time.

Also, if you’re attending Gen Con, Ernest will be conducting a lecture on probability and basic math on Saturday at 5pm.  The game ID for this event is SEM1465794.