23 July 2012

Connections Day 1 - Wargame Design Panel

The Connections Interdisciplinary Wargaming Conference

Current panel is Joe Miranda, Dr John Prados, and Al Nofi talking about how to design a game. After a few humorous war stories about early game play and game design, they started talking about how things have developed over the years.
Prados got started by buying his own posterboard & cardstock and trying to develop his own prototypes of forthcoming TAHGC designs.
Al Nofi has noted that where TAHGC used the same CRTs, rules outlines, etc forever, SPI wanted to really change the way the games themselves were built on their research of the situations being modeled, the victory conditions, etc. The research for the articles that accompanied the games in S&T were pretty heavily researched such that the articles and rules could almost footnote each other.
Prados' contrast to that was that his approach was to put a scenario on the map & counters first, then start adjusting based on the research, but only after the initial draft was done.
Nofi: "Scrimmage was just Firefight with a football."

Question from the audience about game design failure - after research and design and successful
creation of an actual game, there are still 2 points of failure: playtesting and rules writing/editing.
Prados: "Evolution of the rules framework has to proceed in tandem with the design as it approaches testing."
Nofi: "One of the most difficult things about rules is getting people to read them."
Nofi on playtesting your own stuff: "You're thinking the rule, but you may not be playing the rule, as it's written."

By: Brant

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