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Posts Tagged ‘design principles’

Against the cult of simplicity

If you’ve spent any significant time going through my archive of design-focused articles, you probably know that I am allergic to dogmatic declarations about how to design games. Over the past four years, I’ve responded to calls to remove text from games, calls to remove story and attractive visual art…

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Unpredictability and control in turn-based combat: an examination

Unpredictability makes art interesting. Twists of plot, unconventional characterizations, and surprising character development engage a reader’s imagination; unique instrumentation, sudden shifts in time signature, or an unexpected chord progression delight the ear. So is it with games. Exploration, experimentation, discovery: all of these depend upon unpredictability, on gaps in the…

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6 more ways to improve turn-based RPG combat systems

Almost exactly one year ago, I discussed the four virtues of a good turn-based combat system and shared 12 techniques that RPGs commonly overlook for achieving those virtues. Today, after a year of contemplation and careful design work, I feel ready to expand the list. What follows are 6 additional…

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12 ways to improve turn-based RPG combat systems

In my last opinion piece, I provoked a certain subsection of the world of RPG enthusiasts by slaughtering a particularly sacred cow: the D&D-style combat system. A surprising number of people wrote in agreeing with me. Predictably, however, others responded in one of two ways: (1) “So you think a…

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