Yesterday I played a new game from Ludonaute called Precognition. When I opened the box and found these standard, classic meeples, my heart smiled. Carcassonne was first released in 2000. It’s been 22 years now. Since then, all publishers have had all different variants of meeples in games. And here I am discovering a classic Carcassonne meeple in a new game. I took it in hand and well, it felt just like home. #geek #nerd
I must start with the preamble – Eric Lang is one of the most caring and good people I have ever met. He is kind, he is humble, and additionally, he is freaking awesome. I cannot express how much I love this dude.
In the previous article, I discussed most physical components of Dune: House Secrets and what their purpose was in the game, and how they helped immerse players in the story. Today we continue the breakdown of the design process – I’ll discuss one deck and the website.
Mindmap One of the most famous components in Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, were photos. A square-shaped deck of cards with portraits of every non-player character in the story. As the game progresses and players meet these witnesses, suspects, and consultants, the photos land on the wall creating the beautiful, insane mind map of correlations and interactions between story characters. Players are detectives. They must find the murderer. The photos and mind map does the purpose.
Dune: House Secrets is a story-driven game inspired by award-winning Detective: a modern crime board game. The game uses the same system to tell an engaging story, but at the same time, with some tweaks and changes in the rules, it brings a very different experience. In this article, I’d like to discuss a couple of these changes.
The board Detective: a modern crime board game was all about putting players in the shoes of characters from procedural TV shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Players take the role of law enforcers and detectives. They visit the Lab to examine DNA samples, they visit Court and City Archives to dig in old files and cases, they visit Richmond PD to question suspects and witnesses. The game comes with a small board to help manifest this simple structure – Lab, Richmond PD, Court – this is your terrain, this is your playground, this is your procedure.
Dune: House Secrets invites player characters to Tel Gezer, a small city on Arrakis they never visited before. They are members of resistance on a secret mission. There is no structure, there is only unknown, there is only the fog of secret war.
I am not allowed to play Bohnanza. It was 2009, we were on vacation at the Polish sea with friends, and I epically won Bohnanza. In the evening, when we get back to the room, my wife Merry, with a solemn tone, said to me: 'I forbid you to play this game ever again. You embarrass our family.’
Since then, over the past 12 years, I have played Bohnanza twice. Secretly, so Merry doesn’t know. I am petrified of her anger.
I strongly believe that good board game is the one that tells a good story. You play it and suddenly you are sucked into it, you feel chills on the skin. Emotions grow. In a moment you defend castle. You hear roar of warriors. You smell boiling oil. You are into it.
That's how I design my games. I always want to tell a good story. I want players to be into it. As deep as possible.
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