Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Geoff Engelstein interview Part 1 of 4

This is part one of the very interesting live #boardgamersask twitter interview that prolific podcaster & game designer Geoff Engelstein took part in last Friday. I'd like to thank Geoff for taking an hour off work to take questions from the gaming community.

Geoff Engelstein#BoardGamersAsk Geoff Engelstein (part 1)

@watcher_969 #BoardGamersAsk @gengelstein A game idea with multiple paths and different game feel, do you design and playtest each one to find the best?

@gengelstein If a game has multiple strategies, you absolutely need to test them all to make sure they are balanced. Otherwise if they're not balanced there's no reason to have them. Outside playtest is also key to make sure people use them. And then try to understand why people aren't picking those options. #BoardGamersAsk

@BoardGamersAsk Geoff @RMBLees Asked "is there a game that you have always wanted to play, but never managed to get it to the table? #boardgamersask"

@gengelstein Games I want to play but haven't: A bunch of Splotters: Indonesia, Antiquity, and Greed Inc. #BoardGamersAsk

and we continue with...

@RhymeReply #BoardGamersAsk Is there an example where over-analysis ruined a game you loved?

@gengelstein Overanalysis ruining a game I loved? Not really. If I spend that much time analyzing it there is good depth. Probably closest was Roll Through The Ages just because of the ios app. I played it way too many times. #BoardGamersAsk

@watcher_969 #BoardGamersAsk @gengelstein One of the hardest things for in BG design; design, playtesting, finetuning, rulebook, or releasing?

@gengelstein Hardest thing in boardgame design: Playtesting! Hard to get good testers, and hard to test enough times with the same version before making tweaks. I envy online PC games for that! #BoardGamersAsk

@LudiCreations Hi Geoff, #BoardGamersAsk roughly how many board game design projects do you have bubbling away at any one time?

@gengelstein I probably have 3-5 active game designs going at any given time. 2 in a mature stage, and 1-3 bubbling in very early stages. I have a high mortality rate on those early stage ideas. Maybe 1 in 4 graduate to a second prototype. #BoardGamersAsk

@NigelPyne #boardgamersask Your games are pretty unique. Did you set out for this or is it just the way they end up?

@gengelstein Nigel, You need to play a design tons of times, so they need to hold my interest. If you're working on something completely new it's a lot easier to maintain that enthusiasm. Plus I'm not in it for commercial success I like exploring the edges of what is possible in a board game. #BoardGamersAsk

@BoardGamersAsk Geoff @Quirkative asked "#BoardGamersAsk What 3 things concern you most when designing a game?"

@gengelstein 3 things that concern me most about designing a game: #1 Player Experience: What will they remember and tell stories about? #2: What is different about this game that will make people want to try it? #3 Is the component count and complexity appropriate for #1 and #2? My initial designs are always way, way, too complex. I take away lots of stuff. Very infrequently do I need to add. #BoardGamersAsk

What great questions and answers... Part 2 will be posted tomorrow ;-)

#BoardGamersAsk is your chance to ask questions of the "people behind the meeples"

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Thanks for adding to the conversation on Ministry of Board Games ;-)