Friday, 29 November 2013

Geoff Engelstein interview Part 4 of 4

This is the last part of the very interesting live #boardgamersask twitter interview that prolific podcaster & game designer Geoff Engelstein took part in last Friday.

#BoardGamersAsk Geoff Engelstein (part 4)

@Sarcastic_Robot #boardgamersask @gengelstein I've heard a legend about dice duels being created out of a desire to simplify space cadets. Is that true?

@gengelstein The origin story of Dice Duel: Prepare for a series of tweets :) An SC playtester suggested using square cards for helm so you could rotate them in the direction the ship was traveling. Thought it was a brilliant idea and talked to Stronghold who (rightfully) nixed it as artwork was already done and it would have required two sizes of cards, adding $$$. But just for fun I tested a dice-based version to get the same effect and realized it would work. Dice games were getting hot, so as a thought experiment we challenged ourselves to turn every station into a dice game and that ultimately led to Dice Duel. The thing that really unlocked the design was the Energy Dice idea that triggered the other stations to roll their dice. That led to the simultaneous dice-rolling craziness #BoardGamersAsk

@RhymeReply #BoardGamersAsk Are there any games that simulate time travel well? (Crossover with next week's #BoardGameHour topic).
@LooneyLabs RT @reldnahcire: @RhymeReply chrononauts by @AndrewLooney is an awesome time travel game and Andy should totally do #BoardGamersAsk!

@gengelstein Time Travel! That's another topic I would LOVE to can't figure out mechanics. Although I do have a cool idea for a mechanical-time-travel-board but can't figure out how to make it work IRL. I still think Time Wars from Yaquinto is one of the best Time Travel games ever. #BoardGamersAsk

@BoardGameBen Have you ever created playtesting AIs to help? #BoardGamersAsk

@gengelstein I have not created a playtesting AI. But I have done lots of spreadsheet work for probabilities. Also have written small programs to do monte carlo testing when the probabilities got too hairy. At PRACTICE one of the designers said he 'didn't want to deal with the math' because it would show through to the players and take them out of them game (psychologically). I was appalled. Math can be easily hidden from the players but short-circuits so much of the playtest time that you're foolish to just put things out there first #BoardGamersAsk

@NigelPyne #boardgamersask When you play games can you just enjoy them or do you find yourself dissecting them?

@gengelstein I both enjoy playing games and dissect them when I play. But I enjoy dissecting also, so that's a win all around :) #BoardGamersAsk

@gengelstein I really enjoyed answering these questions, and hope y'all got something out of this! Thanks so much for inviting me! #BoardGamersAsk

Once again I'd like to thank Geoff for taking an hour off work to take questions from the gaming community.

#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 ;-)