Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Center Board

I have made myself a cup of coffee, so here I go again untangling my board game design brain and placing parts of it on this screen. I wrote about the overall background for the game I am putting my soul into at the moment (Edinburgh - Old Town, very much the working title) last time so now I want to talk a little about how I think it will work.

This is the point where I suspect I will get half way through the description and think "bollocks, this is way too complicated", but I'm going to go for it anyway.

Let me start be telling you "who" I envision you playing as in this game. "Who", "what", "where" and "why" are questions that I like to ask about everything, and design is no exception. I know form #BoardGameHour that there is some resistance out there for soulless middle management games (I call them euros), but that they tend to be quite prevalent in the hobby (yes I know and play lots, but I’m a theme guy at heart).

My first attempt at this game had you playing as a land lord/lady trying to make money in a very nasty city. The thing was, you were playing cards that caused plague, witchcraft, other interesting things which was fun but didn't fit. Also it was very middle management, which I want to avoid if possible. 

So where am I now with "who" and "why". The setting stays the same, the old town of Edinburgh in the 17th /18th century but now you are a malevolent spirit stuck in the street where they met there end, manipulating the destiny of the people who live there. Why are you doing this, because the story of your brutal death is slowly being forgotten as the city changes, there is only one way to not disappear into obscurity, make your tragedy the start of a saga of horror. You want your street to be the most famous street in Edinburgh and for your memory to live on in the tales that are told about it.

“Enough with the flavour Nate”, my brain shouts at me, get to how the game might work. Well, the basic building blocks are deck building/ manipulation and resource management. Which sounds pretty standard, but I think I have some twists up my sleeve (I am rarely accused of being normal). Let me walk you around the communal board as it stands today:

This is the board everyone has access to and the parts of it are thus:

A)  The gray areas are for the current / future event. Events will have a range of effects on the game. I know it’s a little old hat to have an event deck and this might be one to the first casualties during a cull. It’s sitting there at the moment as a little hug of randomness for me. These will not be once a turn flip the next event card. They will have conditions that will trigger the end of the current event and the start of the next one, so they can be manipulated and planned for. I will go into more detail about all the cards in the future.

B)   These 4 spaces represent the local reporters who are looking to write the periodical news. Each will have an angle that they are looking to cover for the next paper, whoever fulfils the requirements gets the story written about their street (victory points). These are victory conditions that change as they are achieved.

C)   This is the royal mile which is the main street going through Edinburgh. For game purposes it is where players get the cards to build up and change their decks. This part works like race selection in Small World. So you can have the bottom two cards for free or cheap and as you bypass selections you pay to move to the next. Thus if the bottom set are pretty shitty, after a while there will be a big bonus to take them.

Writing this journal has already made me think twice about some design decisions. I had always envisioned that there would be two or three rows and that they would be independent of each other. So if you wanted the 3rd card on the left hand row, you placed recourses on the 1st and 2nd card, took the 3rd card and carried on. As I was writing this I felt it would be interesting to have the cards come as a pair (as described above). That way there might be more difficult decisions because there are going to be bad cards that you don’t want, but want if they are with a really juicy card you do what. I’ll let you know how this goes.

D)  This is just the turn track really and it represents a week. It has day, night, “papers come out” and “rest days” on it. Cards have different effect depending on if its day or night and the other two are just scoring / admin points.

Now… Each player has their own tableau and this is where the action takes place. It’s also where some of the twists in the design are I feel, but I have finished my coffee, so that board and those aspects of the game will have to wait.

I know this was not a very interesting post, but some of the time I’m going to have to bore the pants off of you to get to the good bits :0)

Friday, 27 November 2015

Old Town - the past

If you have not ready WHY i'm keeping a journal, I recommend you do that first :0) I have to clean up my kitchen and pack my stuff before I go away for the weekend, but before I do I’m going to sit here with a coffee and tell you a little about my current design. To write this post will take me the length of time it takes me to drink a coffee (cause I have given myself an arbitrary limit)

I have 4 active projects living in my head and on my computer at the moment. I’ll start this journal by tell you about the one I am “focused” on at the moment. Its working title is Edinburgh Old Town (not the title I would want to use if published, but I can’t waste brain power working out that would be at this stage).

The background to this game is thus; I went on holiday to my girlfriend’s home town of Edinburgh about 6 months ago and we took the Mary Kings Close tour under the current city to the streets of the old town below. Here’s the history bit: After something like the 9th plague to hit the city, the council decided to build a new city over the top of the disease ridden old one. They knocked down the top floors of the buildings and used the materials to literally seal of the streets below. I will not going into everything about that now but I will tell you the stories of 17th -18th century old Edinburgh are incredible and as we took the tour and the more I spoke to my girlfriend about it the more I wanted to make a game about it. Ideas where bouncing left right and centre in my head for the rest of the holiday.

So I’m now making a game about the life and times of Edinburgh old town. It’s gritty, nasty and full of characters and stories. Murder, plague, grave robbing, ghosts and much more. It’s not going to be a game to play with your kids, but I hope it will be a game that evokes the feeling I had when I was walking those streets imaging what life was like back then.

Ok, ok.. that’s the flavour now you want to know what ingredients I plan to use. Interestingly, I have this fairly well fixed in my head at the moment and yet, writing it here is not proving to be easy. My first prototype had a core mechanic of action selection done in the way you pick races in Small world. I like the “you can have the first one for free, put a coin on the first one and take the second one or keep putting coins out until you get to the one you want” Mechanism. I also don’t feel it’s often used in games. I took this and made it 3 columns wide and 5 cards deep. I added actions like plagues etc that where just bad, but that after a while you might want to take just to get all the money. What you were doing with the actions in the first draft of this game was basically area control. You had your tenants around the city and you wanted to keep them safe and healthy while trying to kill/scare off your opponents tenants.

There was more to it than that but I don’t want each of these entries to be too long. This prototype was playable and it was not a terrible game. With lots of tweaking it would have been ok I think. However it did not do want I wanted it to regarding getting across the stories and feel of the old town. It also did not have a “who you are” angle to it, which I felt it needed.  I like narrative and flavour in my games and the direction I had picked was not going to hit as well as I wanted it too..

So now I am working on a deck builder that has much more to it that the standard, buy cards that allow you to buy better cards and then buy victory points. I’m afraid though that what I am doing now with the old town will have to wait until the next entry as I have just finished my coffee…

Why a design journal?

Hi, I'm Nate and I have been designing board and card games since I was a child. I am about as into board games as you can humanly be while still having a girlfriend. I always have a number of designs I am working on. These have historically been on scrapes of paper, backs of envelopes and in note books (now on my computer).

Basically if I have 5 minutes to spare I will find something to write my game design ideas on. I am now 35, so you might be wondering how someone who has been working on games for this long has not got a fully published game or two under his belt (there is Geek Army, but we will talk about that some other time)?

Well there are a few reasons for that and they tie in with why a man who is short on time has decided to try and keep a journal. The main reason my games don’t tend to see the light of day is that I have so many ideas. This sounds like a bullshit thing to say, but for me it is a problem. First, because I jump from one idea to the next (because its new and shiny) second because I tend to add too much into one game (because I really like the idea of just adding this extra thing... Oh and this thing too, but I can’t leave this bit out). 

In short, and I aim to be completely open and honest here, I lack focus when it comes to designing board games. I am not currently a game designer (writers are not people who have an idea for a book, they are people who write books) because Ideas are easy and fun, creation is hard and slow. I plan to change that statement with your help.

This is where this journal comes into play. I am ultimately a team player. I work best with others. Unfortunately I live in the ass end of nowhere and nobody in my small gaming group has any design ambitions. So if I can’t bounce ideas off someone over a cup of tea, I am going to get them out of my head and on here and see what happens. 

I think this process will help me get past blocks in my designs. I tend to over think things and can get caught in a circular thought pattern. When I have to vocalise a problem it tends to become clearer in my mind and I find a way past. My son is three and we often go for walks. Sometimes I will tell him about my game designs and as I speak I gain clarity and focus. Making something clear to someone else in an understandable why helps me move my thought process on.

So, now you know why I am going to try to do this. I am aiming to make the posts bite sized but will not hold back if the subject needs it. Time to write my first official entry!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Pocket Adventures - becoming a big thing

Pocket Adventures - becoming a big thing

Side Quest - Pocket Adventures is Steve Venezia's first published board game. So it is quite amazing that this action packed dungeon crawler, that fits in your pocket, funded on the first day!

With just a deck of cards and a couple of dice you and up to 3 friends battle your way through a decision-packed dungeon.

“We are less than half way through the Kickstarter campaign and we already have over 650 backers and are over 325% funded.” says BAFTA-nominated developer and Side Quest designer Steve Venezia

"Its amazing how much support we are getting from the board game community for Side Quest. The team is working day and night to give backers the best game we can and the enthusiasm our backers are showing is a good substitute for sleep."

"Side Quest is a fully co-operative game, where working together is key, but in this fast flowing game each player makes their own decisions - if any Heroes (or maidens!) die, the game is lost."

See the Side Quest campaign for yourself here:

You can also keep up to date with the naming of characters and monsters on the Side Quest Facebook Page or Twitter

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Enter a Side Quest with me

Side Quest is an action packed dungeon crawler that fits in your pocket. With a single deck of cards and a couple of dice you and up to 3 friends can battle your way through a decision-packed dungeon. Which monsters will you fight and which will you run from? Should you grab some loot before you rescue the maiden? Which gear will help your characters get to the end of the dungeon and which will help you fight the boss that blocks your exit?

“There is a wide range of scenarios to play, including ultra-tough single-player missions, challenging 30 minute pick-up games to gruelling 2 hour dungeon treks. With loads of different Heroes, Locations, Monsters and Equipment cards you'll never play the same game twice.” says BAFTA-nominated developer and Side Quest designer Steve Venezia

Side Quest – Pocket Adventures, is a cool little game that packs a big punch, but don’t take our word for it:

“Side Quest achieves its objective by bringing a Dungeon Crawler feel to a small footprint. Either as a solo player or as a team, each decision requires strategy and careful thought to ensure you defeat the boss to win the game” –Tony from Rolling Dice & Taking Names

“It’s perfect… you don’t need a lot of space, it plays quick, it scratches the dungeon crawler itch” – Mark from Grim Tree Games

"There is a clever process that builds each level of the dungeon that guarantees you’ll never play the same game twice! ... It felt like a heavier game that didn’t require a ton of time figuring out the rules." - Andrew from The Married Gamers

Side Quest is a fully co-operative game, where working together is key, but in this fast flowing game each player makes their own decisions - if any Heroes (or maidens!) die, the game is lost.

See the Side Quest campaign for yourself here:

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Big Launch

Breaking news… 

If you thought that Asmodee absorbing large companies such as as Fantasy Flight and Days of Wonder with the ferocity of a Hungry Hungry Hippo was a massive, nay huge thing in the board gaming world, well you where probably right. But this announcement right now, the thing that you are reading, this thing, well its set to change the face of board game media forever*

*in truth it probably won’t, very few people will even notice, but those who do I'm talking to you reading this. Will instantly be more intelligent and sexually attractive to the opposite sex.

An alliance has been formed… A coming together of mighty forces… A geek army is being recruited; The Ministry of Board Games “alternative” media network is born!

The Ministry of Board Games was created many years ago by Nate Brett, to promote board gaming in a slightly different way. The first project he undertook was the weekly #BoardGameHour twitter chat, which has proven to be quite the success (despite Nate being involved).

So what you may ask is the aim of this new media network and who is involved? Our aim is and continues to be to create interesting and innovative board game media, but without the namby pamby fear of mature content. Um, you there with the dirty mack, NO! this is not porn move along..Tsk always one isn't there? Ahem. So, some of the shows in the network will have adult humour and language, some will not, but what they all will share is the desire to provide “grown up” board game content.

We want to push boundaries and try to break some new ground (like Scott Nicholson did with Board Games with Scott) while being informative and entertaining. The network is launching with 3 shows, but more will surely follow if this proves to be a success and there is as we suspect, a ferocious appetite for something a little different in the board gaming community.

Click the logos of the shows to the right & find out more about who we are launching with:

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Countdown to launch

If you are reading this before launch day... SSSSShhhhhhh, its a secret, but I needed to get the site sorted! We are set to launch what can only be described as the most obscure board game media network ever.. The Dice Tower would be petrified if they even knew we existed lol

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Give us some love

Image result for heartHay folks, we love the website it's a great site to find board game content. 
We have just got our new #BoardGameHour site ( listed on there site and it would really help new people find out about #BoardGameHour and our podcast if you could go there and give us a heart.. If you want to give us some love, the direct link is
The heart option is on the right of the page. We are currently on the new sites section, but would like to get onto the hot site really hahaha

Monday, 30 March 2015

The theme that should not be named

Today we talk about games with a Lovecraftian or as we will call it all the way through "Cthulhu" theme..
  1. "Cthulhu is a deity created by writer H. P. Lovecraft and first introduced in the short story "The Call of Cthulhu", published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928."
Here are your "Cthulhu themed" Questions: 

Q1: How would you define the "Cthulhu" theme to someone new to it? #BoardGameHour

Q2: lets start by asking if you generally like playing games with a "Cthulhu" theme? #BoardGameHour

Q3: What do you like about games with a "Cthulhu" theme? #BoardGameHour

Q4: What don't you like about games with a "Cthulhu" theme? #BoardGameHour

Q5: Do any Lovecraft inspired games capture the trans-dimensional theme that runs through many of his books? #BoardGameHour

Q6: What games really do the "Cthulhu" theme justice, why? #BoardGameHour

Q7: If you wanted to introduce someone to modern board gaming with a "Cthulhu" theme game, what would you pick and why? #BoardGameHour

Q8: What games don't you like with a "Cthulhu" theme, why? #BoardGameHour

Q9: "Cthulhu" is used a lot because its a free well know licence, what other free licences could be used instead? #BoardGameHour

Q10: Should there be more or less games with a "Cthulhu" theme? #BoardGameHour

Q11: which question got the most interesting answers? #BoardGameHour

Look forward to seeing you later.. We are back to 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK

Thursday, 19 March 2015


The new website is live.. Just in case you didn't know, the minister of board games and board game hour are all run by the same guy.. Me, Nate... So from now on all things #BoardGameHour will happen over there.. Anything else will be here, including more personal (don't worry I still mean board game related) stuff from the Minister

Hope you like the new site

Monday, 16 March 2015

Mechanism topic - That's worth nothing to me

Today we talk about the bidding mechanism.
BGG defines auctioning / bidding as:

"This mechanic requires you to place a bid, usually monetary, on items in an auction of goods in order to enhance your position in the game. These goods allow players future actions or improve a position. The auction consists of taking turns placing bids on a given item until one winner is established, allowing the winner to take control of the item being bid on. Usually there is a game rule that helps drop the price of the items being bid on if no players are interested in the item at its current price. In most games, once a winner for one item is done, if there are more items to be bid upon, another auction is held for those items. The process repeats until a game condition is met or items are exhausted in the auction phase of the game.

In Power Grid, for example, you start with no power plants and must win bids to be able to produce power. Winning a bid on a given power plant allows that player to add it to their current inventory of power plants and also allows for more power to be made in a given turn. In Vegas Showdown, players bid on rooms. such as a slot machine or a restaurant, in order to build a larger hotel with more prestige and value. Winning players pay for the room based on their bid and place it in their hotel. In both examples, bidding is done in a turn format and players have the option of passing on bids."
Highlight your highlights 

As part of the new #BoardGameHour Podcast we would like to do some shout outs and mention some of the most popular tweets from past weeks. We would like your help with this...

Believe it or not I do quite a lot during the hour and If I try to make notes about which tweets rock at the same time as hosting, everything could go more pair shaped than normal. So if you are interested, at the end of the hour I will ask you for some of your highlights. if you could send me links to your favorite tweets for the hour that would be great!

We can't promise to mention everything on the podcast, but we really would like you all to be part of the show as well as the #BoardGameHour community :0)

Here are your "That's worth nothing to me" Questions:

Q1: How would you describe/define the bidding mechanism to a new gamer? #BoardGameHour
Q2: What do you like about bidding as a mechanism? #BoardGameHour
Q3: Do you find bidding helps or hinders immersion into a game? Why? #BoardGameHour
Q4: What don't you like about bidding as a mechanism? #BoardGameHour
Q5: What games use bidding as their core mechanism well? #BoardGameHour
Q6: Is a game with bidding in it ONLY a game about smart bidding? Does it overwhelm other mechanics? #BoardGameHour
Q7: What games use bidding as a side feature to another mechanism? does it do it well? #BoardGameHour
Q8: Is bidding just a lazy way for designer to not have to value items?#BoardGameHour
Q9: Which do you like better, open or blind bidding Why?  #BoardGameHour
Q10: If you were to recommend one bidding game to me, what would it be? #BoardGameHour
Q11: Should bidding be used more? Is it under / over utilized? Why? #BoardGameHour
Q12: Which were your favorite tweets (highlights) from todays #BoardGameHour they may get a mention on the new podcast!

Look forward to seeing you later.. We Starting at 7pm GMT, 3pm EDT, 12pm PDT

For more about #BoardGameHour click HERE
To listen to a preview of our podcast (with adult content) click HERE

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Help Vince

Hi Folks, today I got an email form a gamer in need.. Can you help Vince? Here is his cry for help:
I’m trying to track down a board game we had when I was a child.
It would’ve been about the late 70s, it was something to do with the World Wildlife Fund (it had the Panda logo on it) and I remember a lot of cards. It’s definitely not the “Wild Life” Spears game from 1965 you can find all over Google!

As I remember, there was something to do with the five continents and there were either counters or colours on the cards that were a bright orange or a bright purple.
I don’t remember much else, my memory is of the board and/or the cards being mostly white in colour, but I’ve tried everything to search online and nothing is quite the right game.
It felt like it was made for the British market, that’s all I can remember.
Can you help? Or direct me to someone with encyclopaedic knowledge of board games?!
If you have any information on what this game may be, please email

I really hope we can get Vince back in contact with his childhood love.. If you have any questions you want to ask the gaming world please get in touch!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Annoucement: Board Game Hour Podcast

Announcing the Board Game Hour - Tabletop Podcast

Thats right #BoardGameHour has a new podcast!
Sponsored by Wilderland Campaigns

It will be hosted by @Benisace and myself @MofBG. We have teamed up to bring you a new board game podcast (like there aren't enough of them) inspired and linked to the weekly #BoardGameHour twitter chat.

For you, and before we submit to iTunes etc, we would like to give you a sneak preview. Please give us as much feedback as possible.

Warning: this is an adult podcast, if you are easily offended or tend to listen near children or at work caution is advise!

Link to the preview podcast hosted by Wilderland Campaigns

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Designing Rules that Rule

Today we are talking about rule books for design week on #BoardGameHour.. They are pretty much the glue that holds a game together, and yet they can often be criticized because of issues or poor execution. Let's get our heads together and see if we can come up with some ideas to make rules rock

Your #BoardGameHour questions for this week are:

Q1: Have you ever written a rule book? How easy was it? How do you feel it went? #BoardGameHour

Q2: How early in the possess of designing a game should you start to write drafts of the rules? #BoardGameHour

Q3: How big a difference is there between a first draft of the rules and the end product? How much should the rule book be playtested? #BoardGameHour

Q4: How do you write your rules down? On cards, paper and pen, Word Doc, Speadsheet? other? #BoardGameHour

Q5: Regarding lay out of the rules, what is the best format? 1 column, 2 columns, boxes of text with graphics, other? #BoardGameHour

Q6: How many people should be involved with rules writing? Whats the best process? #BoardGameHour

Q7: Is it preferable to have a very long very detailed rule book, or a short concise one? #BoardGameHour

Q8: is it possible to make a rule book that is good for learning the rules but also good for referencing the rules? #BoardGameHour

Q9: What would you like to see in rule books that often gets forgotten? #BoardGameHour

Q10: How do you prefer to see examples in a rulebook? (Within the main flow of text? In a parallel column?) #BoardGameHour

Q11: Which rules books are the best examples of good writing, layout etc? #BoardGameHour

Q12:What is your top 3 tips for people writing rule books? #BoardGameHour
Look forward to seeing you later..

For more about #BoardGameHour click HERE

Monday, 2 March 2015

Theme Week: Deities & gods

Its theme week on #BoardGameHour. So today we are talking about games themed around deities and gods. Now, I know this could be a sensitive subject but we have covered subjects such as race, sexuality and gender before, so I'm sure it will be fine. We have always been a very inclusive and polite community how are open about our views and tolerant to others. I see no reason why this will change, as everyone who takes part in #BoardGameHour rocks...

Also we have an extra bit of fun going on today. Long standing participant
Tim Blank aka @OMGsGame is going to be giving away a copy of his already funded game:

Link to the kickstarter here To be in win a chance of winning this and some other goodies he is going to give away you just need to take part in todays #BoardGameHour.. The more you join in the more chances you have to win.. Simple!

A quick side note: It really gets my back up when companies or individuals who do not join in with #BoardGameHour pop up for one week and say "back my kickstarter, heres the link".. It's rude, insulting to those who don't treat the community with such contempt and frankly lazy. Even if I really wanted that game, I would not back it out of principle. However if people who are part of the community want to promote their projects, they should send me a message :0)

Here are your "Deities and god games" Questions:

Q1: Regarding the theme of deities / gods, do you like playing as them, with them, neither or other? #BoardGameHour
Q2: What do you like about games involving deities / gods? #BoardGameHour
Q3: What don't you like about games involving deities / gods? #BoardGameHour
Q4: In one way or another are most board games "god" games really? #BoardGameHour
Q5: What games do you like that have deities / gods as a theme, why? #BoardGameHour
Q6: if you could pick a flagship god/deities game, what would it be and why? #BoardGameHour
Q7: What games don't you like that have deities / gods as a theme, why? #BoardGameHour
Q8: Which gods / deities or pantheons do you feel are over / Underrepresented? #BoardGameHour
Q9: What mechanics do you feel best suit games about deities / gods? Worker placement and... #BoardGameHour
Q10: Should there be more or less games about deities / gods? #BoardGameHour

Look forward to seeing you later..

For more about #BoardGameHour click HERE

Monday, 23 February 2015


Today on #BoardGameHour we are discussing the central board game hobby resource that is

Essentially it is a massive database of all board games, but it also has forums and other features too.

Your questions are:
Q1: Do you have an account on BoardGameGeek, how often do you use it? #BoardGameHour
Q2: Which features of BoardGameGeek do you use? #BoardGameHour
Q3: What do you like most about BoardGameGeek? #BoardGameHour
Q4: How well do you rate the ratings system on BoardGameGeek, does it influence you? #BoardGameHour
Q5:  Which forums / topics do you join in with on BoardGameGeek? #BoardGameHour
Q6: What Don't you like about BoardGameGeek? #BoardGameHour
Q7: If you could make just one change to the BoardGameGeek website, what would it be? #BoardGameHour
Q8: Would you encourage people to use BoardGameGeek as a resource? Why? #BoardGameHour

Look forward to seeing you later..

For more about #BoardGameHour click HERE

Monday, 16 February 2015

I pick... Drafting

Today we talk about the drafting mechanism.
BGG defines card drafting as: "Card drafting games are games where players pick cards from a limited subset, such as a common pool, to gain some immediate advantage or to assemble hands of cards that are used to meet objectives within the game. Ticket to Ride is a well-known card drafting game.

Games where cards are simply drawn from a pile are not card drafting games - drafting implies that players have some sort of choice. In Ticket to Ride, players can choose to draw random cards. If they could only draw random cards however, it wouldn't be drafting."
Here are your "I pick... Drafting" Questions:

Q1: How would you describe/define the drafting mechanism to a new gamer? #BoardGameHour
Q2: What do you like about drafting as a mechanism? #BoardGameHour
Q3: What don't you like about drafting as a mechanism? #BoardGameHour
Q4: What games use drafting as their core mechanism? #BoardGameHour
Q5: What games use drafting as a mechanism as a side feature? #BoardGameHour
Q6: Does drafting qualify as a good "player interaction" element in an otherwise solitaire game?#BoardGameHour
Q7: What games have you added drafting in yourself to improve the game? How? Why? . #BoardGameHour
Q8: Should drafting be used more? Is it underutilized? Why? #BoardGameHour

Look forward to seeing you later..

For more about #BoardGameHour click HERE

Monday, 9 February 2015

Design topic - Brainstorming

Today we are talking about brainstorming for design week on #BoardGameHour.. This is going to be a little different, because we are going to split the hour in half.. The first half we will talk about brainstorming, and the second half we are going to do it live together!

The format will be:

First half, a discussion about brainstorming:

Q1: Do you used brainstorming when designing a game? How would you describe what you do? #BoardGameHour

Q2: How many people is it best to brainstorm with for you? Why? #BoardGameHour

Q3: When brainstorming - do you get as many ideas out on table as possible or follow that cool idea down a path? #BoardGameHour

Q4: what would you do, if you learned that your game project has already been designed (maybe better) by someone else? #BoardGameHour

Q5: How do you know when to stop brainstorming and start prototyping? #BoardGameHour

Q6: How do you pick which ideas to go with after brainstorming? #BoardGameHour

Second half, lets brainstorm some ideas.. To give this some focus, we thought it would be fun for the #BoardGameHour community to brainstorm some ideas for a game based on #BoardGameHour

Q7: If we were going to make a game with #boardgamehour as the theme, what would the players be doing/trying to achieve?

Q8: What would be some good mechanics for the #BoardGameHour Game?

Q9: What components should we use to compliment the theme and mechanics? #BoardGameHour

Q10: What is the new hook for this game, what makes it stand out? #BoardGameHour

Look forward to seeing you later..

For more about #BoardGameHour click HERE

Monday, 2 February 2015

Bits, not bobs

First let me say that I am not really discriminating against anyone called Bob. If that is what you are called you are still welcome to join in our components discussion!
So what are we talking about on todays #BoardGameHour, well the answer is basically, what comes in your box! It's components week..

Here are the questions:
Q1: As a rule, do you know how good the quality of a games components are before you buy / play it? #BoardGameHour 
Q2: Does the quality of included components drive your buying choices? #BoardGameHour 
Q3: Would you prefer it if some games had slightly more basic components to keep the price point down? #BoardGameHour 
Q4: Do components genuinely affect the game experience? #BoardGameHour 
Q5: What component do you think is most innovative? #BoardGameHour 
Q6: should we expect publishers to include bags in games to sort components? #BoardGameHour 
Q7: Are there any games which should not have had such complex / high quality components? #BoardGameHour 
Q8:Do you have any special connection with some components? a favorite colour of piece / lucky dice? #BoardGameHour 
Q9: What is your favorite luxurious component? #BoardGameHour 
Q10: Is there one type of component that you always want to be top quality (Dice, Cards, meeples etc)? Why? #BoardGameHour 
Q11: Which game has the best components? #BoardGameHour
Look forward to seeing you later.. If you want to know more about Board Game Hour click HERE

Monday, 26 January 2015

Disabilities and Board Games

Today we talk about board gaming for disabled people. This does not mean you have to be disabled to take part as the questions will covers lots of areas and most people will at least play with someone who is colour blind.

Q1: Do you consider yourself disabled, or do you know anyone who is in any way? #BoardGameHour 
Q2: How has disability impacted your gaming experience? Yours or someone else? #BoardGameHour 
Q3: Which games are the most accessible to the type of disability you have or have come across? #BoardGameHour 
Q4: What can designers do to make games more accessible? #BoardGameHour 
Q5: Which games are not playable for you or people you know because of disabilities? #BoardGameHour 
Q6: Besides the games themselves, how can we make the gaming community more welcoming to disabled players? #BoardGameHour 
Q7: Are there any games with disabled characters / themes #BoardGameHour 
Q8: Why don't more designers/publishers incorporate disability into their games? (characters, themes, etc) #BoardGameHour 
Q9: What are some good resources for disabled gamers and designers? #BoardGameHour

Special thanks to #BoardGameHour @geekygimp for helping put together these questions!

See you all later..

For more info on #BoardGameHour go here

Diversity results

Last week our #BoardGameHour topic was Diversity in board gaming. Someone suggesting we do a poll of participants and the lovely +Geek on Radio (oh how we love her) put one together for us there and then. Here are the results:

According to our straw poll your average #BoardGameHour participant is ...
  • 77% male (with all other responses as female / woman & no transgender ) 
  • has an average age of 35 (but the most frequent age was 31, youngest 23 oldest 55) 
  • 81% white / Caucasian (with the other 19% a including Native Ameican, Mixed, Mexican, Latina, Hispanic, Indian,) 
  • 52% Atheist, or no religion, 27% Christian (with the rest spread betwwen, Later day Saint, Quaker, Buddhist, Humanist, Pagan, Hindu) 
  • 72% Hetro or straight (with Bi, queer, lesbian, hetro, gay & pansexual for the other 28%)
  • 19% have declared they have a disability, from ADHD, Hearing Anxiety, depression and agoraphobia being some of the disabilities named (some only replied Yes, someone said they were super human too) 
So, sadly as we would expect from the hobby overall.

Maybe we will do this again next year and see if we have a more diverse community.

Today we talk about Disabilities in the board gaming world.. Check out the topic here: Click ME

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

BoardGameHour Re-Brand

Hi Folks, I am really going to try and make 2015 the year of #BoardGameHour and so have decided to do a bit of a re-brand.

I have changed the logo, made a poster that you can print out and put up in games shops etc and will be doing a micro badge for BGG too. Any feedback is welcome and I hope you like the new look:

Print and Promote Poster:
Micro Badge (lol): 
See you Monday!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Diverse questions

Our topic for this weeks #BoardGameHour is quite a hot one. We have recently had the issue of slavery come up with it's inclusion in the hit Days of Wonder game Five Tribes (note: this was a hit even though some people objected.. Interesting, did they buy it anyway?)

So, we are going to delve into this subject. We will start tonight by looking at the subject of diversity in the whole. Then if parts are worthy of a full hour, we will carry on next week with a more focused look at one area.

Here are the questions for today:

Q1: What areas of board gaming (themes, players, mechanics, artwork, industry) do you feel needs more diversity the most? #BoardGameHour

Q2: What sort of diversity would you like more of, moral, cultural, racial, gender, sexuality, other? #BoardGameHour

Q3: Should diversity take priority over authenticity to theme? #BoardGameHour

Q4: Do you feel diversity within who players board games is getting better? #BoardGameHour

Q5: Do you want more female characters in game? would you like more realistic looking female characters/drawings? #BoardGameHour

Q6: Should sexuality be expressed in board games? Should it be more diverse? #BoardGameHour

Q7: Should artwork be more representative of diversity? #BoardGameHour

Q8: If there is a lack of diversity in a game does it influence your potential purchase? #BoardGameHour

Q9: Can an answer to a lot of these issues be found in the mainly middle aged, white, male industry? #BoardGameHour

Q10: What can be done to address some of these diversity issues? #BoardGameHour

Q11: What games do you feel have handled diversity well? Which haven't? #BoardGameHour

Let us know your coming with an RSVP HERE

For more info about #BoardGameHour click HERE

Friday, 16 January 2015

A question of diversity

On monday's #BoardGameHour we will be talking about diversity in all aspects of the board game hobby. From themes & publishers to designers & who plays them.

I am currently taking suggestions for areas to discuss and questions to ask, so far these have been submitted:

Should diversity preempt authenticity to theme?

What games do you feel have handled diversity well? (& maybe which haven't?)

If the artwork in a game lacks diversity in it's representation of human races does it influence your potential purchase?

What area of boardgames (mechanics, themes, artwork) do you feel needs more diversity?

what sort of diversity, Moral, Cultural, or something like Racial? I will play CarWars with anyone, just saying.

Diversity of themes, players, designers, publishers, artists, mechanics?

This is a wide ranging and interesting area to discuss, so if you would like to add to this, please do.. You can either leave a comment here or drop me a tweet using @BoardGameHour

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

D12 Challenge Sign up

I have placed a Geeklist on BGG for people who want to take part in the D12 Challenge to sign up to..

Even if you don't feel you can take part, please do there and thumb the idea to help raise awareness for others:

Also I am in talks with a big publisher regarding supporting the challenge, if this happens and how is still being discussed, but wanted you to know :0)

Monday, 12 January 2015

Help others Discover board games

Today's discussion has been spawned like a high kicking alien from the chest of a #BoardGameHour from too weeks ago.

We were speaking about gaming resolutions and the idea of the D12 Challenge was born

Today we are launching this challenge to the gaming world, "help 12 new people DISCOVER the modern tabletop gaming hobby in 12 months."
 To help people succeed todays #BoardGameHour is about getting people into the hobby.

Help others Discover board games - areas of discussion:

  • Q1: Is it a good thing to what to encourage new people into our hobby? #BoardGameHour
  • Q2: Who should be targeting to become new board game enthusiasts, why? #BoardGameHour
  • Q3: How can we make getting into board gaming as easy as possible? #BoardGameHour
  • Q4: What are the pitfall we should watch out for, how do we avoid them #BoardGameHour
  • Q5: What is the best way to pick games for new players? Are some better than others?#BoardGameHour
  • Q6: Will you be taking part in the #D12Challange? Whats you plan of action  #BoardGameHour

Hope you see you later.. This could be a great discussion!