January 2010
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Day 01/09/2010

Play It Again

I have said it before and I will say it again. Most game designers are avid gamers themselves. Many have game libraries that would keep you busy for weeks. Much to my wife’s dismay, my game collection now spans the entry room outside of my office, three large shelves in the garage, the armoire in the guestroom, and 8 shelves in the closets downstairs. Added together there are a lot of games.

While this may be a big collection, most of them never leave the shelves. There are a number of the games that I have not played in years, and there are probably 20 or so I have never played. One of the many perks of being in the field is that you often get free stuff from game companies. I also make it a point to pick up copies of popular board games to analyze them to see if there are any interesting mechanics that I can potentially use in future projects. It is hard to invent the wheel these days, and most games are merely new combinations of existing mechanics with various flavors thrown on. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and game designers, while arrogant, are more than happy to flatter in this way. Almost every designer if asked about a particular game will cite prior references that influenced their work on that particular project.