Articles & News >> New to the Game


In this series of articles, Chris Sniezak tackles the challenges and joys of being a new game designer.

Shotguns v. Cthulhu

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So I started working on an Apocalypse World engine game. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to release it or if it’s just something I want for myself, I’d like to release it at some point. In any case it’s a lot easier these days than it ever used to be to design a PbtA (Powered by the Apocalypse) game because there are so many of them out there. You just cut and paste...

Action Economy, Economy of Fiction, and Latency

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So I was kicking around some ideas, and I came across this one and felt the need to share it with you folks out in reader land. A lot of Eurogames, ala Splendor, Ticket to Ride, and Dominion, have the limiting of choice, or an action economy, as part of the game play. D&D and Pathfinder have action economies in their combat systems that limit what you can do on a turn. Savage Worlds limits...

Game Design: Cybertek – Game Creation

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Hi folks. So I'm a big believer in game creation mechanics. From the Dresden Files City creation, which is stripped down to game creation in Fate Core by Evil Hat, to Spark by Genesis of Legend Publishing, to Microscope by Lame Mage Productions with it's things included and excluded from the game. I put territory creation as a cooperative experience in Part-Time Gods of Fate so of course I dropped it in our initial design...

Game Design: Cybertek – Scrum and Resources

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I'm still evolving my little part of the Encoded Designs blog space and since I do enjoy talking about design and why I'm making the choices I'm making I thought I'd share a bit about the newest design we're working on. So we're making a new game called Cybertek which is using a new design process, something I guess programmers call Scrum, you can read more about it here. Anyways it's supposed to be an agile, incremental, and iterative...

Resistance

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I'm reading the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and within this marvelous book for creatives is the idea of resistance. Resistance is those things that keep us from doing the creative work which makes us who we are. There's about 40ish pages of what resistance is, how it effects us, and how it hinders us. The worst part is it's all self inflicted. I'd overcome some of the aspects of resistance that hinder me but there were...

Designing Games One

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Here at Encoded Designs we've been designing a Fate version of Part Time Gods, a Third Eye Games IP that I'm quite fond of. For those who don't know, you're playing regular people who've been gifted with a divine spark and now they need to balance the problems and responsibilities of the divine world they find themselves in against their human ones. When we were conceptualizing this game the thing I wanted was to make "godly magic"...

Know Your Limits

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So a couple of weeks ago, I pushed myself to the limit. For three weeks I'd worked 74+ hours at both my jobs, did my part to maintain my home, and took time to spend with my fiancee. This led to me going to bed no earlier than 1am and most of those evenings (or early mornings) staying up past 3am. I didn't sleep a lot, and after those three weeks of subsisting on coffee...

The Many Hats of Making Games

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One of the things I've learned in talking to multiple designers and publishers about making games is that a lot of them are multi-talented. They don't just design games but write rules and prose, do their own graphic design, and some are artists too. Tack on marketing strategist, public relations, and Kickstarter manager, and you have one person wearing a whole lot of hats. In the case of Encoded Designs we have four people who wear...

NttG#5 – Rejection

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Rejection is a part of writing. I was recently rejected for something I submitted and wanted pretty badly. They didn't like what I put out there, at least not enough to get on the list. Yeah, almost 300 people submitted and yeah I made the short list before they chose their people to be in the design rotation, but none of that matters to me because I didn't get the job. It's a reality check....

NttG#4 – Creating a Lifestyle

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Creating things is fun. Designing mechanics, writing stories, crafting visual art, any of those makes me feel amazing. When I don’t get to do those things I get cranky. This means I needed to create a lifestyle that would accommodate me and what I want. I wasn't always good at this, to be honest I'm still not great at it, but I'm getting better. It's thanks to Phil and his life hacking philosophies and project management...

NttG#2 – The People

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Hey Folks. Back again with my second installment of New to the Game. Before I talked about getting involved and some of the ways you can do that. Now I want to talk a little about how I've leveraged getting involved into getting some work. Podcasting did a few things for me: First I met Phil, Shawn, and Bob and discovered the mantra "Never Design Alone." No matter what idea or design I come up with, someone...

New to the Game #1

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My name is Chris and I'm one of the folks over here at Encoded Designs making stuff. Thing is I haven't been doing this for all that long, definitely not as long as Phil or Shawn. Since I'm the new kid on the block, I thought I'd share some of my rose colored thoughts on this world. First a bit of background. I got my first published credit a bunch of years ago for a collaboration...