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Lewis Pulsipher's Blog   Expert Blogs

 

Dr. Lew Pulsipher started playing boardgames more than 50 years ago. He designed his own games, then discovered strategic "realistic" gaming with early Avalon Hill wargames, and ultimately earned a Ph.D. in military and diplomatic history. His book "Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish” was published in July 2012 by McFarland.  http://bit.ly/MSRs8e He contributed to ETC Press' Analog: Tabltop Game Design.  Formerly contributing editor to several role-playing game magazines and author of over a hundred game magazine articles, he is designer of Britannia (UK, US, and Germany in separate editions), Dragon Rage, Valley of the Four Winds, Swords and Wizardry, and Diplomacy Games & Variants. Britannia (2nd edition) appeared in 2006, with foreign editions (German, French, Spanish, Hungarian) in 2008. It was described in an Armchair General review of a 2006 edition as "ready to continue on as one of the great titles in the world of games".

Latest published game, Dragon Rage, 2011.

Latest published book, Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish, 2012.

Online audiovisual courses at https://courses.pulsiphergames.com:

  • Learning Game Design
  • Brief Introduction to Game Design
  • How to Design Levels/Adventures for Video and Tabletop Games
  • Get a Job in the Video Game Industry

Current projects are at PulsipherGames.Com.

Game design blog: http://pulsiphergamedesign.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lewpuls

 

Expert Blogs

Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 17 Mar 2014 08:30:00 EDT in Design
Is there some kind of "sweet spot" or "magical number" in the number of pieces, and board size, in a game that involves maneuver/placement and geospatial location? Are there similar "magical numbers" in card games? Discussion here, not a pat answer.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 10 Feb 2014 08:07:00 EST in Design
Categorizing aspects of game design in groups of two or three frequently promotes critical thinking. Here's one attempt (via a short video) to categorize game players by the nature of the games they prefer.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:01:00 EST in Design
Categorizing aspects of game design in groups of two or three frequently promotes critical thinking. Here's one attempt (via a short video) to categorize game designers.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 06 Jan 2014 09:02:00 EST in Design
As Voltaire said, "A witty saying proves nothing." But some sayings can help people think about something in a new way. So I included in my online audiovisual class Learning Game Design a list of quotations, as a way to break up a long series of videos.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 23 Dec 2013 08:57:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Traditionally, a game designer wanted to put the players of a game “on the horns of a dilemma”, trying to decide between two or more things the player wants to do when he can only do one. Now, that's rarely the goal.


Posted by Lewis Pulsipher on Mon, 16 Dec 2013 08:09:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Indie
I sometimes see or hear game designers advise novice designers to "play as many games as you can". I disagree. Game designers need to spend their time efficiently, just like anyone else. Playing games (other than their own for testing) is not efficient.



Lewis Pulsipher's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 04/03/2014 - 01:52]

The worst of it is, ...

The worst of it is, if you crunch for more than a couple months, your performance degrades so that you don 't do any more than you would in 40 hours. IGDA itself researched this years ago: r n r nWhy Crunch Modes Doesn 't Work: Six Lessons r nWhy ...

Comment In: [Blog - 03/31/2014 - 08:53]

But fun means so many ...

But fun means so many different things to people, it 's not fun is a meaningless phrase.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/11/2014 - 02:29]

There is nothing new under ...

There is nothing new under the sun . If you 're looking for an original idea, you 're doomed from the start. There are hardly any original ideas read The Idea is Not the Game r nhttp://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/614/the idea is not the .php , and innovation is highly overrated watch Innovation ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/31/2014 - 12:00]

Actually, hexes distort in one ...

Actually, hexes distort in one direction, just a lot less than squares do. And there 's also a difference in movement, as in one orientation you have two ways to move forward, and in the 90 degree angle from that you have three ways to move forward. A lot better ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/03/2014 - 08:01]

You did watch the video ...

You did watch the video . . . didn 't you

Comment In: [Blog - 01/29/2014 - 09:34]

Uncertainty is very important to ...

Uncertainty is very important to games, but not to puzzles. In many cases, puzzle-solvers don 't want uncertainty, they want exactly the opposite. They want a dominant strategy, in effect. And that 's why, when they 've found the solution to the puzzle, they stop playing. r n r nMany ...