22: Influences

22: Influences

What have been the biggest influences on your games and you as a designer?

 

 

The biggest influence on me as a games designer is the intended audience. Some of the games that I design aren’t primarily aimed at traditional ‘gamers’. However, in every instance, I try to work from the intended audiences’ needs and experiences and to work within these limitations (and opportunities) rather than attempting to fit their assumed needs into a game that I think might work for them.

Sam Illingworth

Other games, seeing how people play, seeing what excites them! Boiling down 3 hrs into the simplest unit of fun and then expanding it into a new world.

Adrienne Ezell

Influence and inspiration comes from so many different places, but I’d say that the biggest thing is something Rory O’Connor told me: just keep things grounded. Make sure what you do in a game makes sense. If a player needs money in a game, it shouldn’t just magically appear – have them earn it, sell something, do an action that fits in the real world. That way things will be intrinsically understood. Getting to that space helps your players get to grips with what they need to do so much quicker – then you can start throwing in the more complex bits!

Michael Fox

I try to work from the intended audiences’ needs and experiences and to work within these limitations (and opportunities) rather than attempting to fit their assumed needs into a game that I think might work for them. — Sam Illingworth

Memories of playing games with family and friends are by far my greatest influence. Every time I think of an idea; I try to place it into a game night of the past. How would it have worked? Would everyone have had fun – even those who were losing? Who would have complained and what would they have complained about? It’s an odd sort of litmus test for if the idea has merit, but in the end I want to be able to enjoy my creations with them.

Kim Vandenbroucke

I always loved making games, even as a child. But nothing has influenced me more than other games. The biggest of those would have to be a) Carcassonne because it was the first modern game I played and opened-up a world of new possibilities b) Railroad Tycoon / Railways of the World because it absolutely gripped me with its ambition, theme and its off-the-charts tension (it remains my favourite game) and c) – much more recently – Everdell because it made me really feel how much difference beautiful art and production could make to a game.

James Naylor

It has to be Lookout Games ie. Hanno Girke, Uwe Rosenberg and Klemens Franz. My gaming addiction started with hanging out at the Lookout booth on the Spiel set-up Wednesday scrounging expansions, L-deck cards, promo packs and anything else they had to over – in fact, the Lookout booth is STILL the first booth I seek out at Essen! Awesome guys and an awesome back catalogue!

Tony Boydell

I don’t play as many published games as I should, but every now and again I’ll stumble across a game that reshapes my mind. Most recently: Blood Rage, by Eric Lang. I knew it was going to be good, but it was so much more weird than I expected, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

Peter C. Hayward

Every time I think of an idea; I try to place it into a game night of the past. How would it have worked? Would everyone have had fun – even those who were losing? — Kim Vandenbroucke

Confucius said, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Hearing people talk about their passions inspires me to no end, so I listen to tons of podcasts as design fuel for my brain. While I may forget specifics, positive energy is infectious and it prompts me to consume more media on the topic. If it’s really got me curious, I try to experience the activity so I can understand it first hand. Then I try to capture that feeling in my games. What is a game if not a self-contained, curated experience?

Sen-Foong Lim

Playing and explaining many different games, and while doing so observing how players react in game and during the explanation, has been very instructive. I have struggled while explaining and have seen players struggle to understand, so many times, that it influences me in making games that are: easy to explain, easy to understand, with a great consistency between mechanics and theme, in which the challenge lays in the game experience and not in the integration of the rules.

Doria Roustan

The biggest influence on me and my games has got to be… other games. I get inspired by mechanisms and game dynamics I see when I play, and I look to create things that either fill the gaps (game experiences that excite me but that I don’t see out there already), or that improve on the games I enjoy playing.

Seth Jaffee

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