28: Reading

28: Reading

What other resources (books, podcasts, blogs) would you recommend to check out to learn more about designing? What part of it do you find especially useful or insightful?

 

 

The book that I always recommend to folks who are trying to get into the mass-market side of the game industry is The Toy and Game Inventor’s Handbook by Ron Weingartner and Richard Levy. The current second edition is kindle-only, but both first and second editions are a great way to jump-start your knowledge about the mass-market side of the industry, which can be quite different than the hobby or specialty sides of the market. Even older is the Toy and Game Inventor’s Guide by Battersby and Grimes, which is a nice bit of reference material. Both books show sample contracts which is great if you’ve never seen one.

Kim Vandenbroucke

I recommend every designer, new or old, subscribe to Cardboard Edison. Their weekly aggregation of every new piece of board game knowledge on the web is second to none.

Peter C. Hayward

jamesmathe.com for all things game design. We lost a giant this year, and his contributions won’t be forgotten.

stonemaiergames.com If you are even THINKING of self publishing.

boardgamedesignlab.com Give Gabe a listen – he’s got information and entertainment!

Adrienne Ezell

I love consuming design-centric media – my brain explodes with ideas to try on the table top. I listen to the RPG Design Panelcast to help incorporating strong narrative elements. I subscribe to The Psychology of Video Games and The Cognitive Gamer podcasts because I want to understand how games work on the human mind. I eagerly await each episode of 99% Invisible because I’m always amazed at how our built world affects us as humans and vice versa. For books, Jesse Schell’s Book of Lenses helps me look at things from a different angle to get out of design ruts.

Sen-Foong Lim

I always recommend The Toy and Game Inventor’s Handbook by Ron Weingartner and Richard Levy…[it is] a great way to jump-start your knowledge about the mass-market side of the industry, which can be quite different than the hobby or specialty sides of the market. — Kim Vandenbroucke

This will get repeated over and over but Cardboard Edison does a fantastic job of curating other resources, providing their own useful content like podcasts and blogs with designers and even their own design process, and finally they have a database of publishers looking for games! I especially like the infographs they provide about the board game industry. Couldn’t see myself designing without them around.

Christopher Chung

I think all designers should watch Sen-Foong Lim’s talk from ProtoTO 2018 about getting the most from playtesting (on the ProtoTO Youtube channel). And Jamey Stegmaier’s book A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide and his blog on the Stonemeier website. And Kathleen Mercury and I started the Board Game Broadscast Youtube channel and FB group, where we interview women and gender non-conforming folks who design games.

Pam Walls

Both The Game Design Roundtable and Ludology podcasts – but I’m sure they’ll get plenty of mentions. Anyway, reading shmeading! What helped me more than anything were my peers: get out there and find other designers to chat, play and design with. Also, play more games! Try anything and everything, from crap high street fodder to things outside your comfort zone (LARPS, escape rooms, war games, whatever) – you never know what may trigger inspiration.

Chris Marling

Cardboard Edison does a fantastic job of curating other resources, providing their own useful content like podcasts and blogs with designers…I especially like the infographs they provide about the board game industry. — Christopher Chung

Podcasts: Ludology, Board Chitless, and We’re Not Wizards

Books: Kobold Guide to Game Design edited by Mike Selinker and The White Box Essays by Jeremy Holcomb

All of these give a great insight into game design through the eyes of people who know what they are talking about and have had tremendous success in the industry; voices that are really worth listening to on all media.

Sam Illingworth

I don’t know of any book or podcast specifically about boardgame design. Are there any? I know of a few blogs, though I don’t read them regularly. My recommendation is rather to read game rules and game reviews, and also to read novels and short stories.

Bruno Faidutti

There are a number of resources out there, and I’m sure other responses will name the popular books and podcasts on the subject. You should read/watch/listen to all of them! Rather than rehash those here, I’ll try and add some less usual thoughts:

Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud, was recommended to me by James Ernest as a reminder not to take too narrow a view of what “games” are.

John Brieger posts #PlaytestingTipOfTheDay on Twitter, which are definitely worth reading.

I also like Keith Burgun’s video series: 3 Minute Game Design on Youtube.

Seth Jaffee

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