The 4Xs of Expansions

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Expansions come in many varieties and those variations can be described in various ways. While researching my article on Hobby Game Trends 2000-2014, I had to decide whether or not to include expansions in my data. This decision caused me to consider the question, “What is an expansion?” One categorization criterion is what the expansion does to the original game – how it expands the game. Keeping in tune with game descriptions, I’ve categorized expansions into 4 X categories.

Resource Focus: Jamey Stegmaier

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Of the game design and development resources I have highlighted so far, this is the first that is a person rather than a brand. This is done with no intended slight to those highlighted previously; there are real people behind each one of them and in all cases a very small number of people (usually 2-4) behind each. What makes this case special is when I set out to write up this mention, I was at a loss to describe it in any way other than as Jamey himself.

Game Design and Development: 2014 Review

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The New Year is an obvious time for reflection, so please excuse the navel-gazing.

This was the first year that I had any specific goals related to game design that I set out to achieve. Sure, there were several times in my life that I tinkered with game design and even constructed substantial prototypes, but I built those to play with friends or to train my mind. In December 2013 I decided that I was going to make an honest attempt at completing some of my game designs. By “completing” I meant making multiple thorough ideation-design-build-test iterations with the intent of developing a quality, marketable game. Having been supportive of several games on Kickstarter by that time, the power of possibility had grown enough that I was going to make the investment. By that time I had a couple new game ideas and one that I had iterated through 3 or 4 prototypes.

Mechanics Makeovers

I love a game with theme, but a theme without a mechanic is a story, not a game. I also love logic problems, but a logic problem without a mechanic is a puzzle. A game is many things, but ultimately what makes it a game is its mechanic(s) and what makes a good game is good mechanics. (OK. Maybe overstated, but this is the Mechanics section, right!?)

Opie Games: 2014 Review

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Although I was working on my current game designs much earlier and planning for my foray into the industry, I essentially started Opie Games in January 2014 so it seems natural (in addition to the new year) to review what has been accomplished through Opie Games in 2014 now. As identified on the About page, “Opie Games is the home of table top game designs and musings by John Parker and links to resources that may be helpful to the beginning designer or the person with an affinity toward table top games. Hopefully, you find the content here interesting.”

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