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The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design

Just today, Kobold Quarterly released The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design. Legendary designer and puzzle master Mike Selinker edited the book, and he assembled a killer lineup of designers and essays for the book. Besides himself, the writers include Rob Daviau, James Ernest, Richard Garfield, Dave Howell, Steve Jackson, Richard C. Levy, Andrew Looney, Michelle Nephew, Paul Peterson, Lisa Steenson, Jeff Tidball, Teeuwynn Woodruff, Dale Yu, and me.

Honestly, it’s an honor just to be included on such a list. The fact that it’s all wrapped inside a cover by John Kovalic makes for sweet icing on an already delicious cake.

My essay is called “Metaphor vs. Mechanics,” and it addresses the natural tension between how a game works and what it’s about. Other pieces cover the gamut from pacing gameplay and writing rules to building prototypes and getting published. If you have any interest at all in game design, grab this book. It’s out in both print and PDF.

Comments 7

  1. I’m still trying to find out how big the book is (the KQ store page doesn’t say) and get a full list of the contributors (ditto). But right now $12 shipping is looking a bit rich for my blood.

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    The PDF I have is 144 pages, and the list of contributors above is complete. If you use an e-reader, I recommend the PDF, which is only $10 and doesn’t require shipping.

  3. Many thanks for that. I do find it bizarre that KQ gives neither piece of information.

    From the sound of it, there’s a similar essay to yours in Greg Costikyan’s recently released ‘Tabletop: Analog Game Design’ (I forget the author, the book’s lying by my bed right now). Have you had a chance to read it? Any thoughts?

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  4. “Legendary”? Pish tosh. Legendary by osmosis, maybe. I surround myself with legendary, and the legendariness rubs off on me.

    Speaking of which: Thanks for contributing a great essay to the book, Matt.

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      Thanks for asking. I’m proud to be a part of that lineup. As for the legends surrounding you, I’ll have to get around to ensconcing those at some point in my gaming industry tell-all.

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