Game Design Workroom

Admit it. You are a game designer at heart. How could you not be? Most wargame companies shove their products on the market with the same arrogance that marked the Dole for President campaign. Quality control has never been a major concern of simulation publishers, and various factors, such as inadequate playtesting, generate games with lots of problems.

Since the companies, with few exceptions, are never going to reform, it is up to you, the wargame consumer, to fix things. And fix it you do! Rules errors and gaps? Make house rules. Game too long? Design a short scenario. Too complex? Simplify it. Unrealistic or ahistorical behavior? Revise with correct information. Think the campaign should have been interpreted differently? Design your own version of the conflict. In short, wargamers are a crabby bunch, and deep down inside, we all know we could do it better.

Hence, most wargamers will fall eventually to the temptation to modify current games. They may even start adding their own to the wargaming wastestream. The Game Design Workroom exists to help such ambitious souls. The site operates as a central clearinghouse for design information. There is space for game authors to write about their current projects and design philosophy, a collection of articles on the subject, and some useful links. The latter can connect you to several of the smaller companies, web sites for free games, designer home pages, and other general gaming sites. Providing this type of special interest information is what the Internet does well, especially since previous attempts to establish simulation design journals have had limited success, and the Usenet group is mostly on the computer side. With Game Design Workroom, boardgame designers know they are not alone.

Peter L. de Rosa

Note: The original version of this review appeared in Strategist 28 (June 1998):6. The Strategist is the newletter of the Strategy Gaming Society.


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