Blooms is a reimagining of the classical game Go. It's shorter, faster, and doesn't need Ko or Komi rules, making it simple and approachable. Nonetheless it has its own rich universe of tactics and strategies.
Note: This post wasn't written by me (Nick Bentley), but rather by one of my game design mentors, Christian Freeling: Christian is an éminence grise in the world of combinatorial games and I wouldn't be the designer I am without him. He's designed some of the best games in the world, imo, but deep combinatorial … Continue reading Organicity in abstract strategy games
I’m trying to understand a game I invented called Blooms, and I'm sharing my thoughts here in the hope readers will offer criticism as a bulwark against my looming idiocy. Feedback welcome.
This post is about a game I've invented called Bug. It's a 2 player game where you build shapes on a hexagonal board, which then eat each other. The shapes that survive grow into different, larger shapes until one player runs out of space to grow (and thus wins). You can find the rules toward … Continue reading Bug – perceptual binding, identity and meaning in a new sort of polyomino game
I rarely post games I haven't tested to death these days, especially Chess variants, which I stopped designing 20 years ago. But I really like this one so I'm posting it. It's simple, clear, and does something like what Fischer Random Chess does (creates a great many more openings), but without the randomness. Equipment: played … Continue reading Chess Variant: Manifest Chesstiny
Disclaimer: this post is about a game we're currently designing - Oceans: An Evolution Game. Everything we say about it could be negated by future decisions we haven't made yet. We're potential future liars! Be warned. We (marine biologist Brian O'Neill and game designer Nick Bentley) have been at work designing Oceans since last November. … Continue reading Why Oceans’ defensive traits are weak and why we love that
This post was written by Nick, one of Oceans' co-designers (Brian, the other co-designer, added remarks in italicized parentheses). My favorite thing to do in life is design games. My second favorite thing is to develop techniques for designing games better (His third favorite thing probably has something to do with thinking about how to think … Continue reading Streamlining Oceans with our Designated Blowhard™ (and trait contest winner announced)