About

This blog is about Game design…

I’m James. I’ve always loved boardgames: playing them, analysing  them and most of all, designing them. Now, I’m trying to publish my own games, with a particular focus on a property-themed game I’ve been developing for a little while. 

Great games are great products. I firmly believe that the principles of product management are almost the same as game design and development. I’m biased, of course, because my day job is running product teams. I could well be proved very wrong yet, but if you’re curious you can read why I think this is true here.

Of course, one way to improve your own design abilities is to study other people’s games: specifically why they work or don’t work. So here on this site, I’m sharing my analysis – in the hopes it might be useful to someone else too.

I am most interested in:

  • Games which have proved to be popular hits: say what you like, there’s something they’ve done well and we should take an interest in it why
  • Games which do what they are trying to do very well: there’s room in life for many, many different types of game but that doesn’t mean they all achieve what they set out to do
  • The value of experiments on existing games to unearth principles and common patterns that can be re-used in new designs
  • The primacy of subjective game experience over mechanics that are clever in themselves
  • The idea of game design as user experience
  • The similarities of game criticism to literary criticism