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The designer's drawer: A Dominion mini expansion – "By decree"

Many years and quite a few designs ago, I made a mini-expansion for Dominion. It's been sat in a drawer ever since. So as an experiment in criticism and self-reflection – and with the benefit of hindsight – I've decided to dissect it. I want to see what I did well… and not so well, and what lessons I can learn from it about design. What's the point of looking back? As part of the research for a blogpost about Dominion's design, I went turfing through my old cards. Amongst them, I found a mini-expansion I designed called By Decree that I had mostly forgotten about. As I looked at it, I remembered that I'd actually put a lot of...

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What makes a memorable turn order? An experimental mission to Flashpoint: Fire Rescue (Part I)

Flashpoint is a very well designed game but it has an oddly forgettable turn order. Can we use it to find out if certain design decisions will always result in a more memorable structure? UPDATE: Full results now available in Part II. A theme that does an awful lot of work Flashpoint: Fire Rescue is one of the best examples of theme-first design that I have ever seen. From beginning to end, its burly theme throws the player over its shoulder and carries them through its mechanics with confidence. The fire itself spreads logically in the way that you'd expect a house on fire to spread: sometimes randomly from a build-up of heat or an explosion, but always gradually and...

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