Welcome back to the Zurn blog! Today we're highlighting an exceptional resource for budding game designers, publishers, or gamers who want to contribute ideas to game designers - the Board Game Designers Forum.
BGDF is a community of gamers who want to help give friendly advice and commentary to aspiring game designers on mechanics, layout, formatting, publishing, game concepts, playtesting - the works - all in one convenient place. If you enjoy playing card games, board games, roleplay games, some online games (not a ton - mostly it's traditional game mediums), and tabletop miniature games, then you should check out BGDF!
We've run some of our mechanics past the guys at BGDF, and it was extremely helpful for us. Not only does the community (especially the roleplay community) have a wide range of gamers with varied experience and in some cases decades of background with a particular game style, but the page is visited by hundreds of users, so you get good advice from a wide audience. Most posts receive hundreds of views, with some of the more engaging discussions topping over 5000 views and getting hundreds of comments in just a matter of days.
For those who may be seeking to float ideas on BGDF, a few notes for you on things you'll want to think about as you post your questions to the forum:
1. This is a forum for constructive criticism. You're going to get people who will think that one of your core elements is holding back the game and should be scrapped. You will get feedback that will recommend wholesale revamping large sections of the game. That's okay: take the advice with a grain of salt, be teachable, and listen to what they have to say. It will make your game better, even if you don't follow 100% of the advice from the gamers there.
2. There is no such thing as "the perfect game" (and I say this as someone designing a game). What one person finds "confusing and involved" another person will find "tactically stimulating," and what one person finds "easy to learn" another person will find "basic and lacking in strategy." No game is perfect, and each game will appeal to a different set of people, and the trick to every game is tailoring the game to the gamers who are right for the game. So if their advice will help you with your niche of the market, take their advice to heart.
3. Well-meaning and wise people will disagree. Wise counsel is best when it remains exactly that: counsel. Don't read every comment as something that you "have to do," but rather as good counsel that should be weighed carefully. The danger for most game designers is floating to one of two extremes: making all of the recommended changes (in the hopes of pleasing everyone) or none of them (because they did not appreciate the criticism). Both extremes are dangerous, as it begins to lose sight of its high concept and flavor as a game.
So we encourage you to check it out, create an account, and join the conversation!
Until we see you again, may your cup overflow and may the light shine around every corner,