Boiling Point – why tension and escalation matters in games (Topic Discussion)

Hi, it’s Joe Slack here. I’ve written a few guest posts for Oliver in the past and I was delighted when he requested another guest blog, so here we go! Something I think about a lot as a game designer is how to create tension in a game as well as ensure that players feel a sense of progression as they play.

Gold n’ Grog (Saturday Review)

Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum! That was the song that accompanied the small boat being rowed by a motley crew of scallywags. We were heading to our secret pirate treasure island to retrieve the loot we had stashed over many, many years. The problem was, none of us knew exactly where we had buried our spoils. We had packed plenty of shovels though to make short work of this small patch of land. After we pulled up on shore and spread out on the island, it was time to dig for Gold n' Grog by Jake A Smith from Next Adventure Games.

Sea Salt & Paper (Saturday Review)

The sea was calm and the sun was shining. The sandy beach stretched for miles, strewn with shells, some occupied by hermit crabs. In the distance, I could see a few small boats. Underneath the long abandoned lighthouse, there was a small colony of penguins. As I closed my eyes and dozed off, I dreamt of fish and merpeople. My mind was thinking about Sea Salt & Paper by Bruno Cathala and Théo Rivière from Bombyx.

Tides (Saturday Review)

The two of us were strolling along the beach. We could feel the damp sand underneath our feet. We stopped for a moment to dig our toes in and take a look around. There were plenty of beautiful objects just waiting to be found: driftwood for sculptures, sea glass for earrings and many other things. So we followed the Tides by Mike Berg from Button Shy.

Diamant (Saturday Review)

It was dark and damp. Of course, that was not unusual for the Tacora Cave, a giant underground system which was strewn with precious jewels and priceless artefacts. Those were the reason why we were here in the first place. Armed with our torches, we explored one tunnel after another, always mindful of traps. Sooner or later, one of us would get scared and make their way back to the entrance with their share of the treasures we had found so far. The rest of us continued, praying we would not fall foul of another trap and lose everything. After all, we wanted to get rich and find the most Diamant by Bruno Faidutti and Alan R. Moon from Iello.

Risky games – playing to win vs taking risks (Topic Discussion)

I normally don't win, at least not when I play with my games group. That's not a problem and I still have a lot of fun, whatever the outcome. In fact, I sometimes create some extra excitement by not playing it too safe. I actually really like games where you can gamble and create huge point swings. However, I know many people who play to win and who will always play it safe. So in this article, I thought I'd compare the different approaches.

Town 66 (Saturday Review)

A brand new greenfield site was ready for development. The architects had submitted their drawings and the planners were satisfied that everything was in order. Everyone was in agreement that this new place should grow organically, but had to follow strict rules. New houses could only be placed in certain ways to create this brand new Town 66 by Christoph Cantzler and Anja Wrede from Oink Games.

Nemesis (Saturday Review)

Waking up from years of hibernation, all of us were a bit dazed and confused. Temporary amnesia was very common and while we all knew our names, we only had some basic memories of what had happened before or what we were meant to do. We weren't even sure which ship we were on, let alone its layout. When we saw that one of our colleagues was dead and had a gaping hole in their chest, we knew something was seriously wrong. Nobody was sure what caused our colleague's death. We knew we had to work together to get out of this nightmare, but the trust in each other had evaporated. So we set about exploring the ship and finding our Nemesis by Adam Kwapiński from Awaken Realms.

Turing (Saturday Review)

The game, it's a test of sorts, for determining whether something is a machine or a human being. There's a judge and a subject. The judge asks questions and based on the subject's answers they determine who they are speaking with - what they are speaking with. All you have to do is ask a question. So, now it's your turn to ask Turing by Glenn Ford from Man O' Kent Games.

We Can Play (Saturday Review)

From ancient times to the present day, women have never been recognised for their contributions to the world. Yet, throughout history, there have always been women who were strong leaders, who fought for better conditions and equal rights, and not just for themselves, who made significant scientific breakthroughs, were trendsetting artists and did everything their male contemporaries did. So it is time for all women around the world to say: We Can Play by Julia Johansson and Albert Pinilla by Julibert.