The Most Frustrating Product Designs

A design exercise I often use is to try and create the *worst* possible version of a project. This helps shake up my thinking and reveal the core points of the experience, because I have to identify them in order to thwart them. I recently found out Katerina Kamprani┬átried the same thing with everyday items. […]

Push the Enablers, Not the Threats

WOTC R&D:┬áThis is safe to read. There are no custom card designs in this article. Magic: the Gathering is in the midst of what seems to be a downward spiral for the game’s diversity and balance in its Standard Format. Players are complaining and the recent standard bannings, which haven’t had to happen in years, […]

What makes a good game decision?

I see a lot of questions about so-called design paradoxes, in which decisions are only interesting if they can be solved but once they are solved the game stops being interesting. I’ve found myself writing the same basic response so often I actually have it saved for easy copying and pasting. This is that post. […]

Beware the Elegant Design

I often talk about the importance of elegance in design. However, the most straightforward individual designs can sometimes massively complicate the overall game. Nowhere has this been more apparent to me than in studying Yu-Gi-Oh’s cardpool. Many of their cards are forced into microtext sizes with an absurd number of added effects and qualifiers. It […]