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Cave Adventures: My First Attempt at Game Design

I recently came across some old PDFs while organizing and backing up some of my files. One of them was the complete rules to Cave Adventures, a role playing game I co-authored back in 1990 with Dave, my best friend for a large part of my childhood. Show More Summary

Wiping the Slate Clean

There are two ways to approach a campaign: open-ended or finite. Some groups go on for years and years with the same characters. Others end and reboot with new, lower level characters. This finite option can be traumatic for players....Show More Summary

Even Villains Make Mistakes

Do you let your villains make mistakes? Whenever I design an adventure I often create flawed villains with exploitable weaknesses. This way, I have something for an inquisitive player character to uncover and use against her, or I have a few flawed personality traits that I can work into her encounter with the PCs. Show More Summary

150 plays of Star Realms

I just finished my 150th recorded play of Star Realms against the Hard AI opponent on iOS. I started recording the results of the games, because I was interested in gauging the level of luck in the game. It seemed fairly high, that is. I doubted if anybody is even able to get 60% win percentage … Continue reading 150 plays of Star Realms

Roll for the Galaxy

Plays: 2Px7 The Game Roll for the Galaxy is the dice game version of Race for the Galaxy, but it is not just a simplified or shortened version of the game. It is a game with a similar feel, but it uses different mechanisms. Imagine Mona Lisa being painted by Picasso - familiar yet very different. Show More Summary

Back to App Development

Not much to report this week. I've not made any more progress on Codename: Vacuum ahead of tomorrow's Newcastle Playtest and my trip to Germany at the end of the month. Nor any progress on launching my company and getting back into Games publishing. It's not been a total washout though. Show More Summary

Review of The Extraordinaires Design Studio

Greetings! I realize it’s been a while since I’ve done something here, but I came across something at the NY Toy Fair that really got me excited.  It’s not a game per se (although has a game within it) – it’s more of an activity.  But it inspired me enough to dig out all of […]

Get your name in Scott’s game!

Hey there! I’m working on a new social game. One of the things I need for the game are get-to-know-you questions. So, I thought it might be fun to crowd source it. If I use your question, I’ll give you appropriate credit on the game card/screen with your question! If you want to see your […]

Off-Label Gaming

It’s rare that anyone plays a game exactly as written. In some cases, we don’t understand the rules, or misinterpret what the designer wrote. Sometimes, there are parts of the rules that don’t align with our tastes and so we change or omit them. Show More Summary

Bits and Bobs: PTA3, Dungeonomics, Loops and more

First, a bit of sad news. A great tool for visiting lots of RPG blogs has announced that the RPG Blog Alliance network is ending at the end of April. The RPGBA homepage is a great place to discover new blogs. If you’re looking to add more roleplaying blogs to your RSS feed, swing by while the great content is still easily available. Show More Summary

You Can Totally Do That Thing (Or Maybe Not)

The player is absolutely certain he’s facing an insurmountable challenge. More enemies than he and his companions can handle are pounding down the gate, and there’s no way to attack them before they burst in and overwhelm his crew. He hesitates, torn and unsure what to do in this obvious no-win situation. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Change that pace, gross them out

Are your gaming sessions a little stale? Maybe what your table needs is a pie in the face. No, make that a mud pie. Fair warning: This advice may not work with your group. It may not even work with most groups. But maybe what you need is a bit of things you step in, go squish, and involve unwashed and unbraided hobbit feet. Show More Summary

Kyoto Protocol

This review is based on a review copy given by Roll D6. I know the designer and have met him several times in Finnish game events. The game: Kyoto Protocol by Petri Savola, published by Roll D6 in 2015. Elevator pitch: Power Grid: The Filler Card Game. An energy-themed filler card game with a very flexible player count (2–7, and … Continue reading Kyoto Protocol

my family's top tens

In 2012, I asked two of my gaming buddies to make our top ten lists simultaneously. It was an interesting exercise for me, because despite gaming together regularly, we never really discussed what kind of games we liked and we never gave much thought to what our top ten games were. Show More Summary

Star Realms

Plays: 2P x more than 35 games, mostly against AI's, about 5 against humans. Quite a few fellow gamers recommended Star Realms to me, saying that it's a deck-building game quite similar to Ascension, my most played game ever. I was not particularly eager to try it out the first few times. Show More Summary

Stay On Target!

If you've been following this blog for a couple of years you'll know that Codename: Vacuum was the first game I started designing when I got back into Games Design, a couple of years after I wound up Reiver Games, having lost a ton of money in the process. Show More Summary

hooked on Samurai Spirit

I have been hooked on Antoine Bauza's Samurai Spirit recently. I first played it at, lost (it's a cooperative game), and was keen to try again. My second and third games were played back-to-back at too. Show More Summary

Standing at the Crossroads

Have you ever found yourself standing at the crossroads? When the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons arrived I jumped right into gamemastering a new campaign. I decided that rather than play through published materials I’d design my own campaign that revolved around a world-shaking Event and the continuing world-reshaping fallout from that event. Show More Summary

An open letter to game publishers: Please stop trying to make me feel like a Sleaze.

Dear game publishers, Listen, I get it: sex sells. And I know we’re in this enlightened age where no one cares what anyone is into and no one is ashamed of their body (or at least those statements SHOULD be true and we’re working onShow More Summary


Plays: 5Px1. The Game One of the hot new mechanisms at the 2014 Essen game fair was bag-building, which is actually just deck-building, except it uses coloured cubes in a bag as opposed to a deck of cards. Hyperborea uses this mechanism. Show More Summary

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