The Experiment Setup

In the above tweet storm, with a some great folks, we discussed, among other things, a need for comprehensive notation of how a tabletop game comes into being, from start to finish.

Among the tabletop gamesverse, a fair amount of literature on the broader industry, specific mechanics, various and volumous design concepts and how to physically design components, by some super knowledgeable and experienced people can be found (some links in the notes section). However, so far as we are aware, there is far less that specifically addresses how a game goes through the entire journey of design.

The industry is by no means new, but the design process is one full of variables, and by extension variations. There are as many ways to go about designing a game, as there are game designers. Many of them open up about some part of the process. Most do not record their entire process.

Nucleostasis is going to do just that, go through the entire design process, from ideation, to a game complete enough to pitch to publishers, or reach the decision to shelf. No guarantees on it actually getting published. The publishing is not really the point .

What we want to examine, are why decisions are made? How feedback, both direct and indirect from playtesters informs and adjusts the design. What the game looks like at the beginning, and how much it changes by the end. Why and how does this change take place?

Nucleostasis is a notation experiment that may result in a fantastic game, but will absolutely examine and explain the design process for this specific game. Hopefully we all become better designers on the way.

Cheers, and may your game ideas come only as fast as you can design them,


Some great resources about game design. A podcast about specific topics on board game design. Jamey Stegmaier’s blog about all things boardgame. Another comprehensive blog on a ton of board game related topics, by a guy who has decades of experience in the industry.

I’ll share more resources as the journey of Nucleostasis unfolds

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