Noel’s Best Board Games of All Time – 2014 Edition

There is no doubt that my game tastes are changing over time. Last year I was very much in love with point-salad games, and now I’m craving games with interesting player interactions or economic systems. This list is my attempt at capturing my top 20 favorite games at the end of 2014. It should be very interesting to compare it with the 2015 edition and see what has changed.

This list was inspired by Casualgod’s 3rd Annual Top 20 Games of All Time. David and I have a lot of overlapping tastes, so if you like what you see here, make sure you check out his list as well. Continue reading

Best Board Games of 2013

Looking back, 2013 continued my trend of diving deeper in board games, both playing and designing them. It’s no coincidence that Subterfuge, the game I’m working on with Ron Carmel, has very strong board game influences. I’ll talk more in a future post about the design part, what kind of games I tried making and which ones I’m still working on. This post will focus on the best games I played that came out on 2013.

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Luck In Games

The amount and type of luck involved in a game has a profound impact on the feel of that game. Some games have no luck whatsoever, and all the variation comes from what the opponent does (chess), some of them are all about luck with not much else (roulette), and most of them fall somewhere in between, creating a wide spectrum of possible experiences.

We don’t talk much about the role of luck in video games, probably because it’s hidden away under the black box of the computer simulation, but just like with board games, it can have have a large impact in the type of experience the video game provides.

Thinking about luck in these terms was crucial for the game I’m working on (still unannounced!). We made some crucial decisions thinking about how luck was part of the game and kind what kind of experience it created for the player. I’m hoping this post helps people with similar design challenges.

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Why Am I Making Games?

A couple of weeks ago I posted my GDC micro-talk titled Why are you making games?. From the feedback I got, it seems that it resonated with a lot of people, and it also made some people stop and ask themselves that question (along with a few sleepless nights).

However, the question I was asked over and over was why am I making games? What are my answers to that question? As I said before, there are no right or wrong answers. Everybody needs to find their own answers, so in that respect, my answers don’t really matter.

On the other hand, since what I write here is purely personal, and a lot of people are curious about it, I figured I would give it a shot and answers those questions publicly.

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