Writing a lecture on Modern Board Game Design. It's slide #50 before I'm talking about the role of the board.

No wonder some students are confused why we call them "board games" when games either have no board or the board is artwork and a place to holding other components and tracking points!

I'm now getting into games where the board does matter, but it's interesting to me how much we focus on cards and resources in modern "board games".

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My first game was published by Boards & Dice and it didn't have boards OR dice! 🀭

@scottnicholson I do like how for a long time they were called 'Gesellschaftsspiele' in German, emphasising the social nature of play. By now "Brettspiele" (board games) seems to have replaced it as the most common term.

@scottnicholson Any chance this lecture would be posted online? I'd love to see it.

@scottnicholson I think it makes sense for design discussions to revolve around things that impact games mechanically, which is where cards and resources fall under, whereas boards tend to fall under UX/interface and playfeel. I'm not a seasoned designer but I'd imagine that there might be cases out there where publishers have decided to add boards or remove them from games, regardless of the designer's intentions.

@egnor Tabletop also includes RPGs for many, as does "non-digital". In this case, I'm not looking at card-only games for this point in the class, so "analog" is out. I can't say "boxed" games, as many card-only games do come in boxes.

There isn't a good term for the genre.

@scottnicholson ah makes sense, yeah the colloquial "board games" does kinda encircle that cluster.

Would say Dominion be in the set under consideration?

@egnor ah there's the rub, isn't it? As I talk about games that we think of in the "board game" categories, many of them don't have a board, but rather an array of cards or tiles that make up what a board would be. And if Dominion had a board where the cards were placed, would it be a board game (and then what's the real difference?)

No clean answer for you other than "I'll be presenting these challenges to the students."

@scottnicholson and we still say "escape rooms", too 😜

Cluster concepts are like that, I think?-- defined more by their communities of play and less by definitional rules-- which doesn't make them any easier to explain to an outsider!? "Games that would make sense to bring to a board game party"

Are your students mostly familiar with the terms and boundaries, who you'll be challenging to look with fresh critical eyes, or people from outside who you're introducing the world to, or a mix?

@egnor These are first year game design students, most of whom are experienced with video games and new to board games. I asked about Dominion last week and one student had played it.

And yes, it's very much like the "we call them escape rooms but many of them are not about escaping a room" presentation I have to give to my escape room class.

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