Dirk and Jon are joined by Geoff Engelstein to talk about his work, design philosophies and podcast. How do you create a real-time tabletop game? What makes inspirations special? How important is theme compared with mechanics?
Geoff’s career really spans quite a gamut, and it was great hearing about his experiences as both a gamer and designer.
Plus, I got to geek out a bit about the venerable Napoleonic wargame Empires in Arms, which in many ways was the seed for my love of strategy gaming. The combat system in that game was fairly simple, but involved some extremely tense rock-paper-scissors style decisions when it came to what general strategy your army was going to employ.
RPS might not sound terribly interesting, but David Sirlin does a great job outlining how uneven payoffs can really spice things up. This was a prominent feature in EiA where the ‘best’ tactic was ‘outflank’, as it had the greatest potential to damage the enemy, but of course both sides know this, and thus a bit of a mind game ensued as each player tried to suss out what the other had at stake and how everything fit into the broader strategic picture.
Anyways, that’s probably enough about a game we only discussed for a few minutes! Go give the rest of a podcast a listen too.