Design Doc Preview: Game Pacing

First, a quick note. As part of the “Alive and Kicking” event I’ll be talking about At the Gates this coming Sunday, February 24th at 12pm EST. It should be a lot of fun, so stop on by if you’re free! Now then, back to our regularly-scheduled update!


If you haven’t done so already, I ask that you check out the At the Gates Kickstarter page. Our goal is to innovate and take strategy gaming to the next level, but this campaign will be our sole source of funding for development. And hint, hint: the more successful ATG is the more articles you’ll have to read in the future!

To those of you who have already contributed and helped us reach our funding goal, I offer my most sincere thanks!

A few folks have asked me about what my design docs look like, some out of curiosity and others because they’ve either considered contributing to the $125 tier or have already done so. I figured it would be both helpful and interesting to post a section of one of my brainstorming docs, and give you all a taste of how I develop ideas.

The document from which this excerpt is taken is dedicated to gameplay pacing and progression. As I always like to say, everything is liable to change, so don’t regard anything I say in this article to be set in stone. Hell, I’m sure some of it is already way out-of-date, even though I last updated it in late November!

This doc was extremely helpful though, as it helped crystallize some of my ideas for how the mid and late-game of ATG should play out. It also helped inspire the exchanging gifts “minigame” that occurs when you first meet another leader.

This article is a bit “tighter” than a lot of my brainstorming, since I’m outlining how I want things to work and stepping back to see if there might be opportunities or flaws I’d been missing with earlier brainstorming.