BrettSpiel is a blog about board game design, written by game designer Brett J. Gilbert.

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Games, Interrupted

To begin at the end, can I point your internet gaze at a new spin-off of the BrettSpiel empire? I’ve had the idea of creating a sort of scrapbook for words and pictures found online for a while, but didn’t want to pollute this blog with spam of my owning making. So I have, at length, set up a new tumblr blog to capture all the little bits and pieces of stuff I find interesting, but that essentially exist in the interstices between the actual boardgame and design stuff. I have called it — and I was quite pleased when I thought of this — Games, Interrupted.

Do go take a look if that sounds at all interesting to you. Everything is presented as is, without revision, moderation or comment, in a sort of ‘found art’ kinda way. The stuff that’s already there was partly experimental, designed to give me something to play with while I tried out tumblr’s cogs, wheels and buttons. From now on I’ll also try dropping the tumblr posts into my Twitter feed and see how that looks (hopefully not too distracting).

Meanwhile…

First, a shout out to the recently inaugurated UK Gaming Media Network, which is an alliance of boardgame podcasters and bloggers here in the UK. If you want to find out more, check out the guild page on BGG, which has links to all the affiliated websites, or follow @Unboxed_Blog’s Twitter list of all the tweeting members. I am proud to be a member — and also to have been able to contribute the logo herewith displayed. Let’s hope that we can do our bit to promote boardgaming in the UK.

And second, at the beginning of November I had the very great pleasure of attending another Game Designers’ Day hosted by the good people at Surprised Stare Games. As ever this was a fantastic and entertaining day of playtesting and game design discussion, so thank you to Alan and Charlie for organising (and sumptuous catering!), and to Tony, Richard, Sebastian and Iain for being good company and offering their critical wisdom so generously. And there’s no hint of sarcasm there. The most valuable feedback — indeed, the only feedback that really counts — is honest feedback; and when you have, for example, Richard Breese positing about your prototype the rhetorical question “Let’s see if there’s a game here…” and later offering “No, there probably isn’t” (I paraphrase) then you really ought to stop and listen.

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