WARGAME WEDNESDAY: The Last One Percent is a Killer!

Wednesday , 5, October 2016 Leave a comment

Over at The Players’ Aid, Grant A. Kleinhenz has a great interview with designer Harold Buchanan. This nugget in particular is of especial interest to aspiring game designers:

Grant: What was the hardest part about the design for Liberty or Death?

Harold: Finishing the game! Mark Simonitch said: “The last 20% of the game takes up 80% of the time and the last 1% is a killer.” Everyone is exhausted and the play testers are burned out and ready to move on.  I talked to Volko about it late in the process as I felt like I was on a deserted island. Volko said “that’s why you meet so many people with good ideas and few who have designed completed games.”

What can you do to improve your odds of making it past these final hurdles in completing a design…? It’s hard to say, really. There’s not a whole lot out there on this topic! But after sitting in on some development sessions with both Britannia Designer Lewis Pulsipher and SPI veteran Fred Schachter this year I have to say, playtesting games for a veteran designer that is delving into the last 20% of his design will teach you all kinds of things you may never even have thought to ask about.

If you haven’t set aside the time before to go to one of the better conventions like PrezCon or World Boardgaming Championships, this is easily among the best reasons around to take the plunge. If you’re the type of person that compulsively rereads designer notes because you absolutely have to know everything that goes into your favorite games, then you really owe it to yourself to see these things come together in person.

PaxSims (Simulations)

Inside GMT (GMT Games)

Castalia House (Wargames)

Ludic Futurism (Brian Train)


The Demo Gamers (David)

The Players Aid (Grant A. Kleinhenz)

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