Jul 11, 2021
Erica, Gil, Scott, and Sen have a roundtable discussion about player counts. We go through each of the common player counts, as well as a few uncommon counts, and discuss what's special about designing for them.
0m39s: Our thoughts about and general strategies for designing games at different player counts.
5m42s: 2-player games
9m20s: We chatted with Matt Wolfe about decision scales on Ludology 157 - Come Scale Away.
13m08s: Inhuman Conditions
16m24s: Alien: Fate of the Nostromo
24m38s: 3p games
26m44s: The three-body problem.
27m38s: Here's Cole Wehrle's talk on kingmaking in games, and how it can be a good thing.
28m37s: Basari, which was adapted into Edel, Stein, and Reich in 2003 and modified to try to better handle a higher player count. Also, a note on ties with 3-players: it's impossible to tie on a vote with 3 voters (or any number of odd voters), as long as you are limited to two choices to vote for. Once you have at least 3 choices to vote for, the possibility space gets far more complicated (see the three-body problem above).
30m52s: Rayguns & Rocketships
32m25s: 9-5-2 is known by various names. Here are the rules to Sergeant Major, which is a very similar game; rule changes for 9-5-2 are further down the page.
32m58s: 4p games
40m03s: 5p games.
Also, a note: Eagle-eared listeners will notice that you don't hear much from Scott from now until the end of the episode. He had to leave our recording session early, so we quickly recorded his bits for the end of the episode. And that's how the sausage gets made!
41m10s: 7 Wonders
47m36s: 6p games
1h00m59s: Terra Mystica
1h01m23s: Arkham Horror
1h02m02s: 1p games. If you want to know more about designing solo versions of games, check out Ludology 154 - Leave Me Alone! (with Morten Monrad Pedersen), Ludology 234 - Playing With Time (with Dávid Turczi), and Ludology 248 - Solo-liloquy (with Carla Kopp).
1h06m38s: Chainsaw Warrior. Sen also mentions Ian Livingstone, who created the Fighting Fantasy series of interactive books with Steve Jackson (that is, the British Steve Jackson who co-founded Games Workshop, not the American Steve Jackson who designed Ogre, GURPS, Illuminati, and Munchkin. To muddy the picture further, the latter Steve Jackson authored three Fighting Fantasy books himself!).
1h07m33s: Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time
1h10m03s: 0p games, starting with So, You've Been Eaten. (Note that the BGG header only shows it as a 1-2 player game; technical limitations prevent it from properly showing as a 0-2 player game.)
1h11m34s: Strat-o-matic Baseball
1h13m30s: In Ludology 142 - Slots of Fun, Geoff and Mike chatted with slot machine designer Jeremy Hornik.
1h15m19s: Another link to Alien: Fate of the Nostromo.
1h15m43s: Sen's project: Avatar: Last Airbender RPG, Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters (referred to as "Mechs vs. Kaiju"), Coded Chronicles (Jay and Sen have already designed games with the Scooby Doo and The Shining licenses for this series), Dungeon & Dragons: Rock Paper Wizard