On Game Design and the “Wall of Awful”

by Derek Turner

I recently came across a concept in my various travels on YouTube that I immediately recognized in my own life: a “Wall of Awful”. It is a concept created by ADHD coach Brendan Mahan to explain the overwhelmingly negative feelings of failure, self-doubt, and paralysis that come from small failures or struggles along the way – the “bricks” in the Wall that soon enough stretches high and wide and becomes seemingly insurmountable.

Even though it was designed with ADHD in mind, I think the concept of the Wall of Awful can apply to anyone, and I often find myself referring to my own Wall of Awful in various areas of my life. (Please know that I am in no way attempting to minimize the experience of people with ADHD who experience this Wall of Awful by applying it to everyone – I just think it’s a really useful construct for anyone to know.)

A Wall of Awful can include anything: finances; housework; renovations; cleaning; relationships; professional obligations; errands; lists of things to watch or play; emotional responses; writing; or even game design, which is what I’ve been thinking about lately.

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Regina Game Forge at Prairie Game Expo

Regina Game Forge is excited to be at Prairie Game Expo again on Saturday, September 21. There are five different designers who are bringing seven different designs, including RGF’s own Derek Turner bringing back his Canadian election game First Past the Post and Nathan Ottenson bringing two lighter designs, Honour and Steel and Garden Variety Flower Frenzy.

Guest designers include: Ferne Hebig with The New World Order and Basic Dungeoneering; Ozzy Beaven with Divided Loyalties; and David Bagwell and Dastardly Fun Games with Crimewave.

For more information or to sign up for playtests, check out the event posting on SaskGames.

Welcome to the Regina Game Forge!

Regina Game Forge is a group of tabletop game designers based in and around Regina, Saskatchewan. We run semi-regular events like playtests, design blitzes, and designer meetings at Boards N’ Beans Cafe, and we also participate in events such as SaskGames’ Prairie Game Expo, Campion College’s Game-A-Palooza, the Ignite! Innovation Festival at the Science Centre, and more!

If you’re in the area of the Queen City and you’re interested in tabletop game design, take a look around and get in touch – especially if you have something in the works!

In praise of Azul

By Derek Turner

This year’s recently announced winner of the coveted Spiel des Jahres award for the German game of the year was Azul. Azul is an instant classic abstract strategy game that is easy to learn and play and that looks great. It has been one of my favourite games over the past few months, and it is one of the few games that I can always pull off my shelf and play.

But what makes Azul so great? There are four factors that make Azul an incredible game: production value; mechanical simplicity; natural interactivity; and abstract complexity.

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