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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Time Stories

The zero-sum game of finding and making time for game design

By Derek Turner

After I wrote my recent Design Journal about the process of beginning to recognize the emotional aspects that have affected my game design process, I had a thought that it might be interesting to see if there were any other contributing factors in my current difficulties in managing designing process. The one that came to mind most readily: the zero-sum game of dividing the time I spend on board gaming in total.

Here’s the problem as I see it: if I assume that my total time spent on board games is finite, then my game design time is even more limited as a function of the zero-sum game of managing my time spent on the hobby as a whole: I have to take away from one to accommodate the other.

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Arrested development

In my last design journal, I spent some time pontificating about why I had managed to be so successful in my limited experiences of running initial playtests of my two designs. Both times I have designed games they have (mostly) worked on the first playthrough, and I wondered why – but maybe I wrote too soon, as I discovered shortly thereafter.

I playtested my new game a week after its initial playtest without doing any work on the design in the interim. I made a couple of minor tweaks to set-up and to gameplay – the kind of changes that are necessary to make between plays to try to even out some of the rough edges – but otherwise, I wanted to see how a subsequent playtest with essentially the same game – and fortunately, one of the same players – would go.

I wanted to determine whether some of the issues that had been raised in my initial playtest were due to the circumstances of the game (ie. the particular players and their interpretation of the rules), or whether there were some deeper, more insidious issues that needed to be fixed. Well, I got my answer, and the result of that second playtest is that I am now “officially” back “in development”.

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