I had the opportunity to meet Richard Garfield, designer of Magic: the Gathering, at an event last year. Actually, he started the whole field of trading card games. He was at the Magic World Championship 2010, held in Yokohama.
I waited in line to get his signature, and when it was my turn, I asked him whether he had any advice for an aspiring game designer.
I can’t remember his exact words, so I’ll paraphrase. He said I should try playing as many kinds of games as possible, even those that I do not like. Then I should try to discover why those games are fun.
This is a question that game designers should be asking themselves when playing a game. Even games that you hate must have a component that is fun for someone.
So start right now. When you play a game, don’t just play to win. Ask yourself:
- Which part is fun? What makes this game fun?
- Which part is boring/unfun?
- What makes you want to play this game again?