Game Flavor: Needs Salt

I believe that games each have a different flavor and game designers are like chefs; carefully choosing which ingredients to add to make a unique and tasty experience. See that meeple over there? Give it a lick. Tastes like strategy doesn't it? Lately I've been wondering what my games are tasting like and if I'm just cooking the same BBQ chicken over and over again. But enough of this metaphor. Let's talk design!

In general I prefer strategy games. I like players to have choices, so that the victory or defeat can be theirs and not simply bad luck. That said, I still employ a lot of randomness in my games (like drawing cards or rolling dice) so each play is unique. I try to offset this by making each card or die roll have multiple uses or choices. Should you use this card now for a quick score or save it away for big points later on? I figure that if that player is not involved then they will not be as interested in the outcome.

Play your games. Don't let your games play you.

- B