Panel: From Arkham and Beyond at Comicpalooza 2015

arkham-horrorArkham Horror’s creator Richard Launius spoke for an hour at Comicpalooza this year, describing his experience making the game and his game design philosophy. I managed to get to this panel on time, so I recorded the whole thing. Enjoy!

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  1. That’s an interesting piece! I especially liked Richard’s points about story-first game design, and keeping mechanics hidden. I could see that mechanical design style applying to RPGs, too.

    It seems to me that the more visible the math is, the more players will feel the need to do the math in order to play. So for example, in D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder, so many things give you a +2 bonus on a roll, everybody wants to always count stuff up every time. And it changes often enough that you have to redo the math for most turns. D&D 5th cut almost all of that out by using the advantage die system, and it seems to make things flow way faster. But it does trade away that feeling of stacking up lots of options to eke out every possible little bump, which is something that some types of gamers really like. I’d say FATE actually has more of that going on, with figuring out ways to invoke multiple aspects to stack up the +2s.

  2. Very nice to hear this panel & hoping that more get put up (either from this con or others) as they’re always informative & fun. Thanks 🙂

  3. Loved hearing Launius’ insights and design philosophy. Math “battle” games can be fun, but there is nothing that can beat a great experience that tells a story. Betrayal at the House on the Hill is great at this (even though the mechanics are broken and imbalanced), as is Colt Express and any of Launius’ games.

  4. Great talk to record Ross. Thanks for capturing it. Launius is a polished speaker. Ironically the most useful design details are all compressed in the answer to the last few questions.

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