I’m once again preparing to teach Writing & Editing for Gaming this Fall 2021. That means lots of research and reading to be sure I am up-to-date on the tabletop gaming industry. A recent book release from Geoffrey Engelstein captured my attention when it was announced, and I knew I needed to pick it up for this class, and if/when I teach Game Studies again as well. Engelstein is a successful game designer, long time podcaster, and quite the knowledgeable sage of game history, theory, and design. I have had the honor of working on a few of his games (The Fog of War, Pit Crew, and The Dragon & Flagon) as well as spending some time with him while working the Stronghold Games booth. So when I saw he was working on Game Production – Prototyping and Producing Your Board Game, I was eager to check out the book.
Many new games are from first-time designers or are self-published, so there is a tremendous thirst for information about the nuts and bolts of tabletop game design. While there are many books about the design process in terms of mechanisms and player experience, there are no books that cover the arts and crafts aspects of how to create a prototype, software and physical tools that can be used, graphic design and rules writing, and considerations for final production. Gamecraft: Prototyping and Producing Your Board Game presents this information in a single volume which will be invaluable for up-and-coming designers and publishers.
* The text compiles information from many websites, blogs, Facebook groups, subreddits, and the author’s extensive experience in an easy-to-read volume.
* The text illustrates how to lay out and assemble the physical aspects of an effective board game.
* The book is divided into two sections for readability and covers a large array of different techniques.
Wow! The back cover text does not do this book justice. This book is packed from cover to cover with a wealth of information about tabletop game design. This is a must have for the library of anyone who designs tabletop games or teaches about tabletop game design. I would also highly recommend it for anyone who works on tabletop games, as the book delves into graphic design and rulebook writing and layout. As a freelance editor, I would have found this book immensely helpful early in my career and still learned a few things reading it today.