Designer Diary: Epic Breakthroughs in Viticulture

Updated: Sep 17, 2019


There are two types of game designers: Those who start with mechanics and later incorporate an appropriate theme, and those who start with theme and later incorporate accompanying mechanics.

I’m Jamey Stegmaier, and I’m a mechanics guy.

I collect mechanics from board games I play, games I read about, games I hear about. I collect mechanics from non-board games—particularly sports, smart phone games, and web app gamification. I collect mechanics from books and blogs about behavioural economics and psychology.

Over time, I’ve accumulated a list of mechanics that reflects the 12 Tenants of Board Games that I believe in

  • Quick setup/easy to learn.

  • Balances, not checks for close games.

  • Conflict, not hostility.

  • Choices, not luck.

  • Scaleability.

  • Unique production/creation.

  • Variable turn order.