About the Author:
My name is Ruben – creator of ‘The Strategy Boardgame Designer’s Kit’, and my experience in educating at university level for the last eight years has given me the unique position of being very adverse at instructional design, specifically teaching in the game design degree at Monash University. Having worked at higher education level, I have a great deal of experience in adult education and instructional writing. My latest endeavour is an open source ‘war strategy board game’ called ‘Sovereign’, which has led me on to design this manual based on my in-depth experience; combined with the countless game design books I have read and researched.
Why did I read all this?
Well apart from my insatiable interest in games since I was ten, I am also working on a Master of Research into game design, focusing on cognitive load and system design — an issue often faced by many overly complex strategy games.
In the last five years I have also been designing maps and diagrams for a series of books, which cover each of the major revolutions of our time. This experience has helped greatly in how to best represent complex information in an easy-to-understand way. It has also allowed me to explore some of the reasons behind the actions of many men and their armies at the time; something often lost in games based on historical events.
I have played games all my life, and designed board games and other kinds of games for as long as I can remember. Only recently have I started to take it more seriously commercially, and from an academic standpoint. There are many theories on what works best, and many game design books that cover a range of ideas, including the seemingly simple, yet complex question of ‘what is fun?’
With a number of strategy games due for release in the next six months, I have been working on card games, hex games and city building games, not to mention scenario games for Sovereign.
So why this manual?
With so many books on the market it’s easy to get bogged down in information, so I took all that information and boiled it down to its essentials. That way, you as a board game designer, can concentrate on being creative, rather than being stuck on the practicalities of making games.
Ruben is a member of The Boardgame Players Association, Game Manufacturers Association and contributes to the the linkedIn group “Board games and game design”.