Rob Daviau: Designing a Legacy Game

Rob Daviau is the game designer behind Risk Legacy, a variation on the traditional board game version of Risk that actually has players modifying elements of the game (cards, the board itself). In many ways, the game “remembers” prior games, making subsequent games built off of the history of previous ones.

The host of the event was an overly enthusiastic guy, and came off too strong for my tastes (both at the beginning and end of the talk). Skip ahead to 1:10 to hear Daviau.

I enjoyed when he talked about about assumptions and unexpected ideas. As part of a brainstorming process, Daviau talked about writing down all the assumptions/expectations related to a project… and then asked “What if” to every one. Many of the thoughts that came from this exercise were throwaway, but a few questions led to ideas worth investigating. While this was specific to the group of people in the room (game designers), it definitely has implications for any creative process.

A silly quote from the talk, as Daviau also worked on a few variations of the board game Clue:

You would think Colonel Mustard would do it one-sixth of the time, because that’s Math? I swear the guy does it two-thirds of the time.

While this talk is all sorts of geeky goodness, I think it would be of interest to anyone, doing any kind of creative work. It’s a really fun talk, and provides an interesting insight into Daviau’s process.

I’m finding myself having an itch to play board games now, if for no other reason than to give a jump start to my ailing social life. Getting together on a regular basis with folks sounds like a fun way to pass the time, and board games seem like a nice alternative to simply going out to the bars for a few rounds. Besides, nothing to say you can’t drink and roll dice at the same time.

One of these days, I’m going to buy a copy of Risk Legacy, and get a game going. It seems like a really fun variation on a game I was already very fond of. I’m imagining sitting at a new dining room table, at the new house. Someday soon…

[via MetaFilter, CC photo via Gregory Povey]

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