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The Balancing Act of Framing Immersive Board Games

Nothing is more challenging and exciting than crafting a game that is characterized as fun, engaging and makes you want to play some more.

Here are four tips I have learned that helps to weave an immersive experience.

  1. Player interaction. A board game with two or more players must be crafted with a mental mapping perspective. Visualizing the priorities of the different plays players will make to advance in the game is of uttermost importance. The player must feel like they can win and allowing short-term successes around the board is a psychological drive that will keep players competing to the finish line. The story that the designer wants to present should be closely attached to these short-term successes and loses.

  2. Rewards. The end result in any game is to win. What does a win look like? How will this win influence the players? Does the win match the effort. Knowing the types of players who will be attracted to the game at hand is to be considered. Some players like explorers, for some it's a social game, many players feed on intellectual arousal, others are true competitors, i.e., killers, who will win at any cost.

  3. Fun component. A game is supposed to be fun even if they are hurdles to cross to get to the finish line. Of course, it sucks to lose, and if there is strong competition, to the 'killer' competitor, having a good opponent who is just as driven can fuel the immersive experience.

  4. The competitive angle. A true competitor hates an easy win. No one wants to play a game that feels too much like child's-play. Chess is a mental game, and the competition is often stiff. Confidence is Boss (CIB) is a game that forces the players outside your shell - it throws participants into the deep end of personal growth to acquaint players with their best self. In this game you are competing with who you were before you started.

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