Easy to learn. Easy to play. Lots of deep strategy.

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Hey, I’m Chris Backe (rhymes with hockey). I make tabletop games and help others make games.

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The Ultimate Guide to Co-Designing a Board Game

The Ultimate Guide to Co-Designing a Board Game

Co-designing a board game is a wonderful opportunity to bounce ideas around, work with another designer, and of course make something you can be proud of. I've worked on almost a dozen games with co-designers as of this post, and I've been privileged to tap their...

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How to Write a Rulebook for Your Board Game

How to Write a Rulebook for Your Board Game

Rules can feel hard to write. They have to make a game feel understandable to the reader, clarify your intentions, and make sure players feel like they know what they're doing. It's a weird blend of technical writing that shouldn't sound like technical writing. In...

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A review of 2023, a look ahead, and a special offer

A review of 2023, a look ahead, and a special offer

Where the heck have you been, Chris? In a word: busy! Life comes at you fast. This one’s going to be a bit different, since we’re coming up on the end of the year and it’s been months since we last connected here. So, a bit of catchup via The Year In Review: One of my...

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Is My Game Ready To Pitch? A checklist

Is My Game Ready To Pitch? A checklist

To quote that famous philosopher Eminem, you only get one shot, so don't miss your chance. So it's clear, you don't have to say 'yes' to each and every one of these things... but be honest with yourself. If it's not ready, don't pitch it or get it ready.   So... how...

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8 Things Designers Should Be Doing – But Probably Aren’t

8 Things Designers Should Be Doing – But Probably Aren’t

Let's just jump right in, shall we? Observe how a publisher sells themselves to the public. As just one example, Thinkfun (a puzzle brand of Ravensburger) has recently launched meshhelps.org. MESH stands for Mental, Emotional, and Social Health - three things that all...

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When Should You Shelve a game? 8 Questions To Ask Yourself

When Should You Shelve a game? 8 Questions To Ask Yourself

Whether the last few playtests have been discouraging or it just feels like the game's not working the way you want it to, you're probably wondering if it's time to shelve a game. Take heart - almost anyone that's been designing games for a little while has a shelved...

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