Monday, May 6, 2013

Sid Sackson's Book, With My Half-Blood Prints All Over It

In my quest to process Todd Sanders' design thread over at BGG, I've come across repeated references of his to Sid Sackson's A Gamut Of Games.  Intrigued, and with a bit of Amazon money to spend, I picked up a copy.  I've been going through it page by page, processing the game design elements, the strategies, the different philosophies of play, and the bits of colour and history peppered throughout.  The book is fairly quick going, though I've been underlining, scribbling in the margins, making comments, jotting down ideas, and in general doing all the elements of note-taking that I have always smilingly, steadfastly refused to do when required by a class.
I'd recommend the book in turn to anyone getting into game design.  The current edition has author's notes at the front explaining the publication history, and the chronology of the book and its contributors.  And, as Sanders mentioned somewhere, Sackson is in many ways if not a founder, at least a keenly invested god-parent of Print and Play.  The book is about games as ideas and sets of rules, each being easy to assemble or sketch and begin playing immediately.  No 2-page component lists, no standees.  Very core-mechanic stuff here.  I like it.
Makes me wonder how a similar modern compilation would fare.  I'd love to put together a beautiful little book of some of the games that BGG has produced, or some of the 1000-Year Game Design contenders, or around any theme, really.  A good representation of some of the games being made today's GD and PnP hobbyists.

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