Advice from Wolfgang Kramer

The chances are if you have been gaming and don’t know who Wolfgang Kramer is then you probably will still have played one of his games without realizing it.  Wolfgang has designed 100s of games and has been nominated and won the Spiel des Jahres.  The Spiel des Jahres is probably the highest award for a board game in the world.  Wolfgang Kramer has won it five times since 1984!

Gamers will recognize games such as Princes of Florence, Tikal and Torres while those who play games now and again with friends and family might recognize titles such as Daytona 500 (my favourite racing game), Around the World in 80 Days, Category 5, Midnight Party, Slide 5 or Take 5.  Wolfgang Kramer has provided much enjoyment around the world!

Here is his reply to my request for advice to aspiring gamers:

Hi Clive, 

my three advices are:

1. Test and test and test! Test your game so often you can. Each test could bring you new knowledges and new ideas.
     Test your game with many persons. New rules test with same persons which know the old rules. 
      Watch the players during the tests, give no advice, write down all what the players say. Document each test.
       Notice: Only critics help you to a better game.

2. When you think your game is very good and ready, then improve it! 
     Don’t stop developing when your game testers say it is ready.  
     Notice: If you have a  new, original game mechanism make the best out of it.
      If you don’t do it, other game designers will do it.

3. Rules: The less and simpler the better! Take away so many rules you can till you have only your basic mechanism of your game.
    This basic mechanism should be very interesting. Now add the best rule and test the game. Is the game much better, take this rule.
    Now add the next rule and test. In this way add rules till the game will not be much better. All the other rules you don’t need. 

Much greetings and much success to all new game designer.

Wolfgang Kramer


About Clive

Just an average guy who loves board games, movies, musics, books, comic books, video games and anything else fun.
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One Response to Advice from Wolfgang Kramer

  1. David Short says:

    Awesome stinkin’ advice. I love that part about “when your game is very good and ready… improve it some more!’. That’s great. Many people/playtesters/designers might tell you a game is ready, but it probably isn’t.

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