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Video: Valuable design lessons you can learn from board games

Game designer Soren Johnson (Offworld Trading Company, Civilization IV) speaks at GDC 2014 about how (and why) board games should matter to video game developers.

August 20, 2015

2 Min Read

Developers, if your video game is described as being "like a board game," what does that mean exactly? What makes board games unique, what lessons can video game designers learn from them, and how can they apply them to their own work?

Game designer Soren Johnson (Offworld Trading CompanyCivilization IV) answered all of these questions and more in a novel GDC 2014 presentation on how (and why) board games should matter to video game developers.

To hear Johnson tell it, the defining trait of board games is not, in fact, their actual physical components -- it's the transparency necessitated by the physical design. This transparency fosters many positive traits, including deep engagement, player comfort and meaningful choice.

To learn how, watch Soren Johnson's full talk for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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