015 – Aeons End & The Early Design Phase with Kevin Riley

In episode 15 of the Nerdlab, I have the honor to interview Kevin Riley designer of Aeons End, one of my favorite games.

Kevin shares with us some incredible design principles that I’m definitely going to apply to my game design as well. And To be honest, I think every card game designer should follow these principles.

In addition to that, Kevin explains the reasoning and the design process of my favorite mechanics of Aeons End. And as if that weren’t enough, Kevin also tells us how his personal step-by-step process looks like in the earliest design phase, from the initial idea to the first prototype.

Topics we discussed in this episode:

  • Step-by-Step Process from your Game Idea to your first Prototype
  • Design Principles of Aeons End (applicable for any game)
  • Design Process and Reasoning of Aeons End Game Mechanics
  • Insights of Aeons End – The New Age Content & Design

Kevin was a great guest in the Nerdlab. He shared so much useful advice with us that I will definitely have to follow up some of it. In particular, I am going to compare the constraints that Kevin uses during his early design phase with my personal vision statement.

But what I definitely found most valuable are the design principles he followed in creating Aeon’s End.

  • The following 3 stuck especially with me:
    • Cards should not do things when you are not directly interacting with them.
    • No new information once your turn has started
    • Making it impossible for a certain number of people to do the same strategy

Another answer that really stuck with me was when we were talking about prototypes. Kevin said, that one of the important things about design is that you need to know when something is good enough that you can move on and actually finish the thing. Since perfectionism is my second biggest enemy after procrastination to complete projects, I can only recommend that you take this advice to heart. At least I will do that.

I would love to follow-up the discussion about valuable design principles in the comments on the website. So what do you think about  Kevin’s design principles? Are they useful for you? Or do you have other principles you could share with the Nerdlab Community?

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you are a fan of Aeons End or you got interested in it today, please check out the current Kickstarter campaign of the latest Expansion “The New Age”.

Important Links:
Kickstarter campaign
Aeons End on BGG
Aeons End – The New Age on BGG

Nerdlab Website 
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Nerdlab on Instagram

Sources:
Music by Mathew Pablo

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