Posted by: frozenroy | September 24, 2013

The Ice Box: Cracking Open a Cold One

The Ice Box: Top Down Design and Make Your Move – A discussion of “Top Down Design” and “Mechanical Design” and why they are important concepts in Make Your Move. (This was posted today and can be read here)

The Ice Box: Counterplay – A discussion of the idea of “Counterplay”, that a game must be balanced for the fun of both the user and the opponent, and how it is an important concept in Make Your Move.

The Ice Box: Funday – Fun is one of the most important things in game design: Moveset design is no different. What is “Fun” and how do we make sure that we do not subsume “Fun” to “Interesting”?

The Ice Box: The Crawling Complexity – Complexity Creep and how it affects Make Your Move and why we must be careful not to let it go too far.

The Ice Box: An Interesting Article – What do we mean by “Interesting”? A look into the ideas of what makes things “Interesting”, a further look into how to integrate “Interesting” and “Fun” and a discussion of why “Interesting” is not synonymus with “Complex”.

The Ice Box: Restriction Breeds Creativity – An article that looks at the idea that “restriction breeds creativity” and why we should sometimes restrict ourselves while making movements to breed more creativity.

The Ice Box: All That Glitters Is Not Gold – A discussion on the point that being flashy is not good and the idea that less is and can be more, that sometimes you should add something basic instead of something complex, and other such things on this topic.

The Ice Box: Just Because We Can’t – “Just Because” is not a good reason for doing something! This article examines why.

The Ice Box: The Smoking Hot Glue Gun – Examining the “Hot Glue Gun”, the term meaning stapling two unrelated effects or moves into one, and why it isn’t usually a good idea.

The Ice Box: Moveset Selfies – Examining your own sets, tendancies and design style is a key part of growing as a designer. This likely shorter article examines the hows and whys of it.

The Ice Box: A Potential Article – What does “potential” mean and what makes a set have “high” potential or “low” potential? FrozenRoy examines his thoughts on the idea.

The Ice Box: [Witty Title Here] – I’ve been doing minor tinkering with a set or two that I will use Top Down Design to create. When I finish it, I will make an article about the designing process and my ultimate feelings on the moveset. Placeholder title because the witty title will depend on what the set is!

The Ice Box Opens Up – A FrozenRoy version of one of my favorite all-time Bunker articles, King K. Rool’s “The Black Box Opens Up”. I look at my MYMing career, discuss every set I have every made and throw in a little commentary on how MYM changes along the way.

I do not have a timetable for these articles to be posted, but I am aiming to post at least one article every month: September is, as you may have noticed, Top Down Design. Also as a note, I’ll almost certainly come up with some ideas not seen here months down the road or whatnot, so expect to see some surprise articles too. I hope that all of these articles can better Make Your Move as a whole.

So that this is not JUST me previewing future articles, here is are some links you might find interesting: Mark Rosewater’s “The Ten Principles of Good Design”, Mark Rosewater’s “Ten Things Every Game Needs”, Mark Rosewater’s “Old vs. New”, Mark Rosewater’s “Nostalgia vs. Innovation”.

I HIGHLY recommend reading the first two columns, as Rosewater explains important concepts in a concise manner and I believe they can help a lot with moveset design. c:



  1. I think after this you may want to release the fun vs interesting articles back to back, possibly even combine them, as that feels like a topic more worth addressing to me than complexity creep and such as the problems with that are a bit more obvious in some regards.

    Also while I do enjoy Rosewater’s writing, I will just point out that I’ve observed that a lot of the MtG community hates the guy and his word is not to be viewed as god. That said in some ways card design is like a more primitive form of moveset design having a lot of experience with card games and I’d recommend checking out the articles as well.

    • Rosewater isn’t necessarily the most liked guy, but he has been Magic’s head designer since 2003, and Magic is the most popular card game in the world, so I figure he’s probably doing something right. While his words aren’t to be viewed as a god or anything, I feel he has a lot of wisdom.

      The fun vs. interesting articles might be combined, I’ll have to think about it, but I like the idea of releasing them back-to-back. I think that there might be enough, and enough differences, to need seperate articles.

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