Games Design Resources

All your games design resources in one handy dandy place!

On this page will be links to articles, guides, tools and software, aimed at games designers and writers.

If you know of any other good resources, let me know and I will add them to this collection.

Web Resource

This is a list of links to external articles I have been provided with or have found to be extremely useful. Over time, they may become broken as is the nature of the web, just let me know and I will update as needed.

General Articles

How to Design a Game
Games for Kids
Life Cycle of an RPG Product

Design Discussion Resources

The  Value of Designer Discourse
Cohesion by Exclusion (regarding power creep)
Diversity and Novelty of Concept
Option vs. Progression (a.k.a. Versatility vs. Specialization)

Pathfinder Class Design Resources

Little Red Goblin Games Class Creation Guidelines
Little Red Goblin Games Class Template
How to Pitch to a 3rd Party Publisher
Class Ability Progressions
How to Playtest a Class


Here is a list of links to currently available software, some free, some not, some you need to build yourself using compiler tools and some that have installers or are web only tools.

This list will only be as good as software and tools I know about, preferable tools that lend themselves to games design uses and not just play aides.

My Own Helper App

Superstar Designer Helper Alpha

Games Design Books

RPG Superstar Competition Guide – A pathfinder design resource compiled over my years participating in RPG Superstar. It is a living, on-going document updated 3-4 times a year on average. While the knowledge gets reduced, boiled down and transferred to this blog, it is made available for your use.

The Kobold Guides series of books are full of design resources and advice, get these if you can. They may still be bought individually, but there is also a compiled volume of the games design guides volumes 1 through 3 (Paizo Store, Amazon Store). I have listed the individual items as well, in case funds are tight or you are only interested in certain areas of games design.

Kobold Guide to Games Design – Trilogy

The Kobold Guide to Games Design – Volume 1 – Adventures.
(Paizo Store)
Wolfgang Baur with Keith Baker, Ed Greenwood, Nicolas Logue.

The Kobold Guide to Games Design – Volume 2 – How to Pitch, Playtest and Publish.
(Paizo Store)
Wolfgang Baur with Nicolas Logue.

The Kobold Guide to Games Design – Volume 3 – Tools and Techniques.
(Paizo Store)
Wolfgang Baur with Monte Cook, Ed Greenwood, Rob Heinsoo, Colin McComb.

Other Kobold Guides

The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding.
(Paizo Store, Amazon Store).
Wolfgang Baur with Keith Baker, David ‘Zeb’ Cook, Monte Cook, Jeff Grubb, Scott Hungerford, Chris Pramas, Jonathan Roberts, Janna Silverstein, Michael A. Stackpole, Steve Winter.

The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design.
(Paizo Store, Amazon Store).
Mike Selinker with Rob Daviau, James Ernest, Matt Forbeck, Richard Garfield, Dave Howell, Steve Jackson, Richard C. Levy, Andrew Looney, Michelle Nephew, Paul Peterson, Lisa Steenson, Jeff Tidball, Teeuwynn Woodruff, and Dale Yu.

The Kobold Guide to Magic.
(Paizo Store, Amazon Store).
Wolfgang Baur with Clinton Boomer, David Chart, David ‘Zeb’ Cook, Monte Cook, James Enge, Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb, Kenneth Hite, James Jacobs, Colin McComb, Richard Pett, Tim Pratt, John Rateliff, Thomas Reid, Aaron Rosenberg, Ken Scholes, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber E. Scott, Willie Walsh, Martha Wells, Steve Winter.

General Design Books

The following books may be of interest to you to mine and think about the common principles of games design across the various media, be it pen and paper, board and card or even video games. The offer a wealth of resources to games designers of all levels.

A Theory of Fun For Games Design – Raph Koster
ISBN-10: 1932111972, ISBN-13: 978-1932111972

1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die – Tony Motts
ISBN-10: 1844036812, ISBN-13: 978-1844036813
Ok, it is video games, but read this and think of the principles behind those video games. These games were all highly re-playable, addictive, fun, complete, offering a variety of mastery levels – all the things your design work should hope to encompass.

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses – Jesse Schell
ISBN-10: 0123694965, ISBN-13: 978-0123694966
Again, slanted to the video game industry, but contains very interesting insights into why we play games and why we get bored quickly with some and not others. Uses many different perspectives (the titular lenses) which each prompt their own important questions, ranging from “What problems does my game ask the players to solve?” to “What does beauty mean within the context of my game?” 

Pod Casts

In today’s modern age, the wealth of shared pod casts about gaming are vast. I have below a selection of pod casts I have found useful in the past – please let me know of any regular pod casts that you think are worth adding to this list. If possible, please give me a brief description for the pod casts you would like adding and the games design resources they offer.

Know Direction

Hosted on on 35private sanctuary, Know Direction pod casts are full of Pathfinder and games design goodness. A hug amount of pod casts from  design and product sessions held at  US games conventions (both Paizocon and Gen Con) can be found here amongst other game related pod casts. An awesome resource with hours and hours of gaming related listening goodness.

Pictures and Sources of Inspiration

nile sunset

Link to drop box of my pictures from Egypt to inspire you.

Anthony Adam (Template Fu)

Author: Anthony Adam
Updated: 2019/07/08 15:25

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Roleplay games design resources for designers and freelancers.