Interview in C3i 29


Apropos of nothing, a picture of me drinking a cuppa joe I really did make myself (long story).


I’ve been lucky enough to be asked by several people over the last few years about my  opinions on games, game design, and the games I design. I don’t think there is any one blog post or podcast or paper that encapsulates my philosophy – I am not sure I even have one, I think I just have thoughts and methods to express the thoughts (but maybe that’s what one is).

But last year Sam Sheikh interviewed me for C3i, a board wargaming magazine published by Rodger B. MacGowan (a longstanding great wargame artist, and a designer in his own right). The interview appeared in issue #29 and it’s a good selection of answers about how I got into game designing, what I like to see in the games I design, and how games portray modern irregular warfare (or don’t).

This is a scan of that section of the magazine. I hope you will find it interesting.

C3i29 intvw

Material is copyright RBM Studio 2015, reproduced with permission.

About brtrain
This blog is mostly devoted to posts, work and resources on "serious" conflict simulation games.

4 Responses to Interview in C3i 29

  1. playnoevil says:

    Nice interview. A bunch of tempting games there. The Sino-Japanese conflict sounds particularly intriguing.

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks, but it’s going to be a little while until I can get to finishing that one off. I have discussed it with both Volko Ruhnke and Gene Billingsley, and they both liked the idea, so nothing’s stopping me from getting it into GMT but time, and my body’s selfish demands for shelter, nutrition and rest….

  2. ludobits says:

    I enjoyed re-reading your views on game design. Asymmetry, fog of war, randomness and cascading effects all favor emerging gameplay and narratives, speculation and conjectures. Those more abstract models take us to the higher level of that fluctuating, never ending web of means, postures, motivations. Games become a unique tool to approach more complex realities behind conflicts. A tool that appeals to a whole new audience, as the success of the COIN series tends to demonstrate. Thanks for that!

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks – I love all these features in games, and search for that wacky web of motivations!
      As for emerging narratives, I am always in some self-doubt as to how much of that comes through my design efforts and how much from the player himself.
      It can’t be all one or the other, at least not in the positive sense.
      But in the negative sense, a fiddly and creaky design can defeat the most willing and imaginative player’s energy, and the best design in the world probably won’t sail past a cranky dullard who just wants a puzzle to crack.

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