Sen-Foong Lim

#234 Sen-Foong Lim Designs Edge Cases Out of the Game

Design Axioms


Sen-Foong Lim rejoins the show to chat with Dirk and David about his design axiom: design edge cases out of the game. The definition of an edge case is explored at length, and the importance of context when discussing edge cases is emphasized. Sen talks about what types of games can afford to include edge cases, and why he usually opts to either remove them or turn them into features of the game.

Episode Outline

01:09 Sen shares his basic definition of a design axiom

1:41 The importance of context when talking edge cases: why some games and gamers like them

6:20 Why edge cases can be a problem

9:10 Do digital games have a built in defense against edge cases?

11:28 Further discussion on edge cases and how they can warp the rule-writing process

14:15 Edge cases as a result of “wild card” player behavior (David Heron breaking playtests)

18:43 When do you choose to restrict completely instead of incentivizing better player behavior

25:35 How exactly Sen decided this axiom was important.

28:10 Sen talks about some edge cases that he liked, including edge cases for IP games

33:02 Talking about some of Sen’s games and their relationship with this axiom

37:43 As a veteran designer, Sen talks about why he always designs with other people

41:32 Sen talks about his card game Mutants and why it was hard to completely design edge cases out

44:39 Tips for designers to recognize edge cases from game features

50:14 How removing edge cases can impact other aspects of the game (playtest early!)

In this Episode

Sen-Foong Lim - @senfoonglim
David V. Heron - @davidvheron
Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer

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