So for today’s blog piece, I want to touch on a notion that’s been tickling at the back of my brain box ever since I made the decision to put pen to cardboard and design my own board and card games; is it OK to be a Game designer AND a Game reviewer?

Before I started out as a designer I wrote reviews for games for Geek Pride UK, a website devoted to geeky pursuits in general. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to stretch my writing muscles and dissect some of the games in my collection, to see how they ticked.

But now, I’m concerned about the implications these two facets of the table-top gaming industry have when mixed. So I reached out to the good people of the Internet to get the general consensus of how designing and reviewing can interact when done together by the same person. The response was fantastic, so much so that the information and insight I gained would be too much for a single blog post (I don’t like to be too wordy!). So for today’s piece, I thought I’d focus on the pros of being both a designer and reviewer, with cons coming next week. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

So do any of these points ring true for you? Do you think a designer can be truly objective in their reviews? Are there any other benefits I haven’t considered in my list above? As always, we’d love to hear from you!

2 Responses

  1. For me, designers make for great reviewers because they can cut through most, if not all, the fluff and tell me what I really want to know. What is the game play like? I think a designer offer interesting prespective because they have probably played other designer’s games and tested their own games. This puts designers in a unique position to know the true value of “pure feedback” and are used to giving the same kind of feedback to other designers. If a designer takes that approach to the way they review published games, I think that makes for a better review.

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for the feedback!
      This is exactly what you’d hope for from a designer doing their reviews, so long as this breakdown of mechanics and theme doesn’t become too onerous.