Game designer Eric Lang in Manila for ToyCon PH
MANILA, Philippines – Eric Lang, game designer of over 30 different tabletop board and card games including Blood Rage and A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, is in Manila to discuss the board game scene at the 15th Philippine Toys, Hobbies, and Collectibles Convention (ToyCon PH).
At a press roundtable on Wednesday, June 8, Lang shared some of his insights into the board game industry.
Lang touched upon technology as both an impetus for seeking board games as well as aid for making board games more accessible in the digital age.
Steady growth and gap-bridging technology
There's a steady growth of board game play across the world, as people seek to find new ways to interact with others in an increasingly technological world.
According to Lang, the board game hobby maintains a minimum 20% growth rate around the world. It takes advantage of a low barrier to entry to get started as a new board gameplayer. The churn rate for gamers – the rate at which players leave the hobby scene – is also rather low.
At the same time, the tabletop gaming industry is also branching out in some ways to try and allow technology to further lower two of the biggest barriers to entry when it comes to playing board games: reading the rules to learn the game and administering the game itself.
For example, Lang mentioned XCOM: The Board Game. The game, he explained, has a free companion application which acts as the game's rulemaster and teacher. It provides context for actions done by players in the game as well as helps resolve rules-based conflicts.
Lang also hinted at further technologically-augmented games in the future but declined to name them.
On becoming a game designer
Asked how to foster budding game designers, Lang discussed 3 potential paths one can take in college to further hone a love for game design.
According to Lang, Psychology, Linguistics, and Math are very helpful when sitting down to think about building a game.
Psychology, he said, would be helpful in studying human interactions and the psychology of choice-making. Meanwhile, Linguistics would help you relay clear and cogent thoughts. Lastly, Lang cited the importance of Math in terms of how game mechanics tend to work. A mastery of algebra is very helpful when building a game.
Catch Eric Lang at ToyCon PH
ToyCon PH will be held from June 10 to 12 at the SMX Convention Center.
Lang will participate in the following events:
- June 10, 3 pm-5 pm: Autograph signing
- June 11, 10 am-12 nn: Autograph signing and awarding of Blood Rage Tournament
- June 11, 2 pm-4 pm: Talk on game design
- June 12, 3 pm-4 pm: Judging and awarding of Game of Thrones Tournament
Board game lovers and fans of gaming, in general, would do well to look for this celebrated game designer and learn some tips and tricks when it comes time to step onto the field of battle and engage in a sporting game of Blood Rage. – Rappler.com