Train2Game News: “Playing board games is fantastic training for game designers” – Creative Assembly lead designer

Shogun 2 Total War

Game designers should play board games in to help improve their skills. That’s the view of The Creative Assembly lead designer James Russell, who was speaking about making the mechanics of Total War and game design at Develop Conference 2012.

“Playing board games is fantastic training for game designers,” he said. “Everything a player does is raw gameplay.”

It formed part of a wide ranging session in which the Total War lead designer discussed subjects ranging from the key game design pillars of Shogun 2: Total War, to how, ultimately every single video game is based around player choices.

“Gameplay is all about choices and trade-offs. Games present players with interesting decisions with pros and cons.” said Russell, adding that weak gameplay is generally down to weak design choices.

The session concluded with The Creative Assembly man showing off pre-Alpha footage of Rome 2: Total War for only the second time. The game is scheduled for release towards the end of 2013.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest news from Develop Conference, while there’s more from The Creative Assembly here. That includes information about their recently released Shogun 2 map editor.

How important do you feel board games are for game designers? Are you a board game player?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game News: The Creative Assembly to make Total War announcement at Rezzed developer session

Shogun 2 Total War

Total War studio The Creative Assembly will be hosting a developer session at PC and indie games show Rezzed, which is sure to be of interest to anyone on a Train2Game course.

The presentation will celebrate the studio’s 25 year history and will feature an exclusive first look at the future of Total War.

“This year, The Creative Assembly is celebrating a quarter of a century making games,” said Total War lead designer James Russell.

“I’ll be at Rezzed giving a talk on the making of the Total War series, and showing a sneak peek of what we’re doing next. Exciting times – see you there!”

The Creative Assembly recently released a free map editor for Shogun 2: Total War.

Rezzed takes place in Brighton on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th July with day the price of day tickets £12, or £20 for both days. There’s more information here.

Other games available to see at Rezzed include Aliens: Colonial Marines, Borderlands 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and more, in addition to a number of developer sessions.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest updates about Rezzed, while there’s more from The Creative Assembly here.

Will you be attending Rezzed? If so, what are you most looking forward to?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.