Jack loves games

Odd as it is, it also seems the most appropriate to kick this off by declaring a love for games and the design of them. Creating rules to shape outcomes is not alien to us humans, and games are a very approachable way of doing so. They’re great for recreation and entertainment, but also for keeping us entertained while we learn and acquire new skills.

I’ve been developing and designing games professionally for the better part of a decade by now, and since a few years I’ve tried to apply these skills into teaching people how to move with and use swords. It’s given me a gratifying new look at the skill of fencing, and a lot of tools I’ve been able to take back to my professional field. A fair amount of the things I write here will likely end up being about how to employ and deploy fencing games in one’s practice, and also the design of them. Relying on fencers being given a set of rules and just trying to play to them can be deceptively difficult, both for the coach to acknowledge the environment, and for the fencers to thrive in it. It requires careful thought, many hours of testing and plenty of debrief and iteration.

I hope that what I write can assist those interested in getting confident designing, testing, iterating, taking feedback on and reworking various games. There are many ways to approach this, and the options can be quite daunting, and I’ve found that experimentation and a group of fencers willing to go along with it can go a very long way.

In a similar way, my published content might end up feeling very experimental! But I’ll try to amend or expand on topics I’ve previously covered if I feel like the times are such that it’s needed. At any rate, if anyone reading these posts ever wants to reach out to ask about or discuss the topics further, I’ll probably be available. Depends on the mood of the day. Until then, enjoy your reading!