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Board Game Design Summit: Exit Strategy: The Shape of Endings in Tabletop Game Design

Cole Wehrle (Game Designer, Leder Games)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Board Game Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Tabletop games present a rich venue for storytelling, but few things are as anti-climatic as the way many of them end. Even the best designs are liable to grind to a halt in their final moments and players adjust their strategies and make careful tabulations. It doesn't have to be this way. In this talk, Cole Wehrle, designer of Root and Pax Pamir, offers a new framework for thinking about the final turns of a game, and shares some hard won lessons about when the quest for strategic depth in game design can sabotage its narrative structure.


Attendees should walk away with a critical framework for critiquing how games and end and a general design practice for strengthening those endings.

Intended Audience

The talk is intended for designers and developers of both tabletop and video games, but there will be takeaways in narrative design for game writers as well.