Pandemic – A Walk Through Game Design with Matt LeacockOctober 26, 2017
My goal with this blog is to ask specific questions to top designers around various aspects of game design.
I want to kick this off with an interview with the iconic, genre defining designer of Pandemic, Matt Leacock. Pandemic is not only a seminal work in the cooperative game play space, but it is one of the most popular games in the world, selling copies all over the globe.
Here we go:
- How did you work to foster increased interaction in your game design and how important was interaction in your game development?
- the current player has the last word on their turn (important to emphasize so one player doesn’t drive all the interaction)
- player cards are kept secret (in one version of the game) so that players must ask each other for information
- event cards can be played at any time so that players have to pay attention at all times – perhaps now is the best time to play a given card
- How did you consider replay value in the design process? What ways did you work to increase replay value?
- The Player deck and Infection deck have a different shuffle each time, so players will have to overcome different problems to create melds and the hotspots of the world will vary each time.
- There are more roles in the game than players and they interact differently, so players will have to play differently each time.
- We released 3 different expansions which introduce additional roles, events, challenges, and play modes to further increase variability between games.
- And then further introduced 3 different stand-alone games to vary the game even more around a new theme.
- What was the most substantial change that happened during playtesting?
- How did you find the artists and graphic designers for your game?
- What are the major dynamics that make your game unique? How did you brainstorm or come up with the original concepts behind those?
- How did you think about barrier of entry when you designed your game?
- What is one piece of advice you would give to new game designers trying to get into this space?