Let’s Talk Gary Gygax and Dungeons & Dragons

Posted by | July 30, 2012

Gary Gygax is the father of Dungeons & Dragons, the role-playing game that set the foundation for all other RPGs to follow. Computer gaming, especially, owes a tithe to D&D. Got levels? D&D. Got classes, like Warriors, Mages, Rogues? D&D. Got spell lists? D&D. Hit points? D&D. We could be here all day. The point is, the gaming world was defined by the imagination of Gary Gygax and friends, and it’s time to celebrate his 74th birthday. Unfortunately, Gary failed his save vs. death in 2008, so we’ll leave a chair open at the table. Do you want to get into game design? Play D&D. GamesIndustry has the story.

1 Comment so far
  1. Nelson Williams
    July 30, 2012 9:23 am

    Do you really want to learn about how to make games? Get some Dungeons & Dragons books. The older the better. Red box, maybe.

    Read them, get some friends and play them. Make up new rules, fix broken rules, build whole classes out of thin air. Figure out how to play a vampire. Make a Paladin into the party’s nemesis without changing his alignment or their own. Build a clone of D&D using all your weird house rules with a system for realistic firearms bolted on. Run an adventure that has the players come back to you ten years later saying, “Remember the time when we…”

    Stretch the rules, break the rules, remake the rules. Discover what rules can do and what they can not. Understand what is fun, what is work, and what is tedium. Learn when to hold tight and when to let go.

    That’s just the start of game design. D&D is only a 101 course in game design, but it’s also the best there is. Get into it.

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