Language, history and curiosities in games.
Just as writers sometimes dream stories, I sometimes dream games.
I have certain “stories” to tell. I am not interested in wars, power and glory. I’m also not interested in the life of a king, I’m interested in the life of the common man.
I’m not smart enough to design mechanisms in the abstract. I’ll leave that to Reiner Knizia and the mathematicians. I try to tell a story about something (usually historical and political, in my case), so I work on mechanisms that fit the story.
So far, I’ve been a designer of Eurogames, which means I haven’t tried to simulate a story, but have instead tried to abstract a plot into mechanics that will lead to a satisfying gaming experience.
Players tend to either skip the story or skip the game. Balancing the two so that they reinforce each other is hard, and often either the story or the game ends up too shallow for repeated play.