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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Tuning

When I first tried it out as a game rather than a program, I instantly realized that I had created a turkey of the highest order. The game was slow and tedious; the Germans slogged through the Russian line with all the excitement of a World War I infantry offensive. I was heartbroken; I had expected that the game would need tuning, but I didn't expect it to be so terribly bad.

At this point, my design instincts served me well. First, I took a long walk to think about the design in the largest possible terms. I refused to start throwing patches at the problem; I wanted to characterize the problem precisely, to put my finger on exactly what was wrong with the design. Some good ideas came to me, but I still refused to act on them; I wanted ...

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