Blizzard U: DesignCraft

DesignCraft was a class occasionally offered to Blizzard employees, taught by World of Warcraft designer Craig Morrison. Each week, groups of 3-6 would tackle various challenges of theme, materials, and/or mechanics to brainstorm and build a board game prototype in about three hours. These are some of the games I helped create.


DesignCraft: The Copper-Plated Emperor

This game was the result of a “drafting” challenge, where each team took turns choosing setting, gameplay inspiration, target age, and theme. CPE was an all-ages game of political intrigue, set in steampunk China and inspired by Pong.

Our original design had four players attempting to curry favor and gain influence with the emperor, but the game really sang when we instead made it a series of escalating boasts while drinking the night before they would see the Emperor. Gameplay was a back-and-forth of rock/paper/scissors, and players were encouraged to embellish the cards they played with stories of how their card would easily outclass their opponent’s.

I plan to revisit this design and build the RPS card play into something with a little more strategy, e.g. by adding point values to the cards and adding a “combo” system.



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