My Board Game Designs

Useful Links: My Designs

BoardGameGeek Designer Page: Mark A. Wilson

Useful Links: Prospective Designers

Before we get to my games, I wanted to provide a brief list of resources for aspiring designers. These are groups or sites that have been very helpful to me:

  • Cardboard Edison – lots of resources for designers.
  • Tabletop Game Designers Association – a mix of designer resources and advocacy group, since publishers hold all the cards in the industry most times.
  • Pam Walls Game Design – a Youtube channel from designer Pam Walls, who is in the trenches and sharing good insights that are largely geared toward newer designers.

My Board Game Designs

Below are those I’m able to share and list publicly. More will be made available as they are developed and released.

card game in progress

High & Low

A shared grid-building card game for 2-4 players. This was the first design I released publicly, and it was mostly just a simple design experiment that turned out well enough that I wanted to share it. It’s playable with a couple standard card decks and some generic components (cubes, chips, etc.). I like it best as a 2-player game, and think it’s also good at 3P, though it’s less good at 4P in my experience.

digital card game

Of Two Minds

Of Two Minds is a contentious trick-taker - with minor elements of shedding - for 3-5 players. In it, the lead player will be playing two concurrent tricks in an attempt to win only one of the two. If they win both, the cards they win become negative points. So it becomes a hand management puzzle that also creates points of tension for those following the leader, since they can often win points for themselves or “stick” the leader with negative points, but not both.

Haggle card game image


Haggle is not my design, but rather an idea from designer Sid Sackson that he put into the public back in the 1960s. The game is a social party game wherein players receive 10 cards in various colors and 2 out of 15 pre-set rules that dictate how those color cards are scored. They then must negotiate, trade and “haggle” with other players to learn the additional rules and trade for color cards to have the most points at the end of a pre-set time limit. Sackson had an original scenario of 15 rules, but you can only ever play a scenario once with the same group since solving the rule-mystery is half the fun. Haggle is openly welcoming of new rule sets to insert into its central premise to make new scenarios, and it’s in the public domain This is what allowed me to create numerous new rule sets for it, then release them both as print-and-play files and as print-on-demand.

Game Resources I've Designed

I’ve done some other design work, listed below:
  • The Open Deck – a free use card deck system, created for use in a variety of PnP and online game implementations (Files Page)
  • Santiago 3-4 player variant, which slightly increases the interaction at those player counts, making it more aligned with the 5-player experience.
  • Kemps (rules document) – this is a standard-deck card game that I love, but the internet lacks a great rules document for it. I put together one that I consider to be comprehensive, complete with some variants I’ve played or heard about throughout the years.

Other Games in Development

Below are games in some stage of development, beyond simply an initial idea or rough draft of a rules document. All have been playtested and prototyped to varying extents:
  • Perfect Circle – a partnership trick-taker
  • Rank & File – an “abstract wargame” for 2P that channels the feeling of tactical guerilla warfare
  • Tangloo – abstract area control with a dash of doublethink
  • Trim the Tree – interactive worker placement game wherein you’re decorating a tree with lights and trying to get the lowest score to allow others to have more of the holiday glory
  • Napoleonic Whist – variable-partnership trick taking game for 4-6P that uses a French Tarot deck and iterates on several centuries-old card gaming classics
  • Neighborhood Market – a trading game with hard hand limits that force you to trade to make sets quickly or else be forced to “trash” them for negative points
  • Space Friends – real-time, cooperative trading game as you play as the crew of a starship working through a series of escalating missions
  • Divine Influence – cooperative or team-based competition with a rotating “deity” that must clue townsfolk into certain actions via visions or incur the wrath of the gods
  • Dominus Terrae – sweeping, grand area control wargame involving hand management, resource and troop management in a fantasy setting
Design is something I love and won’t be stopping anytime soon. I hope to have more available on this site related to my design efforts in the coming months and years. Cheers, friends!