Podcast Episode 88: Tile-Laying Games

Amber and Marc discuss tile-laying games since they’ve been playing a number of them lately. What makes tile-laying so compelling? Why is it a feature in so many of our favorite games?

1:29 — Carpe Diem
3:46 — Is Carpe Diem simpler than Castles of Burgundy?
9:35 — Tile laying: what is it?
12:12 — Variables
15:15 — Growth
21:00 — Information density
29:14 — Tangent: What does “abstract” mean anyways?
37:35 — The importance of graphic design
40:27 — Puzzling

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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2 thoughts on “Podcast Episode 88: Tile-Laying Games”

  1. I enjoyed your podcast on tile laying very much. On the subject of the why in the satisfaction we get from fitting in tiles, I think I have a theory.
    There was an article (unfortunately I can’t find it anymore) on the insane amounts of money Candy Crush is raking in on a daily basis. What’s up? What is the appeal for so many players to play this game (and to pour real money in to get a virtual lollypop) The author claimed it has to do with the older parts of our brains.
    Back in the day, when survival was a much more prevalent mission for humans, with predators, dangerous weather, hunger, etc.
    Our (or most developed animal’s) brain learns by experience. Touch fire, hurt yourself, so the next time you know better.
    But there is another learning device imprinted in us: pattern recognition. This prevents is from having to learn that all hot things hurt us, we don’t need to touch all the things to get it.
    But instead of imprinting a negative feeling with an experience, we are actually rewarded by our brain by dopamine: we feel good when we recognize a pattern.
    This is where Candy crush comes in: it’s a short cut to visually get that dopamine: two jelly beans in a row: boring. Three? Happy! Even more?! Even happier!!

    Sorry for the long text, let me get to my point:
    I believe tile laying in boardgames is so nice because the result of the layed tiles triggers that visual shortcut for dopamine. But better yet: other than Candy crush, I actually made this happen by my own tactical actions. Which feels even better. More fulfilling than the randomness of Candy crush, but a big gold star from your brain, saying: “good work! You’ll be safer from tigers from now on!”

    That’s my thoughts on this. Any thoughts?

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