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Randall C. Reed

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About Randall C. Reed

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  • Birthday 02/23/1949

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About Me

I was a professional game designer for a good hunk of my life, first with The Avalon Hill Game Company, and then with the US Marine Corps. As VP for R&D with Avalon Hill, I was responsible for designing or developing over a dozen military and SF board game simulations. Writing instructions for games morphed into instructional game design (purposed to actually transmit knowledge) that morphed into instructional systems design for training all four branches of the military. Recently, I retired from the defense contracting game and am now a media specialist in a high school in Columbia, SC because I really enjoy working with kids and young adults.

Although the current computer game business dwarfs the old board wargame hobby by several magnitudes, I think that in terms of the craft of game design, these new kids could take a page or two from the old board game designers when it comes to the theory and practice of game design and what makes for a successful game and a successful simulation design. Too often, the current crop of designers get caught up in the details of the game engine and cannot separate the simulation engine from the critical elements of the player v. player game design elements that are imposed by designers. Designers have deferred to code writers instead of teaming with them as equals.

Nevertheless, I enjoy many games, although I detest my son's "first person shooter" games as monotonous and largely mindless. There are several Tactical and Strategy games I find very worthwhile, including UGG.

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