As part of my studies at the University of Amsterdam, I’m working on a thesis on board game adaptations of video games, such as DOOM: The Board Game or XCOM: The Board Game. The thesis deals specifically with the limitations of tabletop game design and how video games as a system are typically redesigned for their cardboard counterparts. By looking at expressions of time, content, space and many other factors in the designs, I’m hoping to distill a set of current practices. These systems-driven practices I can then compare to the approaches of designers such as Kevin Wilson and Reiner Knizia, who have written about their approaches on board game adaptations of franchises.
The groundwork for this thesis has been done, and I am currently in the stage where I analyze video games with their corresponding board game(s) to collect data.
As an avid board game player and designer, I wanted to do a thesis on board game design, but as the studies are part of Information Science, I had to include a digital aspect. The end result is a thesis in which I aim to combine both analog and digital design.
The games which I am looking at include the Dark Souls trilogy, SUPERHOT!, DOOM (2016), XCOM, the modern FallOut games by Bethesda, Bloodborne, and World of Warcraft, among others as well their tabletop counterparts.