Why Am I Bad at My Own Games?

I like to think I’m a decent game designer. Players seem to enjoy the experiences I create. And when it comes to playing published games, I’m a pretty competent opponent. 

But I am usually terrible when I play my own games. People may think I’m letting them win because it would be bad for the designer to win their own game. But the truth is, I’m just not very good at them.

Does anyone else run into this? I would think having the knowledge of every mechanism and interaction would help, but I think it distracts me knowing too much about the inner workings.

Though I notice I’m usually better at my games when they are still very broken. The more refined they get, the more the winning shifts to my opponents. Maybe that is a useful measurement of how finished a game is?

2 thoughts on “Why Am I Bad at My Own Games?

  1. Interesting observation. I’ll have to play more of your games so I can win 😃

  2. I also have experienced this with the games I have made. I then reviewed to learn the key factors.

    In many cases I was able to link my win rate to the degree of randomness in the game. I win most of my games that have little randomness. This is as you have pointed out is primarily because of my deep understanding of my game and it’s systems.

    I have a lower win rate with my games that have a high randomness factor. For these games I am looking for the win rate being equal to an even share of wins for all players. ie. a 25% win rate in a 4 player game.

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