Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 1


To deceive or mislead another player into taking an undesirable action.

Casual game

Easy-to-learn games intended for light-hearted fun.

Catchup mechanic

A mechanic in gameplay that allows a player who is doing poorly to overcome their disadvantage.

Flavor text

Text on game cards that is added to help set the scene for the game but otherwise serves no function.


A light, easy-to-learn game that is often played as warm-up before playing other more complex or mentally strenuous games. Ice-breaker games are typically short in duration. They are also known as filler games.

Party game

A type of game that can be played with a large number of potentially drunk people.


When a game designer watches a group of people play their game or prototype game, and receives feedback to use constructively.

Press your luck

A game mechanic that encourages players to take ever riskier actions to improve their score.

Set collection

A game mechanic in which the goal is to collect a set of similar items or cards.

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 2

Gen Con

The setting for the last half of this series, Gen Con is an annual tabletop game convention in Indianapolis. It is the largest tabletop game convention in North America.

The Game Crafter

One of our series' sponsors. The Game Crafter produces print on demand tabletop games. They produced all of the prototype games you see in this series.

Prototype game

An early version of a game that is used for playtesting and refining.


Additional content for a game that is typically sold separately from the original version of the game.


Short for Role-Playing Game, players assume the roles of characters. Often in RPGs, players will make decisions that their character would make, rather than do what they themselves would do.

Analysis Paralysis

The state in a game where a player is unable to decide on an action because of an overload of choices.

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 3

Storytelling game

A type of game that challenges players to tell an improvised story.

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 4


Term for European-style board games which emphasize strategy and downplay luck and conflict, such as Puerto Rico.


A small, non-descript game piece. Also known as a pip.

Region Control

Also known as Area Control or Area of Influence, this mechanic typically rewards players for having the majority of units or influence in an area or region of the board.


The art and design resources that comprise the game design.

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 5

Co-op Game

A game in which players work as a team to beat the game, rather than trying to beat each other.

Card-driven Game

A game in which a player's actions are determined by the cards in their hand.

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 6

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 7

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 8

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 9


A way for all of the players to decide what cards they are going to start with. Each player takes one card at a time, then passes the remaining options on to the next player until all the cards have been distributed amongst all the players.


An activity that takes place in certain board games where a player targets another player intending to harm their efforts in that game.

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 10

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 11


The term Euro-game originated with European game designers. Euro-games tend to to be complicated games that have a lot of components and focus on the minutia of play. They usually involve abstract mechanics like bidding or worker placement. Typically, they are a non-confrontational economic game.

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 12

Casual Game

Usually a quicker game without complex rules that can be played by anyone.

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 13

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 14

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 15

Tabletop Deathmatch

Episode 16

Catch-up Mechanic

A balancing mechanism to help players who are lagging catch up to the leader. It is used so that everyone is invested until the game ends.

Tabletop Deathmatch

The Finale