Hello and thank you for visiting David Gordon Game Design!
Building games is a joy, a process that combines elements from many of my passions. Inventing environments and experiences for players in games activates the creative expression I used in my music composition days. Crafting, honing, and applying strategies and tactics draws on my chess, poker, and billiards background. Iterating worlds, from pieces to boards, employs tactile skills from my model train building experience. And writing clear and concise rules makes use of my years of teaching and writing manuals and workbooks for my tutoring business, Pinnacle Prep (www.pinnacleprep.com).
Currently I’m pitching several games to publishers. I will post news here if / when a game is picked up. Here’s a nice review of two of my games at a conference: review! And here’s a wonderful blog post about my games by my good friend Phil Amylon: post!
Here is a list of my games (clicking on the links brings you to pages with more info):
In this short, light, family / party game, everyone wins – except whoever comes in last. Bear!, a co-design with TAM, features yomi and meaningful tactical decisions, as you try to outmaneuver your opponents – knowing you don’t have to win, just avoid losing. Bear! will be published by Featherstone Games and may be released in the spring of 2022. (2-6 players, 10-20 minutes, ages 8+)
In Bucket List, you’re a tycoon! You’ve been quite successful, but life isn’t all about work, and you have an impressive bucket list. Along came CMC (Clone Manufacturing Corporation)! CMC auctions clones and trains them to take your place while you check items off your bucket list. CMC also auctions experience packages to its clientele. Outbid your opponents to take advantage of this opportunity. Whoever enjoys their experiences the most wins the game! (2-5 players, 30-60 minutes)
Build your unique fantastical civilization (Atlantean, Undead, Mythic, Trees) alongside your opponent; construct 3 Wonders or build an abundance of Acclaim to win. CIVS, a 1v1 light-medium card-based tableau builder, is a co-design with TAM, and will be published by Talon Strikes in late 2022 or early 2023. (2 players, 30-45 minutes)
Ever want to be in more than one place at a time? The more wacky businesses you invest in, from the See-through Sock Shop to the Gum Cafe, the more you you’ll need. Luckily, in CloneCity you can copy yourself and put your other selves to work! (2-5 players, 30-60 minutes)
You and your friends will deliberate about which great artworks will be sold to a museum, to an art collector, or be donated to the Dodo Resurrection Society in the social deduction game, Con Artist. (4-10 players, 30-45 minutes)
The race is on to evacuate people from the increasingly inhospitable Earth. Players lead coalitions of nations to acquire resources and build spacecrafts and colonies for their citizens. The mission is simple: Evacuate! Get as many people as possible to safety before the Earth becomes uninhabitable! (2-6 players, 60-90 minutes)
Extraction is a thrilling, real-time experience, in which opposing teams are either fighting for justice to prosecute a known criminal or working together to free an innocent friend.(4-10 players (2-3 poss but not developed), 12 minutes)
Test your nerves, build your farm, and harvest the most delicious grapes in this fast-paced, press-your-luck, bag-building competition, Great Grapes. Co-designed with Jon Gilmour. (2-4 players, 30-60 minutes)
These aliens are obsessed with voting! In O.D.D. (Obsessively Democratic Diplomats), democracy meets capitalism. You’ll vote on everything: to set prices, to mine resources, and to enact legislation with one goal: to help your species earn the most money! (2-6 players, 60-90 minutes)
You and your friends & family will be making hilarious music in no time with Percussion Eruption. Even if you’ve never played music of any kind, you’ll feel comfortable speaking your lines in rhythm, and if you’re a seasoned musician, you’ll find challenge and intrigue, as the group combines into colorful tapestries of sound. (3+ players, 15+ minutes)
Penguins are so pushy! Especially when they make their way to the ocean. You’ll jockey for position as you approach the water in this race to the sea. However, an Orca circles, and whoever it catches first is eliminated – so whoever finishes 2nd in this race is the winner! Push Push Penguins is triple co-designed by Chris Chan, David Gordon, and TAM. (2-6 players, 10-20 minutes, ages 6+)
Sea Lab, co-designed with Jon Gilmour, is a light-weight, family, yomi game with lots of tactical choices. You are researchers in a lab at the bottom of the ocean. You will take turns choosing where to explore, and other players will try to guess where you are going, so they can join the mission. Whoever completes the best research projects wins. (2-5 players, 30-50 minutes)
Compete in Triathlon, a light, family-weight gateway game, co-designed with Jon Gilmour. You’ll battle your way through the swim, take advantage of drafting on the bike, and use up the rest of your energy on the run: first one to cross the finish line wins! (2-8 players, 30-40 minutes, ages 10+)
Welcome to the land of Ultimus Victor! It’s the high middle ages. The benevolent King who ruled from Midlen Castle has passed away, and he has no rightful heirs. Lead a quest to amass the largest army, win the Final War, and become Ultimus Victor. (2-6 players, 45-90 minutes)
Everyone has uh-oh moments, but guess what?! You have magic unicorns! Use your magic unicorns to help your friends in Unicorns & Puppies, a fully cooperative game for kids and families. In this game, you and your friends help solve each other’s problems with magic unicorns, and as a reward, adopt puppies. The game stimulates creativity, sharing, and helping, while relatable issues provide humor and whimsy. (2-5 players, 15-30 minutes, ages 6+)
In The Last Tide, you are the ocean. In this cooperative game, you will face overfishing, thermal stress, pollution, and acidification. But you will work together to recover from the damage using your powerful currents and sending messages to humans to get their attention. If you can make the world’s ocean blue before the last tide, you win! Published by Doomsday Robots; launch expected in 2022. (2-5 players, 45-60 minutes)
2042 Alien Attack! (co-design with Jon Gilmour)
Finding Utopia (co-design with Jon Gilmour)
Goby (co-design with TAM)
Saga (triple co-design with Jon Gilmour & TAM)
The Last Branch (sequel to The Last Tide)
I’m The Road
Serial Killer (co-design with Jon Gilmour)
Thalassaphobia (co-design with Jon Gilmour)
Let’s Build a Sandcastle (co-design with Jon Gilmour)
Let’s Go to the Aquarium (co-design with Jon Gilmour)
Natar (light-weight prequel to O.D.D.) (co-design with Jon Gilmour)
Tempo a Venezia!
I have so many people to thank for supporting, helping, and tolerating me in this pursuit. First and foremost, thank you Jen, Ben, and Ari. Your patience is immeasurable, and your incredible ideas, insight, and ingenuity are consistently invaluable! You and the following people have been so helpful, bravely play testing games that often weren’t quite ready yet!
Gil Hova, Daniel Newman, and the entire NYC-Playtest group (in particular Tam Myaing, Orion McClelland, Chris Chan, Scott Gratien, Josh, Rocco Privetera, Spencer McCormick, and all the #RPT folks, including Bryn Smith, Phil Amylon, Andrea Pincombe, Fertessa Allyse, Max Seidman, Andy Juell, and so many others)
The online community of designer play testing groups, including Remote Playtesting and Heavy Championship Playtesting, which I regularly participate in, as well as those I occasionally participate in, such as Dallas, Infectious Play, Nonepub, Protospiel, Seattle, and VPT.
Joshua Hilson (my brother)
Pinnacle Prep team I’ve wrangled into testing (in particular, Megan Williams, Dhaya Ramarajan, Dennis Corsi, Cici Ogden, Corinne Wilkinson, Sadi Mosko, Chad Small, Forrest Cardamenis)
Simon Ying and Emilie Deschamps
Wes (Brooklyn Game Lab)
my parents Ron Gordon, Sallie Gordon, Danielle Hilson, and Doug Hilson
so many other friends and family