Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design: An Encyclopedia of Mechanisms compiles hundreds of different mechanisms, organized by category. Each has a description of how it works, discussion of its pros and cons, how it can be implemented, and examples of specific games that use it. Building Blocks can be read cover to cover, used as a reference when looking for inspiration for a new design, help solving a specific problem, or assist in getting unstuck in the midst of a project. This book, the first to collect mechanisms like this in the tabletop game design field, aims to be a practical guide that will be a great starting point for beginning designers, a handy guidebook for the experienced, and an ideal classroom textbook.


Key Features

  • The first compendium of its kind in the tabletop game field.
  • Covers the nuts and bolts of design to resolve specific challenges.
  • Serves as a practical guide, a great starting point for beginning designers, and a reference for seasoned professionals.
  • Contains discussion of a series of standalone mechanisms, in a standard format and style, with cross-links to related mechanics and specific examples.
  • Includes hundreds of mechanism entries with accompanying diagrams and sample games to study.
  • Ideal for professional or classroom use.

chapter 1|27 pages

Game Structure

chapter 2|41 pages

Turn Order and Structure

chapter 3|41 pages


chapter 4|50 pages


chapter 5|43 pages

Game End and Victory

chapter 6|33 pages


chapter 7|41 pages


chapter 8|44 pages


chapter 9|21 pages

Worker Placement

chapter 10|52 pages


chapter 11|20 pages

Area Control

chapter 12|19 pages

Set Collection

chapter 13|21 pages

Card Mechanisms