Air Sloop Design Journal

Second Air Sloop Design Journal entry covering the evolution beyond a basic roll and move board game. Written by independent designer Dr. Dave Eng.

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Sloop was originally conceived as a pickup and deliver game that was supposed to be historical. Sloops – which are these short and fast sailing ships – would move up and down the Hudson River to pick up goods from one place and deliver them to another one.

I started out with VERY rudimentary cards. There were all text-based cards that were easily printed on my little ink jet printer at home that broke apart into business card sized cards. Though there was one issue with them: they had no graphics. The text made it hard to easily read the number of goods that a location provided. This made me realize how important graphic design was for ease of use and information access as new versions of the game materialized.

Fellow NJ game designer Zintis B May-Krumins @ZintisMay helped me playtest the earliest version of the game back in October 2018. That’s where the limitations of the roll and move mechanic became apparent. Most of all, rolling and moving was just kind of… boring. It didn’t provide players any agency on where they landed. Just that they HAD to move when they rolled the die.
Air Sloop Design Journal Zintis Playtest 2018
Instead this is where I began to play with the concept of movement points for Sloop. A limited number of movement points were already included in the rule sets for other established games. I began to think long and hard about how I could include them in Sloop thematically…

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Tesseray Games Independent Publisher
Dr Dave Eng Independent Game Designer

About The Designer

Dave Eng EdD, Principal is an intellectual and creative educator, designer, and researcher who combines games, theory, and technology. Dave has played games for most of his life. As a result he studies game design, creates games, and teaches others how to use games for education and learning. Find out more at

Fun Fact: Dave has been seasick in every time zone.

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