The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design is a 140 page eBook from Kobold Quarterly. The books contains various articles from the likes of James Ernest, Richard Garfield, Steve Jackson, Dale Yu, and others. It costs $20 print/$10 PDF, but I received a free PDF review copy.

The articles are not academic and do not cite sources or present any actual data;  as such, the book is simply a collection of thoughts on various design topics and advice from some experienced designers. The information appears to be sound and the topics are interesting if you’re interested in the subject of designing a hobby game. I read through a few of the articles and skimmed some of the others; I don’t think the information will do you much good if you’re looking to design and publish the “next Monopoly”. It appears to be intended to help you produce a game that is fun for gamers.

Speaking of Monopoly, it’s funny how often Monopoly is mentioned in this book, a book that is aimed squarely at the hobby market. Sometimes to give it props (“Complain all you want about the mechanics of Monopoly. That game works.” – James Ernest) and sometimes to diss it (“Chalk up another failure for Monopoly on this one; “the rich get richer” might be realistic, but it’s not much fun.” – Dave Howell).