Rough Draft
Please note that this thesis paper is just a rough draft and is currently a work in progress. The content on this page will probably be modified and may not be representative of the final version. Sources notes and references may not be final and placeholder text may be used and will later be replaced.
  1. Defining complexity in Board Games
  2. Reading manuals, documentation, and walk-throughs
  3. Watching online gameplay videos
  4. Learning from fellow players who are already familiar with the game
  5. Issues with independently understanding and comprehending rules and game mechanics

How New Players Learn How to Play

"The “complexity” of a board game is a relatively loosely defined term, since it encompasses different types of learning and decision making characteristics involved in learning how to play as well as playing a game. To give a quick example, Chess/Go are relatively simple games in terms of their rules. In both cases, the rules can all be concisely explained and understood in a few minutes. However, getting a full grasp of all the strategies and tactics made possible by these simple rules can take a very long time as there is a considerable amount of complexity born from the number of different moves possible each turn as well as the fact that every move affects the available possible moves in future turns (i.e. turns are not independent). Boardgamegeek contains a “weight” score board games (rated by users) that provides a reduced, all-encompassing sense of the complexity of a game, based on users’ perception. We can look at how the complexity scores of board games have evolved based on when games were released. I’ve focussed on games post 1995 since the dataset of games that have enough weight ratings before then starts to get a bit thin before then." (1)


  1. Vatvani, Dinesh. "An Analysis of Board Games: Part I - Introduction and General trends." Dinesh Vatvani. March 05, 2018. Accessed April 28, 2018. http://dvatvani.github.io/BGG-Analysis-Part-1.html.



Thesis Work

This section of the website is where I am documenting the work on my thesis paper and visual component.

About Me

My name is Mark Koberlein and I have been a professional web designer, app developer, and instructor for about 13 years. I live in a small town next to Allentown, PA with my wife 2 daughters. My wife and I are avid gamers and movie watchers. I am currently a tenure-track Instructor in the Communication Design department at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem PA, where I teach courses in general computer graphics, web design, mobile applications, interactive design, server-side programming, and animation. I started this journey as an undergrad at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. For the first 2 years, I studied Computer Science and then changed my major to Religious Studies to finish my under-grad studies with a Bachelor of Arts. After college, I decided to not pursue the reli... Read More