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This page lists some useful resources for budding game designers, as well as a couple of recorded talks that took place during the time that the team were working on the project.

Board Games and Medieval Medicine



Dicing with Death: Board games and Medieval Medicine


A talk given by Daniel Burt at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford on July 21st 2016, towards the beginning of the project.



A talk given by Daniel Burt to the Society of the History of Medieval Science and Technology in June 2017, towards the end of the project.






General board game links

This has been a real boon for me during lockdown, and has allowed me to keep playing games regularly. You can play many games for free on the site, and membership costs are very low, should you wish to join.
Quite simply, this is the first site to visit if you want to learn more about board games. It can be a bit difficult to navigate, as there is so much content on the site, but once you make your way down the rabbit hole, you will find it hard to return.
Part board game review site, and part comedy sketch show, shutupandsitdown can be a bit of an acquired taste, but they offer some excellent insights into modern gaming, and organise an annual convention, SHUX.
So Very Wrong About Games (podcast):
My favourite weekly podcast on board games. Offers a good overview of games news, quick reviews on a range of games, and a longer form review each week.
Thirsty Meeples:
Europe's first board game café, and it is right here in Oxford. A fantastic way to find out more about board games and well worth a visit.

Useful Software

You'll need a graphics package that can handle layers for most card templates provided by printing companies, and GIMP is a great free alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
Tabletop Simulator:
When working on prototypes, you can save a great deal of time and printing costs by using a digital version rather than a physical prototype. There are a number of platforms you can use to do this, but I find TTS quick and easy to use, and have used it for prototyping all of the games produced as part of this project, as well as many of my own designs.


Physical Prototypes

The Gamecrafter (US):
The Gamcrafter offer an excellent and fairly comprehensive print on demand service for board game designers. You can print an entire game via their online service, including all components, a box, and any rules. Be aware that postage costs and import duties to the EU can be quite high, but this won't stop me from using their services, as the products they produce are of a very high standard.

Instant Print (UK):

Affordable and speedy printing of rulebooks and other supporting materials.

Printer Studio (EU):

Printer Studio are EU-based, so shipping is much quicker and more affordable, but you are largely limited to cards and a few individual components, as they do not offer the all-in-one service provided by The Gamecrafter. Printing times are very quick, and the standard of service I have received from them has been consistently high.

Spielematerial (EU):

A great source of wooden game components with a huge amount of variety available. Prices are very competitive, and shipping is both quick and affordable.


Further Reading

Al-Khalili, J. (2010) Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science. London: Allen Lane

Al-Khalili, J. (2012) The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance. London: Penguin Books

Amar, Z. and Lev, E. (2017) Arabian Drugs in Early Medieval Mediterranean Medicine. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Barrett, G. (2019) Board Game Design Advice: From the Best in the World. Board Game Design Lab

Brathwaite B. L. and Schreiber I (2008) Challenges for Games Designers: Non-Digital Exercises for Video Game Designers. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Chipman, L. (2006) 'Minhāj al-dukkān by Abū 'l-Munā al-Kūhīn al-'Attār: Aspects of Pharmacy and Pharmacists in Malūk Cairo.' PhD Thesis, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Chipman, L. (2011) Pharmacopoeias for the Hospital and the Shop in The Convergence of Judaism and Islam: Religious, Scientific, and Cultural Dimensions, ed. Laskier, M. and Lev, Y. Gainesville : University Press of Florida

Engelstein G. and Shalev I. (2019) Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design: An Encyclopedia of Mechanisms. Florida: CRC Press 

Finkel, I (2005) Games: Discover and Play 5 Famous Ancient Games. British Museum Activity Books

Frederick Starr, S. (2013) Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Freely, J. (2009) Aladdin's Lamp - How Greek Science Came to Europe through the Islamic World. New York: Alfred A. Knopf

Guest, E. (1966) Flora of Iraq: Volume One - Introduction. Baghdad: Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Iraq

Knizia, R. (2010) Dice Games Properly Explained. Blue Terrier Press

Lyons, J. (2009) The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization. London: Bloomsbury

Masood, E. (2009) Science & Islam: A History. London: Icon Books Ltd

Pilon, M (2016) The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game. New York: Bloomsbury

Pormann, P. and Savage-Smith, E. (2007) Medieval Islamic Medicine. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press

Ragab, A. (2015) The Medieval Islamic Hospital: Medicine, Religion, and Charity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Rapoport, Y. and Savage-Smith, E. (2018) Lost Maps of the Caliphs: Drawing the World in 11th-Century Cairo. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Riddle, J. (1985) Dioscorides on Pharmacy and Medicine. Austin: University of Texas Press

Rigal, B (2005) Card Games for Dummies. New York: Wiley

Sackson, S. (1969) A Gamut of Games. New York: Random House

Savage-Smith, E., Swain, S., and van Gelder, G. J. (2019) A Literary History of Medicine (5 Volumes). Leiden: Brill

Schädler U. and Calvo R. (2009) Alfons X. "der Weise": Das Buch der Spiele. Lit Verlag

Schmittberger, R. W. (1949) New Rules for Classic Games. New York: Wiley

Selinker, M (2012) Kobold Guide to Board Game Design. OpenDesignLLC

Sharp Cockrell, H. (2020) Anecdotes and Antidotes: A Medieval Arabic History of Physicians. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Slack J. (2017) The Board Game Designer's Guide. Crazy Like A Box

Spink, M. S. and Lewis, G. L. (1973) Abulcasis, On Surgery and Instruments. Berkeley: University of California Press

Tibi, S. (2006) The medicinal use of opium in ninth-century Baghdad. Sir Henry Wellcome Asian Series, vol. 5, Leiden: Brill

Trzewiczek, I. (2014) Boardgames That Tell Stories: The funniest guide to game design. Portal Games

Turner, H. (1995) Science in Medieval Islam: An Illustrated Introduction. Austin: University of Texas Press


 Forthcoming Event

On Thursday 10 December, from 6pm until 7pm, join Daniel Burt from Oxford's Faculty of Oriental Studies for a fascinating insight into the Board Games and Medieval Medicine Project as part of the Knowledge in Motion - Science and Medicine in the Islamic World lecture series at the History of Science Museum, Oxford. There is no charge to attend this online event, but you will need to register. For further information, please click here.


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