As Glass Cannon Unplugged, we have a very straightforward mission. We choose video games that we believe have significantly influenced their genre and that just appeal to us in terms of translating them to the language of tabletop.

Venturing through diverse biomes

Don't Starve: The Board Game
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Venturing through diverse biomes


  • Don’t Starve: The Board Game recreates the expansive, procedurally generated world of the video game with distinct biomes, each with unique features.
  • The game uses World Layout cards, Map Tiles, and Location cards for exploration and interaction, presenting a compact version of the video game’s world.
  • Players can perform various actions through Location cards, with resource limits enforced by an Exploitation track.
  • Follow Don’t Starve: The Board Game on Kickstarter!

Hello everyone! This is Rafał Pieczyński, author and lead developer of Don’t Starve: The Board Game at Glass Cannon Unplugged. Today, I want to share a bit about the amazing journey of designing and developing Don’t Starve: The Board Game, and what you can expect from it. Let’s kick it off with the world itself.

The World of Don’t Starve

As you probably know, the world of Don’t Starve is huge, expansive, full of mysteries, challenges, and unique charm. Every single playthrough invites you into a procedurally generated world, where you never know exactly what’s lurking around the corner. What you quickly learn is that the world is divided into biomes, each having its own characteristics, flora, fauna, and specific interactions, all blending into a truly living environment.

Since I love exploration and discovery in games, I wanted to preserve the original feeling of the world. That’s why the board game offers a macroscale—the biomes, each unique with regard to what you can find—and a microscale—the Locations, allowing the players to interact with the surroundings.

The Micro-Macro scale

Similar to the video game, the world of Don’t Starve: The Board Game is randomly generated, based on World Layout cards. These use Map Tiles to divide the world into different biomes, ready to be explored. In board game terms, each Map Tile consists of a Biome type, a Location card slot, and an Exploitation track.

photo taken by Mark Dainty during UKGE 2024

The base Don’t Starve (video game) offers over 18 biomes with many interesting places to see. As this scale proved overwhelming for the physical medium of the tabletop adaptation, we decided to make the world more compact and easy to learn and manage. The Core Box version of the board game will make use of 4 biomes, each with a set of sub-biomes known from the video game. For example, within the Drylands biome, you will be able to find the Savanna or Rockyland sub-biomes, each represented by Location cards.

Location cards provide the microscale aspect of the game, allowing you to interact with the environment—scavenging for precious resources, cutting down trees, destroying Pig Houses, or fighting creatures, with additional hidden features for you to discover.

There’s also the Exploitation track, which limits the amount of resources you can find in a given location. That beautiful Gold Vein won’t last forever, so you better start looking for another one elsewhere!

I hope this gives you a glimpse of what to expect in Don’t Starve: The Board Game! Feel free to comment and ask questions!

Until the next Designer Diary where we’ll talk about combat.