Monday, 19 September 2016

Board Game Creation

Over the last few months, I was contemplating what to present at Concentric, the local board/RPG convention, where we have our own board game designers group. I was keen to present something more finished, so I chose the simplest of all my game ideas and pulled it out of storage, dusted off the 3.5in floppies and loaded up my game documents (and quickly copy/pasted them all into google docs for future access)

The Game I chose had no name, It was a blurb: Heroes entering a dungeon, players don't control heroes, they influence heroes, to ensure no-one is able to determine which heroes you want to win, you play influence on all heroes, sometimes good sometimes bad, sometimes indifferent.

Over the course of the game, you can slowly determine, who is 'influencing' which group the most, and if your goal goes against that, can push to block that hero group more often.

No, Not this Ludo
This Ludo

 Its Ludo meets Bridge, wrapped in a fantasy setting.


There are only really 3 types of card you can play, Movement, Blocking and Enhancing. Each has a few varieties of cards, but just stating those concepts really cements my own idea of how to present that. 
The "heroes" are Red, Green, Blue and Yellow, so I could use Purple, Orange and White to represent Movement, Blocking and Enhancing.

The Board has a path from the players start, to the centre, 10 squares.

The Concept is simple, you play a movement card to move forward, a creature card to slow down someones movement, or an enchancement card to increase the chance that the movement card will allow movement.. what I meant by those last points.. a creature will block you, if your hero group is un-enhanced, but if enhanced, the creature is killed (removed from the path) and the hero continues to move forward.

When the Heroes reach the treasure at the end, they claim the treasures. Once all treasures are claimed, the players reveal their "favoured" heroes and points are claimed.

The Game can play as quickly as 20 minutes, but if you use the more advanced rules, can go for an hour. I've tested with 2-4 players a few times, but at ConCentric, I managed to victimise get eight players, to really test its limits.. (i.e, could you pull this out at a dinner party and play a round or two.. the answer is.. not yet)

Making a Board game is Harder than you think

I had 2.5 months, and I honestly thought I could pull off such a simplistic board game idea in that time, I really thought I'd be almost ready to think about kickstarting it once I presented at Concentric.. Whoo Boyo, No..

My Initial play tests, suggested I needed more card types, my next play test had too many. The Hero theme suggested cards that just broke the game, pushing it into hours of play, but taking them out left the game as too simplistic and we could finish in 10 minutes.

Presenting at Concentric, showed me that eight players might only work if the players all know what they're doing, because my nephews were very gung-ho, just throwing down their 4 choices, I forgot that adults like to contemplate their moves, and that meant a 10 minute turn around the board.

So, Its back to the drawing board.. I'm almost there, but its just needs something else...