Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Which We Become Board Game Designers

So besides the arcade and eating a lot of junk food this weekend, myself, Twin and Brother also spent a HUGE amount of time on our new awesome-o project.

What is the project, you ask?

We're making a board game. And it is going to be epic.

I know I've mentioned our love of board games before. And we're not talking about Monopoly and Sorry or Risk

I'm always the Hat

I love pushing someone's token back to start. But only 4 players is a crap move, Sorry

Damn you Twin and Brother and your inevitable betrayals!

(though all of those are fun games. Also I always win when we play Monopoly. It's weird.)

We're talking about games like Agricola, Lord of the Rings and Arkham Horror.

Agricola - I love you and your little blocks and tokens

frickin unwinnable

Dear Cthulu - I hate it when you drive me insane. or devour me of course

We've talked for years about making our own board game. Getting rid of stuff we don't like and adding in stuff we do. But then Twin had an awesome specific idea, and the game plan (pun intended) began.

We're in the proto-prototype stage. Which is to say, we're making a crappy version that will let us test things out, before we make a less crappy version for beta testing. We've actually got a board built and about half of the cards crafted.

Turns out publishing a board game is a lot like publishing a book. Who knew? Not me, which is why I had to do some research.

We hope to have the proto-prototype built and tested a bit before family vacay. Because we play A LOT of games while on family vacay, so it would be a perfect chance for the whole fam to test out the game.

There have been arguments, oh yes. But there have been a lot more moments of "This game is going to EFFING ROCK". I'm actually surprised there wasn't more arguing. And I'm really surprised at how easily the game came together. I think that mostly has to do with the three of us having almost the exact same taste in board games.

So how about you? What's your favorite board game?


Justine Dell said...

Wow! Making a board game is totally awesome! I bow to you. ;-)

My favorite game is Monopoly. I love making people go broke. LoL. I'm competitive.


~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Too cool!!!! Best of luck with it!

My favorite game to play with the kids is Monopoly, but I've always love-LOVED chess.

I can't wait to hear you've sold your game!

Palindrome said...

hmmmm, Chess, Battleship, Tabloid Teasers, Niagra...pretty much any game I can win at least once or laugh even though I'm losing horribly. I'm not a huge fan of Monopoly but I like having fake money, owning things and making people pay me...

I've never played any of the other games you mentioned. Anything with a lot of cards and rules makes me cry. hahaha! kidding.

I like a TON of card games!! I just like games in general I'm realizing. But I will never play D&D...NEVER!

Falen (Sarah) said...

Justine - oh we're big monopoly fans here too. We have many many different versions

Nicole - i can't plan ahead enough to be successful at chess

Palindrome - well than arkham horror is probably off the list for you. It's known around here as the game that takes so long to setup (and refresh our memories) that by the time we're ready to play, we kinda don't wanna anymore.
Have you played the Great Dalmuti? AWESOME card game

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

So awesome! I can't wait to hear more about it as you proto-proto-beta this thing.
I have to say Monopoly drives me insane, I have a very short attention span for that game OR I really suck at real estate. Not sure.
I'm more into card games personally but growing up I loved Clue and played it and Rummikub fairly often. I also suck at Scrabble strangely enough. But I can rock out 3-4 letter words!

Summer said...

That's so cool! I remember wanting to do that as a kid.

The Great Dalmuti is so fun! We also like to play Killer Bunnies.

I'm more of a fan of trivia games, because I hate things being left up to chance--the roll of a die or fall of a card, for instance. Also, my in-law family is very competitive with the games, and I'm not competitive at all, so I get all weird-feeling inside when I'm slitting their throats during the game, you know?

Have you played Gloom? That one's fun too.

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

I think I better add a leaf to my kitchen table so I can play your games when they come out. By the way - they terrify me! The creepsters in LOTR will need their own lockbox before I can go to sleep!

Lola Sharp said...

We play a lot of Scrabble...and I admit to going through a Risk phase.
Oh, and Husband and Child like to play Jenga. I don't. It scares me. It's like Kerplunk...suddenly things crash down. And I always lose and cause the crashing.

I LOVE that y'all are making a game! I totes will com splay with you, and buy your game.

Will it have awesome game pieces? I wanna be the puppy!

Happy Humpday!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Wow - good luck with your game. It sounds like a lot of work but a lot of fun also.

My favorites were always Monopoly and Risk. Come to think of it, I haven't played a board game in a long time. Maybe a game night is due.

Anne said...

this game is gonna be so epic. I can't wait to pre-beta test it. And to go shopping for prototype tokens and pieces and die and all the stuff that makes a good game great

Falen (Sarah) said...

Erica - yeah i'm not great at scrabble either. You never get the letters you need. I'm much better at Boggle

Summer - love love love dalmuti. man we've been playing that game for like 15 years. But we're all pretty competetive. I'll have to check out Gloom

Leah - ah yes, a leaf is definitely required. Though we're trying to make our game more "table siz friendly" because that's one of the things that irritates us about Arkham Horror

Lola - i like the idea of jenga, but mostly it comes down to a game of cleaning crap up. which isn't as fun...
And yes, we are BIG fans of awesome game pieces

Jaydee - Yay! Game night! I'd like risk more if i didn't have to betray people and junk

Teebore said...

I love the more strategy-based games like Monopoly or Risk over stuff like Sorry. My all time fave is Axis and Allies.

And of course, I LOVE trivia based games, like Trivial Pursuit and Scene It, but rarely get to play them. Though I hate the new anniversary edition of Trivial Pursuit for a few reasons.

Hands down my favorite game is Times Up. It's a party game that basically consists of a stack of cards with the name of a famous person on each card (actors, authors, artists, historical figures, etc.).

The group divides into teams (usually three) and each person picks ten cards at random, discards two and the remainder become the deck for that game.

Then each team takes a turn going through the deck. One person looks at the cards (one at a time) and tries to get their team to guess the person on it.

But here's the best part: that deck gets used in three rounds during the course of the game. The first round, you get your team to guess the people by describing them (saying anything but their name). Then in the second round, you have to get them to guess the people using only one word. And in the third round, it's all about charades.

It's seriously tons of fun.

What's the basic premise of your game?

Falen (Sarah) said...

Anne - yes i am looking forward to all of that as well. I think we can do it all this weekend. Also maybe we should buy a paper cutter...

Teebore - We have axis and allies but had never played it. We always start to read the directions, and then change our minds. Also that game sounds awesome. And our game is about surviving the apocalypse, natch. We already have the board built and most the cards as well.

Teebore said...

@Falen: We have axis and allies but had never played it. We always start to read the directions, and then change our minds.

If you ever want to play it, let me know and we could get a game going and I can talk you through the rules. The game play itself is actually pretty easy (not unlike Risk) even if the strategy is a lot more complex.

And our game is about surviving the apocalypse, natch.

I remember that now. I can't wait to play it!

Anonymous said...

Aaaahhh! That last game pictured looks incredibly complicated and headache-inducing.

We probably play (and love) Cranium more than any other board game.

Good luck with yours! Can't wait to hear what it entails.

Talli Roland said...

How cool! You guys rock - can't wait to hear more about how it develops. Keep us posted!

Falen (Sarah) said...

Teebore - yeah we might have to do that. it seems a shame to have a nice (expensive) game in our game closet, not getting any use

Kelly - ooh cranium can be fun

Talli - will do!

Mia said...

Hehehehe, SO COOL! Keep us updated please :D

Uhm, I like Monopoly because it's hard for my brothers to cheat... and then Risk because we lost half the rule book a while back so sometimes it becomes a bit of a "free for all".

Oh oh and Trivial Pursuit because so many people can play. :)

Falen (Sarah) said...

Mia - free for all risk sounds pretty awesome.

Shelley Sly said...

That is SO awesome that you're making your own board game! I'd love to hear more about it as it's being developed.

I played a lot of Monopoly growing up, but I hardly remember actually finishing a game. I think my friends and family and I just got bored after a while. I do play a mean game of Scrabble, though. Must be the writer in me.

Falen (Sarah) said...

Shelley - oh yeah, we have that problem with monopoly too. Especially when people start to lose

Janel said...

Sounds like fun! When we were on vacation at MOA I found a board game where you play for beads! Didn't buy it, but that sounds like my kind of game. And Scrabble. Words are good. :)

BlackRoseofLight94 said...

Best of luck with that! (as in that is so freaking cool and I am slightly jealous... yet not.)

Lord of the Rings Monopoly. I always dominate and it's LOTR. i actually get to BE a wizard. How amazing is that? (Geek alert!)

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

My brother invented a game that was kind of Cranium/Pictionary/something or other. It was made of win. Why haven't we played it recently?!

My favorite board game was LIFE, but then they changed it and made it all stupid and no longer fun.

Hart Johnson said...

This sounds like a FABULOUS project! I wish I'd had a bigger family so I could have gotten sucked into games more elaborate than Cribbage and Backgammon. Don't get me wrong-- I love those, but as a kid, I was an only child, so this richness of boardgames just wasn't possible. Good luck with the project!

Nate Wilson said...

Nope, there's no way I can pick one favorite game. Among my recent favorites, however, are Dominion, Agricola, Ticket to Ride, and -- with my friends' sense of humor -- Why Did the Chicken. (I also love beating my sister in Scrabble.)

Kudos to you for trying to design a game of such complexity. If it were me, I'd leave the complexity to my novel and instead design something simple like We Didn't Playtest This At All (and yes, that's an actual game).

Al said...

Dare I say I almost never play board games.
I did play a fair bit of chess a few years ago.

I hope you get your game happening! Sounds like a great idea.

Falen (Sarah) said...

Janel - ooh play for beads sounds awesome. hmm i think i've seen that game before...

BlackRose - Hah! And we don't have LOTR monopoly but we do have Jedi Monopoly and it is AWESOME. the hotels are super tall and all the buildings snap in place. also, Jedis

Sonshine - ooh we liked life a lot too. I haven't played it in years. How is it different?

Hart - we do enjoy cribbage in our family. We have a large family, so it's pretty good for playing some baord games, but a lot of games only allow 4 players, and when you have a family of 6, those don't work

Nate - ooh love me Agricola. Haven't ever tried ticket to ride but we always look at it at the game stores. Our next game we may pick up is Puerto Rico

Al - chess counts, though as i said to nicole, i'm not good enough at planning out moves ahead of time to be successful at chess

KodasTotems said...

As siblings, you guys spend more time together than anyone I know. I find that pretty awesome. And that you do things together like make game proto-prototypes...? Just amazing! Is there no limit to your creativity?

Falen (Sarah) said...

Kodas - LOL - well, i don't make clothing or anything like that. But that would be awesome! However, it would require a sewing machine, of which i do not own

Okie said...

Kudos to you and best of luck. It's a lot of work creating something like that but the payoff will be huge...just knowing you've created it and playing it with friends/family (even better if it gets picked up, but hey, that's later).

I have a few friends who finished their prototypes last year and have a couple of smaller publishers looking at their titles (Mayday Games in particular).

I'm a huge board gamer and am always keen to see cool new stuff come out, especially from 'within the ranks of gamers' rather than from the die hards. :)

Heidi said...

Fav. board game is monopoly and we'd have to arm wrestle over the "Hat" piece (mine-all-mine). Followed closely by an old favorite--"Voice of the Mummy" from the 70s.

WritingNut said...

I used to love, love, loVE Monopoly.. and Sorry... and Trouble... and Snakes and Ladders... and Chinese Checkers... and Perfection.... and Guess Who...

Okay.. you get the picture.. I pretty much loved them ALL :)

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