When I was 13, I tried to design my own Star Wars board game after playing Key to the Kingdom
; needless to say it didn't go all that well and lacked some serious polish and mechanics. I used Galoob's SW miniatures for the pieces, culled some dice from our family monopoly board, and made some index cards serve as random encounters. Fairly crude, but at least I tried, right?
On another occasion I remember dismantling a copy of the game of Life I got from a church thrift sale for parts (not used in the SW game, I swear!). I am not sure to this day what happened to that copy of Life, nor the pieces, nor what the heck I was going to do with them.
As I got a little older I moved on to role-playing boxed sets, because they seemed the same as board games to me, full of maps, hexes, spaces for movement, charts, etc. Then I left board gaming for other pursuits altogether, mainly girls.
Fast forward to college, where I meet this kooky guy who has all these wild board games you don't find at Wal-Mart, and I am right back into this stuff. Thanks, Ian. My first purchase was Betrayal at House on the Hill, purchased by the state out of my measly resident assistant paycheck. I still have that game, and still love it dearly.
For the past five years, long after we left school to be big kids, I am still gaming, except now I am hosting the game nights instead of just attending. Helping my friends pick out games that suit their tastes and what they want to see at the table. Trying to get my wife to play SOMETHING with me/us, usually with terrible results.
Something great happens at the gaming table, and I now have a cohort of converts into this great hobby, swapping stories about old games from our childhood, tracking down weathered copies of gems, patiently waiting while one of us checks a thrifted game for parts in the store/ flea mkt/bargain bin. What a fun community this has turned out to be for me.
One day I will finish that SW game.