The Making of Genji - Tales and Trivia
- Dylan Kirk(dnjkirk)Canada
I've just been putting the finishing touches on Genji, soon to be released from Z-Man (rules are currently downloadable here: http://boardgamegeek.com/file/info/31483). I thought I would collect a whole bunch of fun random trivia here in order to enlighten and entertain. Genji is a game based on the romances of Hikaru Genji, sometimes referred to as the "Shining Prince" because of the meaning of his given name (hikaru = "to shine"). While Genji was not a real person, many have surmised that he was based on a real individual (or individuals) known to the author, Murasaki Shikibu. There was, reportedly, even speculation about this at the time the book was being written and released chapter by chapter (in and around the period from 1000-1020CE). Genji takes the tack that the players are nobles off to prove that they are as gentle and romantic as the Shining Prince so that they can claim to be the real-life inspiration for The Tale of Genji.
Genji has been the culmination of about a year of work and sleeplessness. What with a son, a wife, and a day job, I didn't have much time to pursue my hobby of game design. I chatted about design with my friends on the Board Game Designers' Forum and entered a few of the monthly challenges there. It was when I went on a trip to Japan to see the inlaws and outlaws that I finally had the time to get down to designing something real: my wife was going to stay on in Japan with her parents for a couple weeks along with my son*. The 9 hours on the plane alone was used to good effect, and by the time I touched down back in Sri Lanka I had an alpha ruleset.
When my wife came home, I had a prototype ready for her. She was (quite appropriately) the very first alpha-tester for this game about Japanese poetry and romance... appropriate not only because she's my wife, but because I was actually looking to make something that we'd be able to play together.
*I have now determined that one week is the maximum amount of time I can be away from my wife and son without exhibiting signs of total mental collapse - such as compulsive housecleaning and worrying if my son is near a road or sharp object... maybe... someplace.
- [+] Dice rolls