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My idea is a worker placement where three-four players run for President. I have put a lot of development time into it but I'm wondering... would this be a broadly appealing theme? There really is not any very good games about running for president, and as a society we are obsessed with the presidency, and also I have an older game I really like except for its dated mechanics (Landslide) that serves as a model.

Does any of this sound interesting to any of you? Would you vote for it?
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Jason Brown
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There have been about a dozen games with that precise theme on Kickstarter in the last year alone. Only a couple have funded though, so the market may be saturated.
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
There have been about a dozen games with that precise theme on Kickstarter in the last year alone. Only a couple have funded though, so the market may be saturated.


Do you happen to have any of the links on those? I want to see if my idea is good enough to break through where the others didn't.
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A. B. West
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Here ya go, kid - a list of games about presidents.

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Richard Keiser

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OnlyForDownloads wrote:
MAJBrown22 wrote:
There have been about a dozen games with that precise theme on Kickstarter in the last year alone. Only a couple have funded though, so the market may be saturated.


Do you happen to have any of the links on those? I want to see if my idea is good enough to break through where the others didn't.


You should really use the power of this site to find everything to know about every political game that is contained within the vast BGG database.

Good luck on the research. It always is good to understand a market before you decide to venture into it. Lot of resources have been lost by ignoring that primary rule.

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adamw wrote:


It's funny that they all have "president" in the title.
 
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darthhugo wrote:
OnlyForDownloads wrote:
MAJBrown22 wrote:
There have been about a dozen games with that precise theme on Kickstarter in the last year alone. Only a couple have funded though, so the market may be saturated.


Do you happen to have any of the links on those? I want to see if my idea is good enough to break through where the others didn't.


You should really use the power of this site to find everything to know about every political game that is contained within the vast BGG database.

Good luck on the research. It always is good to understand a market before you decide to venture into it. Lot of resources have been lost by ignoring that primary rule.



My idea is that it's not going to be a game that is too focused on emulating the mechanics of how politics actually is, but a worker placement with a political theme to it. I'm wondering if the political theme, just by being politics, will scare people away. The game is going to be closer to something like Lords of Waterdeep than it will be to 1960.

There's a lot of politically themed games that are either too serious, or too darkly satirical, and I want to strike a balance between the two. Where it's light-hearted, yet grounded on some reality of how the system sort of works.
 
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Eric Miller
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OnlyForDownloads wrote:

Does any of this sound interesting to any of you? Would you vote for it?


Well, other than "worker placement" you didn't tell us too much about it. In addition to all the KS games, there's lots of simple PnP games here- the majority are some sort of Electoral College capture. Here's a KS one: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1873181844/race-to-the-...

and another:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cosmicwombatgames/campa...

I'd say continue on, but be ready to just give the game away as a PnP.

Of course, you could wait until this election is officially over- you might get an opportunity to have your game be the first for the next election cycle.
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govmiller wrote:
OnlyForDownloads wrote:

Does any of this sound interesting to any of you? Would you vote for it?


Well, other than "worker placement" you didn't tell us too much about it. In addition to all the KS games, there's lots of simple PnP games here- the majority are some sort of Electoral College capture. Here's a KS one: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1873181844/race-to-the-...

and another:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cosmicwombatgames/campa...

I'd say continue on, but be ready to just give the game away as a PnP.

Of course, you could wait until this election is officially over- you might get an opportunity to have your game be the first for the next election cycle.


My game has the Electoral College, but because there are three to four players, the game goes to the House of Representatives at the end, where players compete for the 26 out of 50 votes needed to be selected as President. You CAN win with an Electoral College outright majority, where if it is crossed the game immediately ends with you as a winner, but I intend for that to be pretty difficult to achieve except with one particular starting set-up.

I hesitate going too far into detail with this game because I don't want my ideas stolen before the game is in the prototype stage. Linking to the Campaign Trail game - never heard of it but this is a game I definitely want to play separate from my need to research for this one.
 
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OnlyForDownloads wrote:
govmiller wrote:
OnlyForDownloads wrote:

Does any of this sound interesting to any of you? Would you vote for it?


Well, other than "worker placement" you didn't tell us too much about it. In addition to all the KS games, there's lots of simple PnP games here- the majority are some sort of Electoral College capture. Here's a KS one: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1873181844/race-to-the-...

and another:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cosmicwombatgames/campa...

I'd say continue on, but be ready to just give the game away as a PnP.

Of course, you could wait until this election is officially over- you might get an opportunity to have your game be the first for the next election cycle.


My game has the Electoral College, but because there are three to four players, the game goes to the House of Representatives at the end, where players compete for the 26 out of 50 votes needed to be selected as President. You CAN win with an Electoral College outright majority, where if it is crossed the game immediately ends with you as a winner, but I intend for that to be pretty difficult to achieve except with one particular starting set-up.

I hesitate going too far into detail with this game because I don't want my ideas stolen before the game is in the prototype stage. Linking to the Campaign Trail game - never heard of it but this is a game I definitely want to play separate from my need to research for this one.


You really should study the other games on the market, play test, get an audience with some publishers, etc., before focusing too much on theme turning people off.... there may be a lot of good elements in your potential design that will make the theme irrelevant.

You should really study up, because everybody and their sister is now designing games, so you really need to get a grasp on the current state of the market, designs, etc. to be able to ask and to interpret the questions and answers that will come your way from asking such open-ended questions.

Can't really say much more, other than do your homework.

Good luck.
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Alistair Stafford
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Here's a list with some presidential and non-presidential systems.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/211055/

I'd really like to see a good MMP system game.
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Jeff Wood
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Die Macher, for politics extreme
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asta wrote:
Here's a list with some presidential and non-presidential systems.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/211055/

I'd really like to see a good MMP system game.


Good list, I'll have to paw through that.

I don't know if mine is necessarily MMP, but the way the scoring will work is that there will be 50 votes in the House, and winning the electoral college allows you to score first and gives you five starting votes in scoring, but doesn't necessarily mean you win. If 25 votes is not passed, the other two score (with the fourth player if any being dropped from scoring), and then after the third place electoral college player scores, if none of the players reach a majority then third players votes are dropped and the second place player scores theirs again. If they don't pass 25, then the player who scored first scores again, etc.

The idea is that second place might actually be important (simulating the "compromise choice" decision) instead of the traditional "leader wins" formula of scoring.
 
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Samuel Hinz
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Having to ask about the theme and being scared someone will steal your idea. Both of these show your ignorance about the boardgame industry as it exists.

Best advice i could give you is to do a bunch more research and loiknat a ton of other design threads, should give you an idea of the type of things to consider and focus on. More importantly is what to not waste your time and energy on.
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Richard Keiser

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abodi wrote:
Having to ask about the theme and being scared someone will steal your idea. Both of these show your ignorance about the boardgame industry as it exists.

Best advice i could give you is to do a bunch more research and loiknat a ton of other design threads, should give you an idea of the type of things to consider and focus on. More importantly is what to not waste your time and energy on.


To be fair to the OP, they are new and just have zero experience or understanding of the industry, the hobby, the market, or past, present, or future designs... so they don't realize their questions and concerns are at a place on the spectrum that appear that way. In short, they don't know what they don't know.

Since it is their resources, they could spend them anyway they wish, because in the end they will be on the hook for them. Some people plow head-long into the unknown, and sometimes that is OK, sometimes that is very 1/smart.
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Samuel Hinz
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I don't believe I was being unfair to the OP. I used crude language but ignorance wasn't an insult, just an explanation of his current understanding. I then suggested some ways out of his/her situation.
 
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I backed Statecraft: the Political Card Game, sounds interesting and Die Macher is always a very good game but (US-)election games flooded the market this year... Some like Swedish Parliament 2014 sounds interesting but I haven't played it yet.
I love good political/economic games but most gamers think it's boring or number crunching...
 
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darthhugo wrote:
abodi wrote:
Having to ask about the theme and being scared someone will steal your idea. Both of these show your ignorance about the boardgame industry as it exists.

Best advice i could give you is to do a bunch more research and loiknat a ton of other design threads, should give you an idea of the type of things to consider and focus on. More importantly is what to not waste your time and energy on.


To be fair to the OP, they are new and just have zero experience or understanding of the industry, the hobby, the market, or past, present, or future designs... so they don't realize their questions and concerns are at a place on the spectrum that appear that way. In short, they don't know what they don't know.

Since it is their resources, they could spend them anyway they wish, because in the end they will be on the hook for them. Some people plow head-long into the unknown, and sometimes that is OK, sometimes that is very 1/smart.


Agreed that Samuel's comment was a bit harsh, but it is true - and more often than not, I find that a lot of this comes from "business" discussions like on LinkedIn forums vs the game enthusiast forums like here, Reddit and BGDF where the nuances are readily discussed. Certainly, I find the prevalance of project secrecy is overwhelming from non-game sites, and it shows when people come into these big three game sites and seem flabbergasted at the thought of sharing info to promote their games by building up an audience ahead of production as well as refine them.
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Personally, it would have to be quite a deep and interesting game for me to actively choose to play a game with this theme. If it's basically a worker placement game, it would be undesirable for me to try it.

Maybe it's because I'm so disgusted with the majority of political systems, but just the thought of a game or activity centered around politics is more stressful than enjoyable.

This is just my personal opinion, but I think politics is more polarizing than a lot of other themes, say farming, for example. If your worker placement game had a farming theme, it wouldn't strike a negative chord with me the way a political theme might.

With that being said, if you think the political theme adds to the gameplay in an interesting/unique way, certainly don't abandon it, but maybe consider why there are not really any massively popular games centered around what you are going for.

As a side not, I worked on a television pilot last year which was about politicians. The network wanted to explore the possibility of springboarding off of the presidential election to add to the ratings. Although the pilot was not picked up, there is something there in using the elections to help garner brand awareness. However, the longevity of a political game will certainly need more than timeliness to make it a success.
 
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Austin Andersen
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I can't speak for others, but I attest that I have no interest at least not from what I've read so far.
 
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abodi wrote:
Having to ask about the theme and being scared someone will steal your idea. Both of these show your ignorance about the boardgame industry as it exists.

Best advice i could give you is to do a bunch more research and loiknat a ton of other design threads, should give you an idea of the type of things to consider and focus on. More importantly is what to not waste your time and energy on.


I make it plain that I'm ignorant about the industry and proceed cautiously. It is better to share less in a situation of ignorance than to share too much with people that you're ignorant of. Not saying my ideas are so great that of course they will be stolen, or that any of you will, but you know what I mean. It is a bigger waste of time to put a lot of thought into an idea and then have major components of it lifted by others. Paying attention to the film industry, you see that happen every day.

Honestly I wouldn't mind if the idea was stolen (that means I wouldn't have to do all this work) but I think I could apply it better.
 
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rutherford82 wrote:
Personally, it would have to be quite a deep and interesting game for me to actively choose to play a game with this theme. If it's basically a worker placement game, it would be undesirable for me to try it.

Maybe it's because I'm so disgusted with the majority of political systems, but just the thought of a game or activity centered around politics is more stressful than enjoyable.

This is just my personal opinion, but I think politics is more polarizing than a lot of other themes, say farming, for example. If your worker placement game had a farming theme, it wouldn't strike a negative chord with me the way a political theme might.

With that being said, if you think the political theme adds to the gameplay in an interesting/unique way, certainly don't abandon it, but maybe consider why there are not really any massively popular games centered around what you are going for.

As a side not, I worked on a television pilot last year which was about politicians. The network wanted to explore the possibility of springboarding off of the presidential election to add to the ratings. Although the pilot was not picked up, there is something there in using the elections to help garner brand awareness. However, the longevity of a political game will certainly need more than timeliness to make it a success.


I definitely know what you're talking about here. I see this a lot with politically themed games that either get too real with it, too partisan, or way too topical. That's something I want to try to avoid, and one reason I wanted to work on this. It'll even be to the point where the year and time the election takes place will not be specified. Like I'm not going to have Obama in the game, or I'm not going to have the Iraq War in the game, or really dicey, too-serious political scenarios.


 
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Patrick Atwell
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There was a game in the early 90's called "Republocrat." It was based on this same premise. From what I can tell, it wasn't very popular...
 
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