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Subject: Help Me To Conceive! rss

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J P
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Hey everyone!

I’ve been wanting to design a board game for a couple years, and an opportunity has come up that has spurred the impetus to do just that. More importantly (certainly to you, dear reader), is that I’d like you to help! I have an idea of the mechanics I want, I have the semblance of a story to build around those mechanics, and I really want to engage with the community on Reddit and BGG to make this thing a reality.

My vision is ambitious, maybe impossibly so. I want to create a thematically-rich science fiction game called Radiance. I want an asymmetrical game that goes beyond just variable player powers. I want a super tight resource management system built into it that each player interacts differently with, while still remaining balanced. I want to minimize randomness, but have a credible amount of unpredictability built in. I want players to explore and find powerful treasure and more powerful NPCs. I want them to progress technologically and feel a sense of accomplishment, even in the face of defeat. I want to tell a story that spans multiple galaxies but also zeroes in on individual planets. I want spaceships and combat. I want the game to be able to to be played in two hours, four hours, or six hours. I want a campaign/legacy option. I want the game to play equally well at different player counts. I want player to rack up a lot of VPs, and I want the differences between those final VP totals to give a satisfying conclusion to the story.

Will you help me make this?


Background:

My name is Jesse, and I got into modern board gaming about 3.5 years ago. Eclipse was the game that started it all for me. I’d say I’ve been pretty serious about the hobby for three years now. My personal collection isn’t huge, and compared to many of you in the community, my own exposure to different games is limited; however, I have several close friends who share the passion, and we’ve managed to play quite a few great titles.

I like heavy games. I like lots of components. I like VP tracks that frame a board that appears chaotic to the untrained eye. I like building engines. And I like competition. I like a lot of things.

These days I’m a full-time MBA student, part-time baker, and (sadly) very occasional board gamer. I make time to play games whenever I can, but the realities of school and work mean that more often than not I’m only able to get in a few games a month.

This semester, I’m taking a Social Media Marketing class, and one of the assignments is to create a blog to be presented to the class at the end of the semester. I have to show how I integrated other media/social platforms, the tactics I used to drive traffic to the blog, analytics associated with the blog, etc. The content, however, is entirely up to me.


The Pitch:

I want my blog to document the designing of a board game, Radiance (working title), with significant input from the board game community. I want to engage with all of you; I want us to bounce ideas off each other; I want us to talk about why we love the games we love; I want you to get me amped about games that I haven’t played but you think are brilliant – all in the service of making something new, something we can all look back on after a successful Kickstarter someday in the future and say, “Check it out: I helped make that happen.” It may take a couple years. It will probably take more than that. You almost certainly won’t get paid anything! However, there will be opportunities to playtest, and I promise that anyone who engages constructively with this project will get the credit they’re due if this thing ever makes it to market – even if it requires a whole separate book of “Special Thanks” in the box. And I suspect that with such an intelligent, respectful community out there, I’m going to make some friends during this process that I’ll want to work with again, in partnership.

Now, If I’m being realistic, due to my schedule and how I want to go about this blog, I doubt that the actual design process will even begin before the end of the semester. However, if people seem into it, I will pursue this well past the completion of the semester. We can make this happen.

So what do you have to look forward to over the next few months, if not actual game design?


Structure:

To begin, I want to highlight the games that I love, and more specifically the mechanics in them that I hope to use as inspiration when we’re designing Radiance. For those of you unfamiliar with the games I’ll be covering, it will read something like a very enthusiastic review (albeit an incomplete one) with reasonably in-depth examination of specific mechanics. I’ll try to make them engaging and interesting for any audience, but the real purpose here is to help me organize my thoughts, spark conversation, and give you, the readers, an opportunity to articulate any important points I missed. Through this process, I hope we’ll achieve a better understanding of how Radiance will play.

Also, like I said, I don’t get as many opportunities to play games these days, but I’ll try to take high-quality pictures of games when I can. No one wants to look at a wall of text… Thanks for looking at this wall of text. Really, though, I’ll put in relevant eye candy whenever possible to make the blog more engaging. Undoubtedly most of the images I use will be borrowed from BGG, but I promise to always give photo credit. If you would prefer to not have your credited images on the blog, just let me know and I’ll be happy to take them down.

I’m looking for all sorts of input – not just game design input. If something in the blog isn’t working for you, let me know! Are the posts too long? Are they unfocused? Are they just plain boring? Give me feedback so I can make it better!


BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

It’s a lot to ask of you, to contribute your ideas, spend time on a project you’re not getting paid for, read my usually long-winded and occasionally incoherent ramblings… So I want to give you something else. An added bonus.

Every other blog post, I’m going to give you a story. The story of Radiance, serialized.

What is the story of Radiance? Well, you’ll just have to wait for the first post to see! But I will say that it’s a science fiction story. A BIG science fiction story. And it won’t always be pretty. Radiance is grim but not hopeless, brutal but not without humor, totally weird but driven by relatable characters and a sledgehammer of a plot (is that even a thing?).

Questions? Let’s start a dialogue and MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

Here's the link to the first two posts: https://radiancethegame.wordpress.com/

Cheers,

Jesse


TL;DR – I’m starting a blog to document the process of creating an ambitious board game, with the goal of collaborating with all of you in the community to make it as amazing as possible. There will also be a serialized sci-fi story that I’ll be writing throughout.

P.S. Not sure if this belongs here, so mods please feel free to relocated it to the appropriate thread (Board Game Design? Gaming Articles?)

https://radiancethegame.wordpress.com/
 
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Chase Clinton
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Er... you might want to change the thread title.

You know, there are professionals who can help you with that.
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Bob Zurunkel
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kalem wrote:
Er... you might want to change the thread title.


Title sure caught my eye.
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J P
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kalem wrote:
Er... you might want to change the thread title.

You know, there are professionals who can help you with that.


Well, it got you in here, right? That's a start!
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Steve R Bullock
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This should help.
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J P
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Yup, that was the joke! Guess it didn't quite go over how I'd expected.
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Timothy Young
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Did you know BGG has a forum dedicated to game design? You might get a better response if you post there. Also, are you familiar with the board game design site bgdf.com (Board Game Designers Forum dot com)? There's a pretty active community there as well.
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J P
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I agree that this could be cross-posted in the game design forum. However, my hope was to engage people who might not normally be interested in game design. I want to start a dialogue with people who just love to play games, and find out what mechanics speak to them. I'd like all of us all to learn together. But, as I mentioned at the end of my post, I leave it up to the mods to decide if this thread should exist elsewhere.
 
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benjamin CLOVIS
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Hi Jay,
Good luck with your project.
When I read that you were designing a really cool game, with a lot of input from regular gamers, the first thing that came to mind was this




I tease, but I truly do wish you well.
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Boaty McBoatface
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volnon wrote:

This should help. ;)
It might.

A star wars parody game called Sperm Wars (ala family guy).
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Will

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The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
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That's what she said.
 
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Derek H
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Broadstorm wrote:
That's what she said.

Not usually, no - its more like "hey, honey, guess what ..." shake
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