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Subject: Creating a custom game as a gift - help! rss

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Fall Donuts
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Hi folks!
I would like to make a game as a gift for my spouse for the holidays. We both enjoy games, though are not what I would call "seasoned boardgamers." Grew up on the standard roll-and-move stuff. In more recent years, we've enjoyed a few less mainstream games (although even those have grown in popularity) -- Pandemic, Munchkin, Forbidden Island, Resistance... nothing terribly complex.

I really like the thought of putting together the art, and getting things printed and made that are part of our story through the years.
I'm less interested in the actual, well.. game design. I'm not a board game designer, and would probably rather just reskin something, or use something that exists out there already. This seems to be something people do, so I don't think I'm way out in the weeds.

At first I thought I would do Monopoly with places important to us, but, well, no one actually wants to play Monopoly.

Then I thought, in addition to places, I'd like to include people (friends and such), and maybe items (favorite snacks, our old car, or whatever randomness.)

With my limited exposure to games, I'm having a tough time finding something that fits the bill, so I thought I'd seek some advice.

So, I'd like to have Locations, Items, and People incorporated somehow, avoid roll & move, and not be too complex.
So, move between locations, find items and companions, to help battle some sort of villains? Or beat some sort of objective?
Co-op or not, doesn't matter.

Something like 7 Wonders is probably too complex. Ticket To Ride, Pandemic... these are fine degree of complexity. They just don't fit the bill for this idea.

Have watched a bunch of game reviews to try to find something and now my brain is scrambled. Thank you, and help!
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Jeremy Lennert
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Well, you mentioned Munchkin. IIRC, in Munchkin you can kind of throw whatever stuff you want on the cards, since most of them are just +effective level.

Similarly, the keepers in Fluxx can be basically anything since they have no direct gameplay effects.

People + Locations + Items makes me think of murder-mystery games like Clue or Mystery Express.

Free-association games like Mysterium or Deception: Murder in Hong Kong might also work? (Deception is kind of like Resistance.)

Maybe Codenames?


Also: if you're just doing a retheme, then I don't think there's any particular reason that the game design forums would be more helpful than a more general forum.
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Brian Herr
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Having done one myself, I'll +1 the Munchkin reskin idea. Take the basic deck and simply substitute your own humorous items/people/obstacles from your family. Keep the numerical values, that way it remains more or less balanced. For my project, a Walking Dead version, I scrapped races and classes and used individual characters, each with his/her own small bonus &/or penalty. I suggest a similar approach. Uncle Dan may provide a +2 versus Homework, Dad is +1 versus Car Trouble, but -2 versus The Boss, and like that.

Warning: this is not as easy as it may sound. There is a lot of work involved, especially if you want to put art on each card. If this is for Christmas, start NOW.
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Kai Herbertz
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FallDonuts wrote:
So, I'd like to have Locations, Items, and People incorporated somehow, avoid roll & move, and not be too complex.


Have a look at the rules of my game Das Katastrophenspiel - it has locations, items, and people, no roll to move and is not too complex. It's also great fun (imho), and could be easily rethemed into almost any scenario
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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You need to make a card game. It's much easier than making a full board game, since your main components can be printed through many custom card printing companies and its cheap.
That for start - card game.

Now, a good card game about friends and family that involves a story?
Arkham Horror the card game.

Now before you shout: I don't want it to be a horror story where my friends and family can go insane or be devoured by some elder beast, hear me out.

The whole game is based around simple mechanic: your characters have basic skills in number values, and you test those skills against other number values on the encounter cards. For that you use cards that represents actions and you can use them for number value or for special ability.

The whole game is just a deck of cards and handful of tokens. Those things can be produced pretty fast, and you have the basic mechanics already figured out, the only thing that needs to be done is to come up with a good story and theme for your game, because I presume you don't want it to be horror story.

With that said, here the idea for you:
You, your spouse and bunch of your friends are characters that went to see the Pyramids in Egypt. But you got lost and trapped inside of one of the Pyramid, and now you have to work together to escape.
Encounter deck full of things you need to investigate, gather clues, traps, no deaths, just a timer that is ticking down as you progress, and ticking faster if you fail a test...

Something like that can be done in a span of a month.
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How about The Pursuit of Happiness?
I think the theme fits quite well and you could probably leave the board as it is, just exchanging the illustrations on the cards.
 
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Robert Wise
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Antistone wrote:
Well, you mentioned Munchkin. IIRC, in Munchkin you can kind of throw whatever stuff you want on the cards, since most of them are just +effective level.

Munchkin sells blank cards (and I can't find them listed in the database): http://www.warehouse23.com/products/munchkin-blank-cards

Antistone wrote:
Similarly, the keepers in Fluxx can be basically anything since they have no direct gameplay effects.


I want to add that Looney Labs sells blank cards: Fluxx Blanxx and can be ordered here: http://store.looneylabs.com/Fluxx-Blanxx?sc=2&category=1468

Maybe draw a picture of your spouse and tell him that he's a Keeper.
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Fall Donuts
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Some good suggestions here that I will check out, appreciate it!

I knew coming to the design forum was a good idea, as I think folks here would have more experience with reskinning, or little tweaks to games, to make them work. And a really good grasp of mechanics... what might work and what doesn't.

I'll consider Munchkin, but definitely had a game more suited to 2-players in mind.

I'll be sure to check out the others.

I had briefly looked at Arkham (and actually, a horror theme could be interesting...), but couldn't get a good grasp through the various reviews. It seems like there are a LOT of cards that would need to be replicated. I think I would need to buy the game to get the cards and feel for it?
It also seemed to have this weird "pull a number out of a bag" mechanic that I thought was sort of.. dumb. Maybe I could nix that.
 
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Gustavo Herodier
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Have a look at the DIY guild, there's a lot of useful resources on the crafting aspect of it
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Tides of Spouse.

Two player game!
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Alexandre Santos
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A Love Letter re-skin is more or less mandatory, as it's so easy relative to the amount of play you get. It will allow you to earn experience while profiting quickly from it. Only issue is that it plays better with higher than 2p count.

Another option is a re-skin of coup, but same caveats apply.

An easy 2-p game to craft would be Micropul, another option would be Fjords, both tile laying games.

You could also decide to design a custom card deck that could play games like Schotten Totten or Arboretum
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John
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OldPhartWargamer wrote:
Warning: this is not as easy as it may sound. There is a lot of work involved, especially if you want to put art on each card. If this is for Christmas, start NOW.


Yes, just making a print and play game is more work than we expected (we've done one average sized board game for play testing). Don't underestimate how long it will take.
 
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John
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AlexFS wrote:
A Love Letter re-skin is more or less mandatory, as it's so easy relative to the amount of play you get. It will allow you to earn experience while profiting quickly from it. Only issue is that it plays better with higher than 2p count.


BraveRats (originally called R) has a similar number of cards and is a 2p game. I've only played it once or twice and it wasn't really my kind of game.
 
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Brian Herr
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Another thought: if you do run out of crafting time, check out a game called Marital Bliss. It's basically doing favors for each other over the course of a week, and the nicest person gets a reward. I picked up a copy at GenCon last year and my wife and I both enjoy it. You can probably sneak in a few custom cards there, as well.
 
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Andy Olp

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Back in college my friends and I made a version of Clue based on the campus, and the suspects being our favorite professors.
 
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Cornixt
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If you want something really easy, then just use one of the services that allows you to put pictures on regular playing cards.

Then learn the rules to Cribbage or the other great games you can play with a regular deck of cards.
 
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Fall Donuts
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heroes182 wrote:
Have a look at the DIY guild, there's a lot of useful resources on the crafting aspect of it


AlexFS wrote:
A Love Letter re-skin is more or less mandatory, as it's so easy relative to the amount of play you get. It will allow you to earn experience while profiting quickly from it. Only issue is that it plays better with higher than 2p count.


What's the DIY Guild?

Love Letter had been mentioned to me. We do own it. It's all right for a quick game. It's just a little simple for what I'm looking for.

Appreciate the additional suggestions as well--will check them all out.

I had posted on another board game site also, and they suggest Tokaido, which I will check out as well, and the Arkham Card game, which is somewhat intriguing. These both, though, are new to me, so would require me to procure and become very familiar with them in order to replicate, which of course, would take some considerable time.
 
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Gustavo Herodier
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Sorry, I misspoke - it's not a guild, but a forum. It has plenty of tips and tutorials on the best ways to make cards, boards, counters, game boxes, etc.
It's the perfect cross-section of Michaels and your FLGS (pure catnip)

https://boardgamegeek.com/forum/36/boardgamegeek/do-it-yours...
 
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Fall Donuts
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heroes182 wrote:
Sorry, I misspoke - it's not a guild, but a forum. It has plenty of tips and tutorials on the best ways to make cards, boards, counters, game boxes, etc.
It's the perfect cross-section of Michaels and your FLGS (pure catnip)

https://boardgamegeek.com/forum/36/boardgamegeek/do-it-yours...


Ah, I'll check it out. Seems like some good ideas.
I've also found a few sites that do custom printing and such--will probably go that route for some components, for sure.

Just need to figure out the options, here. Tough to make the call without owning, or even having played, many of these games.
 
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Gustavo Herodier
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How about doing a mini-expansion rather than a whole game?

You mentioned Pandemic for instance - you could do a custom set of role cards, maybe with a set of meeples to go with them. You could cast yourselves and your friends/family/pets as the various existing roles, and use them to play standard Pandemic

Since those cards don't get shuffled into any decks, you don't need to be careful about card stock/texture, or even size - tarot card sized roles for everyone! As for meeples, you can buy blanks from many places and hand-paint/customize them.
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Fall Donuts
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heroes182 wrote:
How about doing a mini-expansion rather than a whole game?


Neat idea, I'll consider, but am leaning toward something all-inclusive, with its own cool box and everything.
 
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