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Subject: designing problems rss

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Manz Brunner
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I'm in the process of designing my own game, how can I make it look professional without spending millions?
 
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Bill Eldard
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Have you determined whether it is going to be a boardgame, card game, or RPG?
 
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Nick Hayes
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Take some time to browse the Do-It-Yourself forum:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/forum/151/region/1

There are a lot of useful threads there on building anything you can imagine on any scale from purely utilitarian to professional.
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Manz Brunner
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it's going to be a fantasy based board game with some dungeon crawl elements and resource management.
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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Just be sure it is fun before you spend even more than $10-20 on the game. Bits of paper, colored tape on pennies, standard dice with a lookup table in place of dice with pretty pictures on them, standard playing cards with slips of paper taped to them (or if you have CCGs and sleeves, combine slips of paper with useless common cards in sleeves), etc. These are the tools of the game designer.

Once it's fun despite the crude bits. Then you can make the bits better which should only remove the unfun caused by the bits being unruly.
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Steven Metzger
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Who is your target audience?
 
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Manz Brunner
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Thanks to everyone who is replying.
My target audience is ages 12 and up.
My game is sort of a mix between Kingsburg and Decent
 
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Luke Morris
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You should call it DeBurg(h)

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Steven Metzger
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puzzlemaster wrote:
Thanks to everyone who is replying.
My target audience is ages 12 and up.
My game is sort of a mix between Kingsburg and Decent
So my 85-year-old grandfather is in your target audience? What about my 22-year-old girlfriend who doesn't like games?

Not trying to be rude here, but it sounds very much like you are early in the process, and trying to figure out a reasonable, realistic market demographic can be a very hard thing to do. Consider your (realistic) target audience.
 
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Manz Brunner
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Well I suppose your grandfather could theoretically be in the target audience, I mean there’s no discrimination when it comes to selling product and as for your girlfriend, I would like to think this could be the one that changes her mind

Truthfully, the target demographic would likely be similar to many of Fantasy Flight Games’ fantasy-set medium box epics. I would say, based on their sales models, average purchaser age would likely fall between 15 and 24, 77% male, instructions written to cater to 12 & up. 2-4 players, rounds last roughly 45-minutes - 1 hour. Genres: Fantasy board game, intermediate dungeon delving, resource management, party recruiting, & general strategy.
 
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James Hutchings
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I've noticed from reading this forum that fantasy/dungeon-crawling is one of the most common themes that people start to design games around. But very few of them seem to get finished.

Is this just because games in general usually don't get finished, or is it more the case for this theme?
 
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Pete Belli
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"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
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This thread might be helpful:

Creating A Professional Quality Game Prototype For Under $200

Good Luck with your prototype.
 
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David Bohnenberger
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puzzlemaster wrote:
I'm in the process of designing my own game, how can I make it look professional without spending millions?


Don't worry, you only need to spend tens of thousands.
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Joe Mucchiello
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apeloverage wrote:
Is this just because games in general usually don't get finished, or is it more the case for this theme?

I would actually say it is the genre. There's only so many ways to simulate traversing a dungeon. And so many ways to provide random elements for it. At some point a dungeon crawl design either becomes bogged down in so many statistics that buyers decide "I could just play D&D" or it becomes so streamlined that buyers find the dungeon aspect pasted on.

OTOH, I'm sure a large percentage of all designers' first designs fail. Dungeon crawls are just popular first designs perhaps.
 
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Clark Rodeffer
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Board Games Now -- Steve Jones also does custom work for prototypes.
 
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Matthew Kloth
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apeloverage wrote:
I've noticed from reading this forum that fantasy/dungeon-crawling is one of the most common themes that people start to design games around. But very few of them seem to get finished.

Is this just because games in general usually don't get finished, or is it more the case for this theme?


Dungeon crawls attract a large swath of ameritrashers and RPGers. They want an epic game and can see how the current games available fail to meet that epicness. Looking at the problem it seems all that is required is to cobble together enough sub-systems, variety, and chrome to kill a horse and you'll have a fun game.

The problem is twofold. Mountains of variety and chrome take a long time to make. Most take the shortcut of throwing in every fantasy cliche and the kitchen sink thinking it will save them time. It does to some extent, but every epic loving fantasy gamer has that drive to make their "precious" unique and different. The elves can't just be normal elves; the orcs have to be called Thr'Klangs; and they've always had a soft spot for Spelljammer so they throw some of that in there too. This gives them enough stuff to tinker with until eternity.

The second problem is that cobbling together sub-systems like an RPG is going to make a very clunky boardgame. With no overarching plan you get a runaway problem of new systems continually being added. Not content with a simple combat system they add rules for poison, psionics, traps, encumbrance, moral, torchlight, etc. Then they change the magic system over and over. The dice mechanic changes any time they find a "better" one. None of this gets them any closer to a fun boardgame.

It is never epic enough. It is 'THE IMPOSSIBLY EPIC DUNGEON CRAWL!!!'.
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Gary Simpson

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Quote:
It is never epic enough. It is 'THE IMPOSSIBLY EPIC DUNGEON CRAWL!!!'.


I think people enjoy creating dungeon crawl designs because its an additive design methodology -- you just keep expanding from a basic core system -- and it feels like you can color with every crayon in the box. You want poison counters coming from a trap that only appears in every 10th game and only with an expansion board? You can just *plop* it right in. And the thing is, dungeon crawl gamers expect that. They know that the designer is going to come up with chrome. Bad things happen when the designer goes through the feedback period, doubting the design, and decides to nip-tuck into something more "elegant".
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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The real issue with dungeon crawls is once you've played Talisman and Wiz War, you've pretty much covered them all. (And of course Munchkin is the San Juan version of Talisman. Arguably older gamers only needed to play one game: Magic Realm.)

gsimpson wrote:
Bad things happen when the designer goes through the feedback period, doubting the design, and decides to nip-tuck into something more "elegant".

I like more elegant. Elegance in dungeon crawls usually involves adding additional goals onto the normal Killing and Looting themes. For example, Wiz War is really a Capture The Flag game.

But I don't want to derail the thread. Without knowing more about the OP's game we can't tell what sort of crawl he's going for.
 
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Aye, dungeon crawls are a crowded market but go with your passion. If you are looking for a print-on-demand service when/if you want to publish then Game Crafter is your friend: http://www.thegamecrafter.com

Once you have your PDF rules and your board and card images you're set. They even have a nice array of components. I recommend it because of the the fact it's free manufacturing and distribution.
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James Hutchings
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MusedFable wrote:
every epic loving fantasy gamer has that drive to make their "precious" unique and different. The elves can't just be normal elves; the orcs have to be called Thr'Klangs


Standard fantasy races with 'original' names are a pet hate of mine.
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James Hutchings
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MusedFable wrote:
The second problem is that cobbling together sub-systems like an RPG is going to make a very clunky boardgame. With no overarching plan you get a runaway problem of new systems continually being added. Not content with a simple combat system they add rules for poison, psionics, traps, encumbrance, moral, torchlight, etc. Then they change the magic system over and over. The dice mechanic changes any time they find a "better" one. None of this gets them any closer to a fun boardgame.

It is never epic enough. It is 'THE IMPOSSIBLY EPIC DUNGEON CRAWL!!!'.


A while ago I started toying with the idea of doing a 'retro-clone' of The Sorcerer's Cave. Then I decided to change some of the names of characters, and add some ideas from various house rules that I found online, as well as The Sorcerer's Cave Extension Kit. Then I thought of giving characters backgrounds (peasant, noble etc). And the magic system could be more interesting. And Talisman has some interesting areas that could be adapted...

So yeah. I decided that I should just do the basic game, and make everything else optional 'modules'.
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