Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Nano Arena - Anime Table-Top Miniature Game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Dr. Doom
United States
Gaithersburg
MD
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Hello! I have recently concluded alpha testing for a Table-Top Miniature game I have been working on called "Nano Arena." I have now published the rules and first set of Stat Cards online and am now trying to decide what (if any) future this game concept has. I realize that I have made a game that is EXTREMELY niche, being appealing only to the microscopic demographic of Anime Fans who collect Anime Trading Figures who also play table-top games. I would like to know if anyone here thinks the game could have broader appeal or if any non-Anime fans would ever be interested.

Pic above of a Playtest session

The idea for this game came to me from two desires:
1. Use existing Anime Trading Figures in a game concept
2. Adapt the awesome innovations in Wyrd Game's Malifaux and Puppet Wars games while improving upon and simplifying their design

What is an Anime Trading Figure?




The Trading Figures used by my game are the “chibi” style figures such as those from the Nendoroid Petit, Nano-colle, Deformeister, One Coin Grande, and Toy’s Works series. They are about 3” tall on a ~1.5” base. They cost about $10 each and are usually sold in “blind” (randomized) boxes, or you can buy a full set of 12 for about $100. A set is released for most popular Anime series, but are only produced for a limited amount of time. For this reason, they can be somewhat difficult to obtain for their original price once a series is out of print. On Amazon or Ebay, out of print sets can go for up to $160 or $190. It is my goal to support Anime Figures from every possible popular Anime Series that is at all potentially relevant to a combat-based game.

Why Adapt an existing rule set instead of making your own?
I chose to adapt Wyrd Games’ Puppet Wars/Malifaux miniature game rules for a couple reasons: 1, It lends well to flavor-rich abilities and characters, 2, it uses an innovative “card flipping” system (utilizing poker decks) instead of dice rolling which is a lot of fun, and 3, Because I felt their games are flawed and that I could “perfect” them with my own game rules and designs.

Game Basics
The game requires each player to have a team of 4 to 10 figures along with their stat cards. In addition, you will need a gameboard which consists of hexagonal spaces and markers for Soul Shrines and Terrain as well as tokens to be used as counters during the game.

Each player begins the game with one or more Soul Shrines. Soul Shrines are used to bring the characters in your army to life on the playing field. In addition to your starting Soul Shrines, there are neutral Soul Shrines scattered over the playing field. Your army consists of one Main Character and up to 5 other Side Characters (in a Normal game). Your goal is to destroy the competition and protect your Main character, while retaining control of those valuable Soul Shrines. If ever your Main Character is killed, or you lose control of all your Soul Shrines, you’ve lost… game over, no more fun.

Innovation
The innovation of the game lies in the following:

1. The Fate Deck – Instead of dice rolling, each player has a deck of shuffled poker cards. Cards are flipped from the top to determine the outcome of actions taken in the game.
2. Control Hand – In addition to the Fate Deck, players hold a hand of cards, drawn from the Fate Deck, which they use to “cheat fate” and change the outcome of their flips.
3. No Long (Never-ending Turns) – Players take turns activating individual units, instead of going all at once. Additionally, you are actively involved during your opponent’s turn by managing your reactive abilities called “triggers” as well as playing cards from your hand to “dodge” attacks. This is an important divergence from most other table-top miniature games that often involve lots of downtime between turns.
4. Simple rules, no damage charts
5. Tactical, chess-like play that rewards planning and smart positioning, not attrition-based grinding-gameplay like Warhammer 40k.
6. There has never been a table-top miniatures game for Anime Fans! Heck, there has been hardly any boardgames AT ALL for Anime fans.

What now?
I would like the BGG community’s help in giving any feedback for the concept behind my game, including my choice to use existing anime figures as the main game pieces as well as adapting an existing game’s rule set. If there is ever interest, I was hoping to offer prints of the Stat Cards, Game Board, Tokens, and Rules to players – but I have no idea if that is even feasible considering copyright issues.

I also would like to know if anyone would actually be interested in playing, or if I’m doomed to just play this alone, with a small group of local friends.

Does my game have a future? And if so, what should I do next?

Some Sample Stat Cards:



Website for the game, including Stat Cards and Rules:
http://nanoarena.wordpress.com/
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony Taylor
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
mb
I think you could have a wider target market. People have all kinds of miniatures and figures they could use for this sort of thing. One thing you might consider though is to make it more of a framework.

Allow players to create their own characters based on what they have available. The only problem then is balancing. If you could somehow create a template for others to follow and still have it balanced, you would have a great game on your hands. (Point based system? Long menu of skills to choose from?)

Edit: I forgot to ask, how many characters do you plan on having at any given time? How you have right now seems interesting and deep, but very complex. I couldn't imagine managing more than several of these characters at any given time given how many options you have. I could see analysis paralysis being a major issue.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John "Omega" Williams
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WitlessAM wrote:
I think you could have a wider target market. People have all kinds of miniatures and figures they could use for this sort of thing. One thing you might consider though is to make it more of a framework.

Allow players to create their own characters based on what they have available. The only problem then is balancing. If you could somehow create a template for others to follow and still have it balanced, you would have a great game on your hands. (Point based system? Long menu of skills to choose from?)


A couple of games do this allready, V. L. C.: Very Large Creature is a prime example. Units are statted out based on their type. Is it a robot? does it fly? etc.

Fuzzy Heroes Does the same thing. Except with plushes and toys. How big is the unit? How many limbs? Does it have a mouth? etc. Pretty good minis game too really.

There is also one for playing with plastic bugs from those bug packs.

wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back TSR put out Dino Wars which pits plastic army men vs plastic dinosaurs.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P. L.
Germany
NRW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
do you speak any japanese?
If so get into contact with Max Factory or goodsmile or both.

a nendoroid tabletop skirmish game. just the idea of it makes me change my boxer shorts.

I swear. this in japanese, properly working, would definitely sell on comiket
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Levi Mote
United States
Albany
OR
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Omega2064 wrote:
WitlessAM wrote:
I think you could have a wider target market. People have all kinds of miniatures and figures they could use for this sort of thing. One thing you might consider though is to make it more of a framework.

Allow players to create their own characters based on what they have available. The only problem then is balancing. If you could somehow create a template for others to follow and still have it balanced, you would have a great game on your hands. (Point based system? Long menu of skills to choose from?)


A couple of games do this allready, V. L. C.: Very Large Creature is a prime example. Units are statted out based on their type. Is it a robot? does it fly? etc.

Fuzzy Heroes Does the same thing. Except with plushes and toys. How big is the unit? How many limbs? Does it have a mouth? etc. Pretty good minis game too really.

There is also one for playing with plastic bugs from those bug packs.

wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back TSR put out Dino Wars which pits plastic army men vs plastic dinosaurs.


Vor: the Maelstrom and Clay-O-Rama come to mind also.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John "Omega" Williams
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vor doesnt fit as it has its own minis line and isnt a "be anything" sort of tactical.

With some tinkering Clay-o-Rama might fit since the elements translate easily to solid figures within limits. No so sure poking holes in your minis or smashing them with your fist is advised though. zombie
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Levi Mote
United States
Albany
OR
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vor had rules for using your own minis, the problem was that you couldn't make anything as good as the published army lists for the points those were built on.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr. Doom
United States
Gaithersburg
MD
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi guys, it's me again.

Shortly after making this post (and similar posts on the Wyrd Games forum from which I adapted the rule set as well as myfigurecollection.net, the largest anime figure collecting website), I gave up on the game due to the overwhelming lack of interest from all three of my target demographics. I literally didn't have a single person say they were interested in playing, testing, or otherwise helping in any way.

It was a bitter realization that something I had worked hard on and thought had potential was ignored by everyone.

My local friends, whom I had enlisted to help me test initially, insisted they were interested, but I was sure they only helped out of friendship, and not genuine, objective interest.

Since that time, I have struggled with the question of whether it is worth creating something even if nobody ever cares. I struggle because, I really enjoyed the process of creating Nano Arena, I found it very fulfilling and fun - and yet, if I am honest with myself about nobody ever caring or wanting to play with me, I'm not sure if I can find the same fulfillment and enjoyment in the creation process.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Pierce
United States
salinas
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cry me a river. Finding playtesters is hard. that's part of the package when you get into game design.

That said, I'm all for a nendaroid tabletop game. I'm sure people are likely intimidated by the number of abilities and keywords referenced on every character card. It's a lot to take in all at once.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr. Doom
United States
Gaithersburg
MD
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the reply. My point in posting my previous message is not to seek sympathy or even encouragement, but to seek a better understanding of whether the game creation process can be worthwhile, even without the prospect of outside interest. I figured that the users of this forum would have experience with just such a dilemma and could offer some advice.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John A. White
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lagomorph wrote:
Thanks for the reply. My point in posting my previous message is not to seek sympathy or even encouragement, but to seek a better understanding of whether the game creation process can be worthwhile, even without the prospect of outside interest. I figured that the users of this forum would have experience with just such a dilemma and could offer some advice.


Are you unwilling to fail on Kickstarter? You are "Able" to post this same info for a Kickstarter Project.

You are seeking the opportunity to CUT YOURSELF OFF from success. You can not gauge the value of your minis on a BGG board game creator forum. I don't know where the mini people lurk... there closer to RPG.

The art work for the cards doesn't marry to the mini quality. No anime colorful 2D illustration on the card. this just doesn't smell kosher because with a 3D investment OWNERSHIP you would have known not to show unpolished 2D card art. You invested in these minis but you couldn't hire a graphic designer?

EDIT: I am so sorry..... sigh, if you are using another games 3D minis to show potential, sorry. You need to keep at it. Know that painted minis it makes alot of money for a reason, investment. Reproduction of painted costs a ton. You would be asking people to buy the minis and the true buyers don't really care about game play, or they say they do but those buyers also enjoy playing Ants in the Pants. Creating a game DEPENDENT on another, not good!

Did you notice I did not address your game play?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Pierce
United States
salinas
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
john, not sure if you get the point of this project. Guys like Lago and I already own a collection of anime figurines like the ones pictured, because we like anime and the figurines. This is just a game to make the figurines useful for something more than decoration, which is great.

I actually had a similar project I tried making before really diving into game design, but I was using my beloved Yupon One-Coin figures, which I had to eventually accept were waaay too fragile for anything other than display.

God theyre fantastic though. I wish they'd just release some lower-quality toys I could toss around a little.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr. Doom
United States
Gaithersburg
MD
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Matt is correct, this game uses existing collectible trading figures of which there are hundreds, available for about $8-$16 each all over the web. There is no game which uses these figures, they are only collectibles.

As Matt described, this game primarily appeals to people who ALREADY own a collection, large or small, of anime trading figures.

However, I believe that other anime and gaming fans would be willing to invest in the figures if the game was compelling.

I already run an anime figure business and could easily import the trading figures used by the game and sell them alongside the "stat cards" either online or at conventions. The question is:

1. Is the business model viable and legal?
2. Will the game concept appeal to existing collectors?
3. Will the acquisition of trading figures deter potential players who don't already collect the figures?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr. Doom
United States
Gaithersburg
MD
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
aVoidGames wrote:
Are you unwilling to fail on Kickstarter? You are "Able" to post this same info for a Kickstarter Project.

You are seeking the opportunity to CUT YOURSELF OFF from success. You can not gauge the value of your minis on a BGG board game creator forum. I don't know where the mini people lurk... there closer to RPG.

I posted on three forums, for all my target demos, and not a single soul said it was a game they would be interested in trying. I found this extremely discouraging. But even several months since "giving up" I keep dreaming about the game and the fun I had working on it. I can't help but think that there are others out there who will see how awesome this game idea is and how fun it is to use these adorable trading figures to play a game. I can't stop thinking about it -- so here I am.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Pierce
United States
salinas
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

easy budget issue fix: provide sandwichboard style printable characters using the images you have on the cards. Then anyone interested isn't required to buy the figures if they dont want to. Also opens you up for making characters that don't have figures at all.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr. Doom
United States
Gaithersburg
MD
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Awesome idea!!

What kind of trouble will I run into selling this stuff, do you think?

As you might know, Japanese Copyright law and Anime copyright-holders are known to be relatively tolerant of independantly-created derivative works such as Doujin and Doujinshi (writings and manga).

Even so, I'm not sure how to proceed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Pierce
United States
salinas
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I dunno if you could sell this game as-is, unless you were to sell the game as a standalone with original/non-copyrighted characters and then provide the copyrighted character cards for free. That's how I'd do it.

My smash-bros inspired project could be a minefield of copyright issues if I wasn't making all the characters vague parodies with original art.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John A. White
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sandwich boards at a upside down letter V. I think you are suggesting standees. http://www.boardsandbits.com/product_info.php?cPath=1051&pro...

The mini's are blocking many here who love b/w prototypes. you would be better off with a paper napkin to get insight on mechanics.



Production
Art will cost 50-100 per guy defined by you and your requirements.
The focus will be all on the game play and you're free to sell it.

Graphic design Player Cards (be picky on selecting a designer)
$50 re-use extends to all players just alter color on your own
Recommend getting a template built inside GIMP cmyk 300 DPI + bleed.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John "Omega" Williams
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Easiest solution is to go the route of Fuzzy Heroes and VLC. Its not attatched to any product. So you can use whatever you have on hand. Snake Eyes vs Drzzt? Godzilla vs Twilight Sparkle? etc.

There are lots of ways to approach it.

Ine way to garner more attention is to let people know your system can be adapted to more than just these little figurines. G.I Joes? Star Wars? Plastic Army Men? etc.

Broaden the scope.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.