Design and Decisions.
So after several weeks of thinking, talking making copious amounts of notes I decided to bite the bullet and make my first board game prototype. In the current lockdown it didn’t make sense to me to make a physical prototype as I wouldn’t be able to get anyone to play, so I explored online ways of doing it. I had already used several platforms to play board games online, Tabletop Simulator on Steam and Tabletopia. I had played around with Tabletopia already, so I went with that. But I realised that I had to create the components first. So this led me to my first hurdle which was software. Here is a little snippet of information on the various bits of software I tried:
Krita: It’s a free piece of art software similar to Photoshop, but more aimed at digital painting. Its really fun and intuitive, but there were some flaws. As I said, it’s aimed at people wanting to paint, I wanted precision and the same shape copied over and over again. I love Krita and I will use it again when my board game requires a bit more artwork.
MS Paint: Yes, I went there and tried it. It worked as a very basic design and helped me to work out just how much precision I wanted. In Tabletopia you can create magnetic maps of all of your components so that other things snap onto them, this requires exact measurements. Paint struggles with this. It was fun and like being young again just playing around with basic art supplies. But alas nowhere near detailed enough.
Inkscape: Now we are getting somewhere. Inkscape is a vector based drawing software. The lines aren’t drawn in pixels, so no matter how far you zoom in they will still look good and be accurate. What made Inkscape so useful to me was the ability to make shapes of exact sizes as well as give them specific coordinate on the page. I was also able to draw multiple components on one page and then select the one I wanted and turn it into an image file. Whilst they still look basic, the pieces I made are all the correct size (I can work on the artwork at a later date).
So, basic pieces made and uploaded to Tabletopia. I struggled to make custom dice to fit be the colours I wanted and this is still an ongoing issue. I now need to make the cards that the players purchase with the resources they collect. This will be a much larger job than I’ve done already, but I am pleased with the progress I’ve made so far.
I have also continued to undertake some market research. I’ve actually found this extremely helpful, I’ve played a lot of board games, but there are so many amazing ideas and mechanics out there that have inspired me and helped me to make little changes to my board game. We have also continued to play some board games as you can see from my Instagram and I’ve been able to give my brother and his girlfriend a few games to play, they particularly enjoyed Ticket to Ride.
Over the coming few weeks I will be starting to play test the game to see how it plays, so if anyone is interested in being a play tester please do email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.