Forums and Mechanisms.
I took a big step this week with F.I.G.S. I published a forum post on Board Game Geek to put my idea into the world to get some feedback on it. You can check out the forum here. It’s always a little scary putting your ideas out there with the constant fear that someone is going to steal your ideas. All of the research I’ve done has lead to me honestly believing that the board game community is a safe space for sharing ideas and concepts. So in I went and whilst I didn’t receive the volume of feedback I was looking for, I did get some helpful advice.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks I found was in actually trying to put in to words what my game is about. In my head it makes sense and is simple enough, but is it really? So I’ve spent some time thinking about how a rule book would look and trying to simplify the main mechanisms. This should help with any future changes I make and allow for me to share the game more effectively.
With the relief of actually putting something out there I continued to work on the game’s first prototype. This week’s focus was on the cards players can buy with the resources they collect. Below is a very rough first attempt as I wanted to get a feel for what should be on each card:
Once I was happy with the content of the card, I set about writing down as many ideas for buildings, people or anything else that could be purchased with Food, Influence, Gold or Security. So a few ideas are; Town Mayor, Barracks, Cobblestone Streets, Military Adviser, Improved Ploughs. I wanted to give the sense that everything constructed was real and could be necessary to improve your city. I’ve now watched around 100 board game review videos and one of the biggest factors that seems to affect enjoyment is immersion, how important does each decision feel, does it make sense thematically, can you believe in the world that the game is creating.
Whilst I’m not happy with how the cards look, at this stage that isn’t that important, I am happy with the concept of the cards and I’m starting to feel like I’m creating a world. Which has led me onto another train of thought, should I be actually creating a world for this board game to reside in? Lots of the great games that I love playing have depth to the worlds they are set in. Carcassonne, Sagrada, Century Spice Road are all based on real world places. Small World, Lords of Waterdeep, Dead of Winter are all set in fantasy lands that make you believe more in what you are doing. This was something that I hadn’t considered in my initial plan, and whislt it seems really daunting to create a new world (I could use the real world as well), it also sounds like a lot of fun.
Finally I wanted to update you on a few other board game related things that I’ve been up to. My Instagram has continued to grow and currently I’m only 6 followers away from 200, which is incredible. We’ve be playing lots of different games and it has been interesting to see games that have been more popular and how that is linked to what they look like visually. Games that are flat and less colourful like Tsuro (which is a great abstract game) haven’t been as well liked as more vibrant games like Galaxy Truckers even though Galaxy Truckers is a relatively unknown game.
As a little reward to myself I decided to buy a Mystery Board Game Box from Zatu Games. The idea being a box arrives on your doorstep containing a mystery number of board games (and a few other little surprises). I am so happy with mine and I am considering buying a recurring subscrition. Here’s what I got in mine (plus a weird little potato plushy):
All in all a constructive week and we’ve even managed to play a few games. This week we’ve played; 7 Wonders Duel, Lords of Waterdeep and Small World. Check out the What We’re Playing tab for more information on them.