Monday, March 30, 2009

Designing games for fun and... well, just fun, really.

We're making a board game.

Well, let me clarify and elaborate: my friend and I have recently been collaborating on making a board game. There have been threats of getting together to make a video game for years now, but we've finally started the brainstorming process to create something a bit less technology intensive.

I've spent a lot of time playing games and thinking about what they did right and how they could be improved, but it's very different to create something from scratch. It's amazingly easy to fall into the trap of modifying existing games--while Oregon Trail In Space might be an entertaining game, I'd prefer for whatever game eventually (hopefully) comes out of this to be a bit more unique. Or for this game to rip off such a large variety of games that it's too difficult to pinpoint just one.

Right now we've got at least a vague idea of what this game might be (for now), but the next step is to playtest a few of our basic ideas to see if what we're brewing works at all. It is my hope that we can create a game that is simple, yet elegant, and infinitely replayable. I'm envisioning a basic, no-nonsense game that anybody can easily learn, and then offering all sorts of options and game modes that add depth and variety to the game.

Really, I'm looking at this project less as creating a game and more as creating the building blocks that can be used for a multitude of games. Think of this in terms of LEGOs: LEGO bricks generally come with directions that show you how to build a house, or a boat, or the LEGO Star Wars Death Star II Replica Play Set, but you can use those bricks to build just about anything. In the same way, I want to create a set of game elements that can be used to play any number of games, not just the ones we prescribe.

Maybe I'm too ambitious, and maybe the working idea is no good at all. But this whole creative process is a good one, and we'll see where it takes us.

Oregon Trail in Space

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