But I want to reinvigorate the blog with something I've been meaning to write about for quite some time. I want to talk about what it's like to be a first time game designer, and what I've gone through and the lessons I've learned as I've attempted this endeavor. This will likely take me a few parts to get through things...and will also be a continuing topic, as I'm still in the midst of designing my first game! So, here we go...
|Oh yeah...I had the red box!|
|Wait..what kind game is this?!|
So, finally, that brings me to the point where I had decided I wanted to try my hand at this whole game design business. Where to begin? Well, I decided that the best thing to do would probably be to emulate Paul a little bit - make a game that was family friendly, and not overly complex. The fact that I have 2 younger kids also played into this. I can't pinpoint exactly when or what triggered my idea for the theme...but at some point I hit upon the idea of "Santa's Workshop", where players would control teams of elves building gifts for gifts. In the debate of starting with theme vs. mechanics, I'm pretty sure I fall squarely on the side of theme first. Now, once I had the theme, I knew it was going to be a worker placement game of some sort. That's probably my favorite game mechanic, and it just seemed to fit with the idea of controlling a bunch of elves in their flurry of activity around Santa's workshop.
So...I had a basic idea for theme, and roughly an idea of the main mechanic - worker (elf) placement to collect materials and build gifts. This was probably early 2013 or so. I spent a lot of time just "percolating" on the idea in the back of my head. At one point I started a Word document where I just entered a bunch of ideas for the game. I think I even described the game to a few folks, including Paul to see what they thought of the idea. But...and I think this is probably the biggest initial hurdle for a new game design - especially if it's your first design - I hadn't actually made a prototype.
|The first prototype...I didn't even use card stock! *gasp*|
|PowerPoint...my old |
Alright, I think that's enough for this post. I didn't really get into any of the specifics for Santa's Workshop yet, I'll start hitting on that in the next installment. I want to cover what my original vision was for the game, how those initial playtests went, and the various changes I've made (and un-made) in the last year since I first got it to the table. Please stay tuned...