Monday, December 21, 2009

The DIY Boxed Game Challenge

Occasionally I set myself little challenges.

Recently, they have been food related. Can I perfect the recipe for the perfect sweet chili sauce? (According to my dad, yes, yes I can!). Can I cook and decorate leiberkuchen? Yes, of course I can! And of course, recently I have been meeting and beating some challenges regarding games design that I set myself three years ago. Its all been a bit too easy really.

I've also been reading with a lot of interest Rob Donaghue's blog, Some Space to Think Its a really interesting blog with a lot of commentary on games and gaming and sharing of ideas. It has formed my early morning Metro reading for some weeks now. Recently, Rob has been talking about rich dice (dice which deliver more information than just the numbers they result in) and the matter of the box and games.

Add to these motifs my journey to GenCon this year, the appearance of some 'indie' board and card games and the explosion of WFRP 3e onto the gaming world in all of its enormous excess and well, its fired my imagination.

I want to make a game in a box. I want that box to be small enough for me to be able to take it anywhere with me. I want everything I need to play the game - EVERYTHING - to be inside that box. I want the contents to be printed and created to a reasonable quality and - and this could be the stinger - I want to keep the cost of the project under £15.

These restrictions are going to dictate some of the materials I can use and that might well impact on the gameplay but hey, this isn't commercial - this is a personal challenge!


Pete said...

This sounds like a fun personal challenge Neil.

The £15 restriction seems a tad arbitrary. Could you unpack that one a little?

I'd feel gutted if I succeeded in making a boxed game that came in under that price point... and the components were greasy and thin and cheap because that's what they had to be in order to come in at £15. Paying £whatever for a boxed set with some heft - a bit of "rock hard cock" about it - would seem to be a better goal for something that you'll most likely have to sink a significant amount of time into. My assumption is that £15 is too cheap and that you won't be able to produce a package that does the idea of a boxed set justice.

Consider that Zombie Cinema comes in at just a tad over £15. I think the "cheap and nasty" feel of that boxed set is intentional, since it is meant to evoke the similarly "cheap and nasty" VHS horror videos of the early 80s. Once I and others got over the "cool" of packaging the game in a VHS video box, we then thought "this is cheap ass tonk".

So yeah, where is the £15 restriction coming from?


Vodkashok said...

Well, thats what makes it a challenge Pete! I could make the game a gilt-edged wonder by ploughing £££ into it, but where would the fun be in that? The challenge is to work on a specific budget AND deliver an awesome product and a decent game too. Thats the challenge.

And its by no means unachievable. Its just a case of shopping around and thinking outside (well, inside as well) the box.

So for example, for 'the box' I'm looking for something about the size and the quality of an iPhone box. Something you can carry around with you in a man-bag.

It will not be cheap-and-nasty!


Fandomlife said...

I'm getting seriously drawn to games in boxes. It's like the old days when Golden Heroes and the like was in a funky box!

If I was awash with cash I'd have purchased Warhammer and Doctor Who by now.

The thought of a Fantasy Flight Game with all the fancy stuff firmly in the role-playing game bracket intrigues me!

Anonymous said...

I very nearly bought WFRP3e, Doctor Who, Shadows over Caleot and the Fury of Dracula today while I was supposed to be doing my Christmas shopping.

I managed to resist.

I am looking forward to seeing what you produce Neil.


Fandomlife said...

That would have took a tidy some from your wallet!

Anonymous said...

Don't you love me

You can see me here

[url=]My Profile[/url]