As this post goes live, I have spent the past 2 months buried in Sketchbook Pro, 8 hours cutting tiles, Countless many hours nervously pouring my soul into a project that will follow me to Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio this week. This marks my first serious attempt to get one of my game designs published. I will be one of 30,000+ gamers attending Origins.
This isn't my first game design by a long shot. I've done games than range from creating Haiku poetry to attempting to emulate dating sims. At any given time, I'm bouncing around ideas for games (currently planning a trick taking game and a deck-building hovercraft racing game). Some never even get to the prototype phase.
Cast of playable characters
My first attempt at a "board game" barely used the board. Otaku Crush Club was a Japanese Dating Sim board game version. It was goofy and stemmed from someone offering the challenge that I couldn't make a board game out of a dating sim. My initial design was, in fact, a disaster but several of the systems could be reused and one day, I will reattempt Otaku Crush Club. But for now, I wanted to focus on an actual board and one which players would interact with.
Because I wanted a lot of interaction, I wanted to make a Tile Laying game. The biggest issue I have with most Tile Laying Games is they put emphasis to create the world, not explore the world. Even games like Carcasonne, your meeples are scoring methods, not characters exploring the world. The second thing is, Puzzle Strike showed me my earlier experiments in merging board and video games was not a waste so I decided to focus on old school JRPG or computer games. The theme would drive several mechanics going forward.
The largest motivating factor is I was trying to work out a card game concept I tentatively called Ding. An MMO nod set as a race for Lv10. Fun concept, fuck it all if I could figure out how to make it work. So I took this concept and mixed it with the new board game. The final piece fell into place as I played Pastiche. His tile laying mechanic would solve the issue I was having on how could players moderately control the monsters they were trying to fight for quests.
Bits of Legend: How it was born, how it will play.
After constructing the world, players take turns traveling. As they travel, they pass over Icons that, when combined, will spawn monsters. After facing down the monsters, players claim the monster card as a trophy. These trophies serve two purposes. The first is they can be exchanged, at Magic Guilds or Inns, for healing or spell books. The second, which is the core of the game, is that they can be turned in to complete quests and Level Up. If, when traveling, a player must fight a monster that is no longer available in the Beastiary, that path is forbidden.
The traveling mechanic gives you a number of "actions" during your turn. Actions range from Traveling between two adjacent tiles, traveling between two Magic Guilds, Buying spells, raiding an opponents camp, and exploring. Exploring ends your turn.
Initially, all the world will be an unknown (face down tiles) but if you explore, you move your character onto a tile and pull the tile up. Then the player has a choice. They can either swap it for one of the tiles they have already, or place the tile down, in the direction of their choice (thus being able to control which monsters are spawned).
At the end of your turn, night falls and with it, comes danger. Based on the icons in the center of the tile, a monster will attack you in the night. Initially (aka, closer to the center starting point), these will be simple monsters. As you explore outward, night becomes more dangerous. If you end your turn at civilization, (castle, inns, guilds, temples) then you'll rest and recover 2 wounds.
If, during your questing, you get dealt more wounds than you can sustain, you fall. You lose all your trophies and spells but start again at your nearest alignment guild.
The quests come in four types, each covering a selection of "levels" for the player. The first set is for Lv1-3 and involves collecting three "basic" monsters. Lv4-6 involves larger monsters and some basic. Lv7-9 not only face larger monsters but a "boss" monster will attack you in the night as the final portion. Finally, Lv10 and with it comes a final boss and an artifact to recover. Be the first player to beat your final boss, you win.
All set up and ready to play
All packed up and ready to go.
So now, game designed, printed, and never playtested, it's time to travel and try to find a publisher. The game looks good, should appeal to classic video gamers, and has a design unique all it's own. Let's just hope others agree.
And now, a special contest. In celebration of my game design attempt, allow me to throw up another contest. As Master Snake can attest, this ain't no jive. One commenter to this blog will win a prize. That prize? Why not a game I designed previously. This "self published" title is rare, mainly because I have not tried to get it legitimately published. Only ~20 copies exist though that number will inflate, not likely by much. Ladies and Gentlemen, try to win a copy of Haiku: The Card Game. This simple concept has players collecting sets of cards to create Haikus. To enter, leave a comment. Next Wednesday, I'll create a chart of all the entries and roll up a winner. I'd prefer continental US entries, sorry, don't want to pay a bunch of import tax on something I'm giving away.
LOOK WHO CAME: