A couple of months ago in one of my recent iterations for one of my upcoming games, I tested out how players would respond to increasing the amount of points you get for essentially every single action in the game.
Context: In the game, you get points for completing route cards by going to planets, and that’s it.
What I changed: I made it so that you get points for going to any destination, you get points if you rolled a specific dice face, and you also get points if you do your character specific goal. (This could be as simple as moving to a specific destination a number of times in a round, or gaining a certain resource).
It has only come to light recently in my discussions with other developers, as well as tutors at my University, that when I say I playtested Food Time Battle in Space for six months, or that I’ve been playtesting Space Game for three months now, that I’m just plain wrong.
If we look back at the development of FTBS, it took me roughly about a month to work out all the kinks, and make sure that the game is playable and enjoyable. Due to the game being so tightly designed yet very asymmetric (I only had 12 cards to work with for each player to create and balance that asymmetry) it then took me five months to balance the game. To break that down more simply, development on FTBS was split into:
This blog post is going to briefly cover the key difference between the two, as well as discuss what your aims should likely be whilst in these two different phases of development.
I have been selling games for four years now and I have never made any money. I’ve generated income to pay for manufacturing, distribution, conventions and marketing material. I have even generated enough income to support five amazing and talented freelancers at various points in time over the last four years of my board game development journey. Still, my board game development company has yet to turn a profit.
Now I’m not saying that you can’t make money from board games, or even that I can’t make money from board games, I’m sure that I will in the next couple of years just due to compounding effects. However, the point is that this is coming from the perspective of someone who has been working flat out full time for the last four years, developing three games and growing a business from the ground up, and hasn’t been rewarded monetarily for their efforts.
Here’s 5 reasons why you should definitely make board games:
Input randomness vs output randomness. What is it? Why is it important? Which one do you pick? This blog post will answer these three questions as briefly as possible using my game development knowledge.
What is it?
Input randomness and output randomness both describe the flow of randomness with a particular mechanic.
The blog post is going to be slightly different compared to my other posts. It’s not a game development essay, or a game design showcase, or even a blog post about a particular game or event. This blog is purely about what to expect from me, and my board game publishing company, Crab Studios, in the next year or so.
Here we are; we have arrived at my most anticipated post in this series of development diaries. First and foremost, I am a game designer, so my favourite topic in game development is, of course, design!
Now I love reading and listening to other designers, learning from them, and I enjoy engaging with another designer's philosophy. However, I completely understand and respect that most people not in this space wouldn't be too interested. Instead, I wanted to format this post to be more relatable to a broader audience. So instead, let's talk about my design goals from the beginning of the game's development and how I accomplished those goals.
Welcome back to the second installment in this short mini-series of blog posts. If you are reading this back in the future, I’m sure somewhere on the site (either the sidebar of the blog or a subpage) I will have have collated all of these development diaries about Langskip into one.
Anyway, this post is now about the transition of theme, from Cat Game to Viking Game (aka Langskip). I partially covered this in the last blog post but in much less detail as it was to mainly highlight the change in mechanisms, deck size and handsize. This post is all about theme!
Hello, my name is Niall Crabtree, and this is my comprehensive blog showcasing all of my game development
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