A Beginning and Active Project Design Thoughts

Hi everyone.  I’m a longtime game designer in a way but not how you might think.  I remember designing my first game at the age of about 11 in school.  It was like a Monopoly game on steroids.  I called it Tycoon it used four different game boards-a main board, and various other “subquest’ type boards for various pursuits such as real estate, gambling and investing.  I cut the paper money up from notebook paper, grabbed some pennies for player tokens, made up cards and was off to the races. I think we played it once.  We found out what’s worse than Monopoly–Monopoly on four boards…lol.   Then it got lost to my desire to make movies (without a camera). 

So the boards probably were used to build miniature houses for our fantasy disaster movie and then burned them down to test angles for our movie.  Since this was before VCRs, getting a camera was not realistic so we never did shoot our movie, but such is a boy’s life.  That was probably replaced with some other hobby.

Game design fell by the wayside for a while, but my interest never waned.  I learned all I could about probablity and statistics, operations research, systems simulation and did Honors Research on a Algorithmic Approach to proving the Fundamental Theory of Games.  Then I began part time performing as a professional magician while doing my career in IT.

My interest in game design resurfaced about 7 years ago with the Board game Designer forum.  I read the contests and thought I could do that so I did.  For about a year I participated and did okay many of the months.  At that time I came up with a mechanic for a game about mining coal (which is part of my heritage).  I called it Mine’s A Wastin’ and its morphed over the years from a deck builder to a worker placement but I haven’t found a design yet that feels good.

My friend opened a Board game cafe about four years ago and a Game Design group started there and that kicked me into a higher gear along with the contests on the Game Crafter and the ability to create nice looking games using that site.

That has led me to three designs that I’m excited about:  Parade Day in which you compete with other committee members to form the most prestigious division for the village’s annual parades to get the most prestige. King of the City which is an expansive (ambitious) design toward being a gangster working your way up to be the Godfather of a modular city and my design most closely ready for a production opportunity–Painter’s Palette.

Painter’s Palette is a deck building gateway game that teaches the basic concepts of deckbuilders as well as art and color theory as players work to build their palette of paint colors in order to paint pictures and accumulate fame points.  This is a fast moving game that has many opportunities for expansions, teaching opportunities while being colorful and hopefully fun to play. This is my furthest advanced active design.  I will share more in upcoming posts.

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