What Should This Game Be?

Two years ago (or so) Dave, Loren and I are at a convention in Oregon and we know we want this universe, but what type of game should it be?

We’ve all been gamers for a very long time and have played a huge host of games. So anytime you’re looking at a new game you have to decide a few things: Who will play this game? Why will they play it? And both of those questions automatically generate additional answers to the next set of questions to ask: how complex should the game be, how long should a “standard” game be, should there be an in-depth universe to go with the game, and so on. And of course the giant plethora of games we’ve played allows us to instantly compare what we’re thinking about to other games. “Well it will be like X, or it absolutely won’t be like Y.” And so on. Can be frustrating when you realize a mechanic you’ve come up with is a little too close to that X or Y…but at the end of the day, very useful.

The convention was a small one, so traffic by the booth was light. As such I was able to sketch concepts on a note pad for almost the whole weekend and the basis of the current game came from that time frame. Obviously it’s been heavily tweaked, both from my own thoughts as it progresses and from the “Leviathan Crew” of authors, not to mention continual play test feedback.

I’m trying to talk a very fine line, of course. When you’re producing a miniatures game that will be a line of products and be supported with add-on releases from the get go, the re-playability is paramount. However, with most miniatures games re-playability usually means great tactics and great tactics usually come at the cost of complexity. At the same time we want this to be a game that has a wider appeal and ease of picking up and trying than what a more traditional miniatures-style game might have (I think of it as being more “boardgame-like”). So the line I’ve been walking is trying to balance making it relatively easy to get into and play (that more boardgame-like), but with some great tactics once you get it (the miniatures-style player).

Now that’s nothing new, of course. Any game wants to try and strike that balance. But hopefully the way I’m going about striking that balance is a little re-freashing and a little new…because that’ll help spark interest and interest turns to enthusiasm and enthusiasm leads to giving the game a try…which is what this is all about, after all.

See ya next duty shift!

Randall

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