This is the third in a series about a board game I developed for my girlfriend. Part 1. Part 2.
I described what I wanted the game to include in a previous post. One of those things was references to things Sophie and I liked to talk about, and at the time I was developing the game, there was a certain political figure looming large. What better inspiration for my game’s antagonist?
I decided that my villain was a usurper who had gained control of Queen’s Landing and made lives hell for those in the regions around it. Players take control of a character (read about them here) and head for the centre of the board, where the once-proud city stands. The characters have an uneasy alliance though, and can’t resist screwing each other over as they make their way to the capital to dethrone the mad man at its middle. The characters were each given their own back stories and motivations for taking down the tyrant.
A few other political figures and events also made an appearance, but the setting is whimsical enough that it doesn’t feel burdened by it (as we often are in life!). The mood is further lightened by a few pop-culture references and the weird kind of glee you get out of messing up your friends’ plans to win.
Once I’d concocted that story, the rules and gameplay fell into place very quickly and tied the whole thing together. I’ll go into that in more detail in the next blog post, so please follow my page to ensure you don’t miss it.
Up near Nottingham, situated close to a spooky church and this entirely reassuring danger sign, is the Wargames Foundry. This is where I went to find characters for the board game I made for my girlfriend (read part one here). They’ve got oodles (that’s British for “thousands”) of miniatures there; so many that I spent a good few hours looking for the perfect ones.
I was worried for my safety
I’d settled on having one character for each of the four regions on the game board, excluding Queen’s Landing. A late-night brainstorming session the day before resulted in:
Drek – Related to a certain ogre you might have heard of (Quinzel Cemetery)
Dread Pirate Robins – Loves a frilly dress (Plunder Bay)
Condescending the Dwarf – Don’t you dare talk down to him (Immortal Mountains)
Little Red – Wolf-pelt wearing badass (Wild Woods)
Ordinarily, they recommend painting their figurines (as you can tell from the respectfully dressed vampires above), but I quite liked the bare metal look. I grabbed a few wooden discs from Hobbycraft, and secured the figurines to them with my trusty superglue. I’m very happy with them, and reckon they fit with the game board quite nicely indeed!
Those of you that have been reading my blog for a while might have noticed that I’ve mentioned a “secret project” on a few occasions. Well, it’s time for the big reveal!
I MADE A BOARD GAME!
It was my girlfriend’s birthday back in November. We’re both fans of board games and visit cafés like Thirsty Meeples in Oxford every so often to try out new things (Read Sophie’s post about it here), so it seemed like a good idea to MAKE a board game especially for her. I had no idea where to start, but I wagered that beginning with the board itself couldn’t be a bad idea.
I came up with the idea of creating five distinct “regions”. At this stage, I had a rough idea of what shape I wanted the game to take: I knew that it had to involve rolling a die to move, that it would involve drawing cards that would affect other players, that it would have references to things that Sophie and I liked or talked about, and that it would have a fantasy theme. With that in mind, I went out to Sainsbury’s and bought some crayons and coloured pencils, then took up drawing for an hour at a time on my lunch breaks.
The five regions developed quickly, and I soon had:
Plunder Bay (Pirate Themed)
Quinzel Cemetery (Swamp/Cemetery Themed)
Immortal Mountain (Mountain/Mine Themed)
Wild Woods (Enchanted Woods Themed)
Queen’s Landing (Medieval City Themed – No prizes for guessing the reference here!)
Once all five had been drawn, I scanned them into my computer and stitched them together in Photoshop, leaving me with an almost-finished game board. All of the gameplay elements were missing, but I had a base to work from; a base that I was incredibly happy with! Next I had to develop a story, but more on that next time. Follow The Points Project for more!
Are any of you prolific board game players? What do you like to play?