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.
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?
If you’ve been keeping up with my previous blog posts, you’ll have noticed “Edited book chapter” pop up in the points tallies pretty frequently. I’ve been writing creatively for as long as I can remember and it’s largely influenced by my penchant for the farfetched and unusual; I’ve written novels or short-stories about all sorts, from mystery earth-bound plots to twisting sci-fi dramas, and I’m ecstatic to announce that I’ve just finished the third round of editing on my latest creation; In The Black Blood!
In The Black Blood has been a project of mine for the last few years, satisfyingly filling time around my music and professional careers. It’s set approximately 400 years after a zombie apocalypse and follows the stories of seven characters, several of whom have fates that are unknowingly intertwined. It’s a story about greed set against the backdrop of post-apocalyptic England (and a little bit of France). There’s a long way still to go, but I’m proud of my accomplishments with it so far.
While doing my third major edit I wrote a list of everything I wasn’t completely happy with in the book; the next step for me is to go through that list and decide what needs changing. After that I’ll do an edit by character, rather than chronologically, to double check that I’ve ironed out any inconsistencies in the “voices” of each character. Following that I’ve got the daunting (and extremely exciting) task of trying to find a writing agent! Over the next few weeks and months I’ll keep this blog updated with information and any further developments on the book.
Wish me luck!
Have a productive day.
Edited a book chapter +5 (x3)
Created a Social Media scheduler +3
Installed TweetDeck +1
Wrote a blog post +2
Generally speaking, it’s not wise to set up a new blog and then immediately vanish into thin air, but that’s what I did. Or near enough anyway. I didn’t actually vanish but stepped on a plane to Portugal with my girlfriend. Unsurprisingly, lounging around by the pool doesn’t offer too many opportunities for productivity, so I had to put The Points Project on hold for a little while. Though that’s not to say that I spent the whole week being an unproductive lump; I managed to edit three book chapters while I was there (more on what that book’s about in a blog post or two).
It’s been a tradition for a number of years for my sister, Hannah, and me to make cards for each other’s birthdays, and this year was no exception. However, Hannah’s birthday fell slap bang in the middle of my trip to Portugal so, late one night before leaving, I picked up my pencil and drawing pen and set to work. I’m a fan of making cards, and many take a similar form to this; heavy lines done in pen, shading done in pencil. It’s nothing too fancy, but I think it can be pretty striking. I looked up a picture of a cartoon from the internet as inspiration, sketched it in pencil, then went over the lines in pen.
Now… you’d be forgiven for wondering why the birthday card I made for my sister has got a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex on it. Well, it’s a bit of a long story, but to give you the cliff-notes: I forgot to make her a card last year. She said that, in order to make up for it, I’d have to give her a birthday card at Christmas with a raptor on it… which I did. When it came to this birthday I had to wrack my brain to come up with something better than a raptor, and clearly a T-Rex was my only option.