How did I become a board game designer

Some years ago when playing games I started to have ideas on how to improve the games. I did not like this, I thought you could improve that and some house rules came along as well. I also had thoughts about creating something on my own. Two friends whom I played Civilization and similar games with felt the same. So we decided to create our own game. It was a strategy game, the name was ROME and we went to work right away. Overview of the map, general setup (board with action on land and sea), rough rules and so on. After only a few meetings it looked ok what we had written down. Then reality struck us. Two of us had to leave town for new jobs within a short period of time. And that was it for the first attempt.

The next attempt was about 8 years ago when I again had the urge to create a game. I created two rough games consistent of square tiles to explore or create a map with different things happening on the path. I liked both, but they had some flaws at that time and I did not have the time to optimize them in a way to make a good game out of it. So another chance was gone (but I still have all the ideas written down and the tiles produced at home – for maybe later).

The next attempt was starting already in 2014. I had rough ideas for a modular game with exchangeable smaller boards and made notes about them. Actually that was it for a long time. But in 2017, when having some time at home due to health issues I took those notes out again and created a game out of it which actually was playable. It is situated in a fantasy world. The working title was “The square market”. I worked almost a year on the game unfortunately wanting to much, so I overengineered the game over time with all my “great” ideas. It does have a lot of potential with many good ideas and I had those ideas all written down to improve the game. But before actually realising those changes something else happened.

While thinking about this fantasy world of mine one night I had another idea on something happening in my fantasy world. And within 2 nights I had the rough version of a game from my ideas. I made a rough prototype of it and presented it to some friends. They were all really liking the game, the idea and the interaction very much from the start and so I decided to postpone the other game and work on this one (which is now “The FOG”). And that I have done now for 1.5 years. It has gone through so many iterations and playtesting and also a couple of name changes. I would never have thought how much time creating a game takes to really get everything done (creating graphics, prototypes, rules, etc.). And every time you think something is done something comes up.

Then I had to decide whether to “just” be a game designer or also to market my own game (e.g. via Kickstarter). I decided to market my own game. That is even more time consuming to be honest – and another story.

But for now I am just happy. After several attempts I have created my own playable game which people like and I will present it in 10 days on the SPIEL 19 Trade Show in Essen. That is simply a dream come true.

Did you ever think about creating your own game or actually doing it. What was your experience?

Leave a Reply

Close Menu