Post 3 – The Concept Pt I

Starting the Journal

The goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.

Reiner Knizia

Sup Fellow Game Boarders,

So I have my DIY kit, I’ve read up on Board Game literature, I’m plugged into Design Podcasts and have a fair few people expectant of some form of game.

What’s next?

I have started 101 projects and got stuck at this stage. I can a bit of a perfectionist and I always want to have my thoughts and ideas colour coded and layed out neatly.


This time I wasn’t going to be trapped in this specious frame of mind and decided to just splurge my ideas and thoughts onto paper. I posed a series of questions to myself and just answered them anywhere on the page with squiggles and diagrams.

What makes a great board game in my head?

An Epic Board – I love a big board with great artwork and fantastic UI. I want to be able to move my pieces across a Landscape/SpaceScape/Map and really connect with the logistics of my pieces.

Simple Pieces & Beautiful Miniatures – I think that games with both simple wooden tokens and complex important Miniatures have a brilliant aesthetic that naturally draws your attention to the normally more significant pieces in play.

Asymmetric Factions – Playing a Faction/Character that has a different ability or path through the game allows not only for replayability but for another level of immersion.

Development – Games where I can build upon the board and have a physical presence is always a fantastic feature. Being able to build up your Empire or Stacks of cash or whatever it is, is only ever satisfying.

Non-reliant on Luck – Risk is one of my favourite games of all time. However my Sister has always had a knack for decimating my armies with poorly placed and ill supported troops. The culprit? Dice Luck. If my Sister ever trips to Vegas I will definitely invest for a portion of the fortune she’ll bring back. So in my game I want there to be an amount of luck that is heavily superseded by tactics and smart board play.

Who do I want to play my game?

Well let’s for a minute imagine that I am not the new Steve Jobs of Board games and I don’t succeed in my Kickstarter; then I will want to play with my friends and family.

My friends are all massive nerds so will keep up with any level of complexity I build into my game. However my Family and Girlfriend are more casual gamers who are willing to learn a ruleset if it’s not going to take an hour.

Let me know!

What makes a brilliant game for you?

Leave a Comment, Send me an E-mail, DM my FB page, reply to a tweet! However you like, but please get in touch!

Next Step: Concept Pt II, looking at the actual concept of my game.

Until next time…

One Board Ben

2 thoughts on “Post 3 – The Concept Pt I

  1. Hi Ben!

    I’ve been enjoying what I’ve read so far, props to you for putting it all out there!

    One thing I just want to point out is that it appears that you’re making yourself some goalposts for what you want your game to be. This is good, but I want to just comment on that approach.

    As a private (hobbyist?) game designer, you have the luxury of working on your own time, and not necessarily create a self-sustaining business. So although you have some specific notes you want to hit in the design, as you go through the process you might find the fun elsewhere. So just keep that in mind as you develop the game.

    Maybe the board and movement isn’t working out (has rules problems or isn’t interesting), but a card drafting/set collection mechanic is. You should feel free to break off that mechanic into it’s own game, or re-focus your game on that. Publishers don’t necessarily have the luxury of pivoting on a game idea and bringing something totally different to market. It might not fit their brand, it might require too much time, or be too heavy. But as a solo game dev you can totally do that. Just follow the fun until you find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Zintis!

      Thanks for your comment. I think you make a fantastic point. However I felt the need to set those goalposts to focus the idea and get some traction.

      In one of my upcoming posts I will talk about a mechanic that I THOUGHT was fundamental but in fact I swapped out without much grief.

      I also am stuck on a system currently that should come up sometime this week that was in the original plan but isnt working anymore. So keep an eye out for that, I would love any thoughts you have.

      It’s worth noting that if you break off a mechanic it doesnt have to be it’s own game it could also be an idea for future expansions maybe?

      Great to hear from a reader.



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