Post 4 – The Concept Pt II

To play a good game, you need a few players.

R.J. Torbert

Howdy Nerds,

So I’ve put together the things I like the most, now I’ve got to narrow it down even further to try and nurture some mechanics

Drawing Inspiration

So this possibly deserved to be in The Concept: Pt I, but it was getting a bit wordy.

Drawing inspiration from the things I love really gave me motivation to keep pushing through the idea. And for me that quite quickly settled on space. The final frontier. Star wars, Firefly, Children of Time, The Martian, etc. (Both my Thesises).


Yes space. Seems like a broad interest to “focus” on but hear me out. What is space about to me?




Incredible Laser Filled Space Operatic Battles

And some people will beat me to the punch here. But that sounds pretty much like a 4x game.

For those that don’t know; 4x is a genre of game that is based on eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate.

This pretty nicely connects back round to my target audience, who at this point I have solidified as My Dad. An easily distractible, outdoors chap with a never ending love for Age of empires II. AoE II being a relatively simple 4X game.

Focus Ben

Ok so lets split it down to stages.

eXplore – I want the players to have the opportunity to explore the board and be unsure what the universe holds for them. So it needs to be hidden tiles on a large board that can be randomised. An alien solar system seems best so we’ll stick with that for the time being. So the board wants to be “round” ish in shape with atleast a few turns of travel from one side to the other.

eXpand – I want the players to be able to colonise planets and build space stations. Paving the way for humanity to enter this alien system. So there will need to be some kind of colony ship and space station building ship. As well as buildings on the planet.

eXploit – I want the players to be able to harness the bountiful resources in the Universe. And then improve on their efficiency of harvesting and using them. I also think I want some kind of logistics whereas players need to move these resources to their city/SpaceStations to allow other players to pull off daring heists whilst defending their own resource lanes.

eXterminate – I want the players to engage in fantastic space battles. Not just straight dice rolls and not with the same ship all round. I want players to live up to the great Space Admiral inside them.

A quick note

I want to add that this stage seems quick but in real time took me about 3/4 days. And that is nearly full days as there wasnt much going on at the time. I played around with the idea of a medieval conquest, Rainbow Six Siege style house clearing game, a card based evolution game. How did I choose in the end?

Honestly this one just felt right. Maybe not the most insightful piece of advice you’ll take away from my blog but honestly, in my opinion, dont go with the game that you think will sell the most or fills a niche. Go with the game that makes you excited to play with your Friends/Partners/Family.

The Concept

Ok here goes.

A Space themed 4X game with an interesting combat mechanic, large board and variety of ships and buildings to grow your Alien Star Empire. Simple.

Next step: The Basics – Looking at the basics of a play testable board game.

Until next Turn,

One Board Ben

P.S Thanks to Phil for sign off suggestion.

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