Sunday, November 5, 2017

West Coast / East Coast Game Box
We all knew it was coming. So after months of designing an East Coast game board, I've decided to add a West Coast board to Millennium, which in my opinion was not only necessary, but inevitable.

After all, who wants to play only half a game? As cool as the East Coast board is, adding a game board that starts in San Francisco, CA, makes it much more complete and satisfying to play. Especially if the board is set in another era (1800's and 1900's).

The East Coast board is about 95% done and the new board is about 50% done, so I have quite a bit of work before finishing up this game.

I can release the East coast version this month (November) as I had planned all along but I rather not rush into anything. I want too take my time and finish this entire game as I know it will work best so that means two 18" x 18" boards side-by-side, which makes the game board a full 18" x 36" inches of awesome game play.

"It's quite a contrast of events..."

I'm still debating on splitting these games in half and selling separate boards. As it stands now, I plan on offering the East Coast board by itself and offering the West Coast/East Coast board game separately. This way gamers have two options at different price points.

While the main theme to the East Coast board is survival, the theme of the West Coast board is historical exploration, namely, the Wild West and Wyatt Earp, and moving on into the 20th Century and the Disco era of the 70's and beyond. I think it will be lots of fun, which eventually leads up to a time-warp transporting you into the year 2158 and into the East Coast. It's quite a contrast of events that I think works really nice and builds up to a full, well-rounded game.

Who knows? Only time will tell how it all plays out, but it feels like I'm on the right track. I'm also refining the four characters with multiple roles and ideally I would like to include a set of custom dice that allows special moves for each player. Both are good mechanisms that add depth to the game. Although, including custom dice all depends on how much it will add to the final price. Margins with The Game Crafter are already low enough so we'll see.
West Coast Wild West Card

Lots to think about and even more to do but I know it'll be worth it because it's going to make a much better game overall.

"I'm going full throttle
with Millennium..."

I do have four other games in various stages of completion, but I'm only one guy with limited time so right now I'm going full throttle with Millennium while I have good momentum on my side so I can finish it and move onto to other things on the design and production side as Millennium hits the market and I tweak that end of it.

It's nothing short of a full time endeavor, but that's what I do. For years I've had all these ideas and finally I'm putting them out there and giving board games a shot for whatever it's worth. Everything I've learned about design and marketing over the years has led me to this and it feels like the right time to try something different.

As it turns out, or maybe it just feels that way, everyone is getting in on the board game bandwagon these days. So competition is fierce but the market knows what it wants and champions what it likes the most so that's really the challenge; to figure out what's popular and put a new spin on it because let's face it, most of it has all been done before.

West Coast Card
"One person's favorite game
might be another's nightmare."

So while Post Apocalyptic games are not new, my spin and flavor is, so all I can hope for is that gamers identify and embrace it with fair reviews. That's always the hard part because like anything else, games are subjective. One person's favorite game might be another's nightmare.

That being said, if you design games you would like to see but can't really find out there, maybe that adds something to the gaming world. You never know until you put it out there and that takes a good investment mostly in time.

And as we all know, time is precious and in short supply, especially the older you get so you have to make the most of every day.

I think that by the spring of 2018 I'll be ready to release both editions of Millennium after several (hopefully favorable) reviews. 

Successfully marketing a game is really an uphill battle unless it has a viral element that key influencers can relate and latch on to. Big companies rely on bestselling books to base their games on and that always helps because they have a built-in audience to work with. And that makes marketing almost effortless.

East Coast Illness Card
If you don't have the luxury of basing your games on bestselling books or video games, stick with universal concepts that are already familiar to gamers and try presenting your games in the most unique way possible. Everything counts in gaming, even great and consistent artwork is a plus because there are plenty of collectors who appreciate that kind of stuff.

Okay, that's for another post. Meanwhile I've got to get back to work on my games. It's a bit overwhelming with so much to do but I take it one day at a time and keep on going until there's nothing left to do.

And then of course, there's always something else to do until it all bottoms out and then you move on.

For my next post I'm going to finally post my easy Photoshop tips for making product boxes like the one above. It's not perfect yet, but it's getting there.

Till next time, keep on gaming!

Your move.