Sunday, December 31, 2017

Millennium lives on!

Yes, it's been a while since I posted an update on any of my board games since the holidays tend to sidetrack me, but here's an image you haven't seen for the new Millennium box.

As much as I like this design, I'm not sure I'll actually use it because it seems a bit unusual compared to so many other boxes in this genre. Maybe a bit too serious in tone when the ultimate goal is to use a fun image, but you never know, I just might go with it.

You'll notice on the upper left it says, "A Cooperative Game." I think this category and the overall theme fits better as a co-op game where players unite and try to reach a specific goal and survive as a team. That means that most of the rules and cards will go through another revamp.

As much as that hurts, I just can't ignore an improvement like this. It's just part of the game, if you will. The thing is that when you start a game you don't always see the big picture and sometimes you get caught-up in all the details that you don't want to miss.

The fact is that a doomsday theme lends itself naturally to this mechanism so why fight it. I'll have to roll with this punch in the gut but the game will be better for it. Besides, nobody really cares how much I suffer during the design process. It's all about the game and the (fun) experience it delivers. Period. Cry me a river.

Proposed Box Design

The board has also gone through major changes. It's now a six-fold board 18" x 27" so I can use the entire U.S. map from coast-to-coast.

This is an unfinished board (below) but you get the idea how the rest will turn out based on this graphic. I still have quite a bit to add to it; mostly destination points and locations as you see on the east coast. I'm trying not to clutter it too much.

Unfinished Board
Right now, as it stands, players start on the east coast, at the Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and disperse from there to one of three bomb shelters as a final destination. When all players reach a bomb shelter, they win the game. But getting to each shelter won't be easy and that's what makes this game a challenge.

..."even in its simplicity there is
always plenty of built-in chaos."

That's the general idea but I'm still working out all the obstacles and cards needed to make that all happen in a fun and interesting way. That's the hard part but I think I can pull it off. Hey, anyone can design a game. The trick is to design a great game without annoying mechanisms that slow down the game or don't make any sense thematically.

I'm working all that out as I go along because it's easier for me to see the work in Photoshop than on a notepad. Although, I've already filled two notebooks and counting.

Millennium has really taken a sharp turn for the better but it has a long way to go. It seems to grow by the day but I realize I must stick to the theme and keep it simple because even in its simplicity there is always plenty of built-in chaos.

Having stepped away from the board for several months gave me a chance to see something I had missed before. Namely, that I needed to design and build this game as a co-op game because that's the nature of a doomsday scenario. At first, I had thought that making a strategic and competitive game might be a good idea, but organically, a cooperative game is really the best way to go so why fight it.

I think cooperative games like Pandemic are quite popular and have global appeal so that's the new direction and a better choice for Millennium.

..."that's the new direction and
a better choice for Millennium."

I've also been working on an interesting backstory or backdrop that ties-in the End of Days scenario with the asteroid Bennu and it's near collision with Earth every so often. That's one of Andrea's (main character) biggest fears.

And so it goes, folks. There's so much to do and so little time to accomplish our goals but we must press on and keep moving forward at all costs.

I preach this to my kids as often as I can. Life is all about the glory. You must endure the blood, sweat, and tears. Nobody cares about all that.

People only care about the glory and so that's your main focus; the final outcome. And it better be good.

I hope the new year brings you closer to your goals, my friends.

There's simply no time to look back.