Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Re-Boot, Re-boot, Re-Boot - A Breakthrough With The Millennium Board Game

Re-Boot, Re-boot, Re-Boot - A Breakthrough With The Millennium Board Game

Sound the alarms! Baaaaack it up! Beep, beep, beep...

Scratch the vinyl record right here folks!

Stop the presses!


Okay, okay, enough with all the bad cliches. Let's get down to the real reason why I'm being so ridiculous. No, I've not been hitting the bourbon bottle. (Hmm, maybe I should be.)

I'm back with a bunch of changes to Millennium. All for the better, mind you, no steps backwards, ever. I had a change of heart on the East Coast and West Coast versions of the game. As good as that was in theory, I figured why re-invent the wheel?

No, I've not been hitting the bourbon bottle.

Instead, I'm switching to a six-fold game board, a new 9 x 12 tall box so everything fits nicely and I've ditched the black box design for a more traditional and thematic cover with Andrea rescuing an injured boy. She's also looking towards the front as opposed to giving her back to the viewer. Not sure what I was thinking other than trying to create a reveal but that just works in the movies.

Although, the biggest change is that Millennium is now a cooperative game. Other than all that, it's the same frickin' game. Go figure.

Call me crazy, but that's what I should've started out with from the beginning. It is an Apocalyptic story and so teamwork is a natural fit where everyone looks out for each other as opposed to every person for themselves. I am trying to make this a positive game with an edge as opposed to a "winner take all" POV where mayhem, pessimism, and greed rule the day.

Yes, going against the grain is always a risk.
But doing what you believe in can also have its rewards. It's about looking at the glass half full.

I think there's enough dark news to go around and I want Millennium to be different. I want it to come across as a hopeful game where Earth still has a bright future ahead of it, despite the grim outlook just because of a handful of tyrants around the globe.

Talk about a whole new feel to the game, this really narrows down the theme because it's all about rescuing as many survivors as possible in order to win the game as a team. There's just much more at stake this way and the game is more engaging and more fun.

Here's a preview of the new box:

Updated Box Cover

It's come a long way and I just might change this scene and show Andrea running from an explosion with the boy to make it more exciting and more dynamic. Although, I do like this scene or where she's waiting for the train. There are just so many choices to make and settling for one is never easy. But as you go along, the game develops into something different and if it's a better idea, you just have to go with it.

Once I get all the main events and cards in place, it'll be all about small details and how the game plays out, step by step. It has to feel just right. The pacing should be smooth but brisk without too much lag time between players.

Here's where playtesting with different groups comes in handy because every person will have their own experience with the game and hopefully they can offer suggestions to improve it.  I know that if I can get this game to the point where it plays out with plenty of tension and adventure, it will be a terrific game to play.

"Quite a longshot to launch a board game that way ..."

At that point, I'll have to try to find a publisher willing to take a chance with it and if that doesn't work, I'm on my own. Quite a longshot to launch a board game that way but you know, that's part of the appeal of designing your own games. It's a heck of a challenge to succeed at any level but especially rewarding if you can jumpstart one on your own and get it rolling at a steady pace.

It all remains to be seen, but I do have good expectations even though I realize that Apocalyptic themes are not exactly a rage these days, but I'm counting on Millennium to change all that. That's the dream and it's not impossible so in that case, I'm already in deep so no turning back at this point.

"Idealogy is king but trinkets are a close second."

My take on this theme may be just what board games need to kickstart a trend. You never know and the only way to find out is to be all-in. You can't put out a half-ass game, book, or anything else. You have to go for broke.

This board game is no small feat for one person, but if I can get Millennium out there as I envision it, I think it will succeed. If it does, it's all gravy from there because all my other games in development are much simpler and faster to finish.

It's a marathon, to say the least. Hey, it's either this or watching re-runs of Star-Trek. (My secret is that I can do both at the same time.)

Bottom of Box

Here's a sneak peek at the bottom or back of the box. I could write a whole book about this but in my next Post I'll try to tackle all the elements it takes to design a good back for your box. As you can see here, it's very cluttered but that's almost a given. I could organize it a bit more but there's just so much you need to include that it's always difficult to fit everything in a comprehensive way.

I'm also using a loss leader because I need all the advantages I can get. I'll get into that too and discuss a bit about sales gimmicks and how to make good use of them without seeming like a carnival barker.

You can see some of the bells and whistles here and let me say that regardless of your amazing plot and themes and your overall concept, players always love trinkets. That's what I call them and I'm not far off describing some of these game pieces. Other than an emotional angle, you also need tanglible objects. Idealogy is king but trinkets are a close second. Yes, grown-ups like toys too.

Enough said for now, I could go on and on but this article is already too long. Attention spans are not what they used to be.

Stay tuned for much more about the latest developments with Millennium and how I'm tackling each phase of this game from start to finish.

It's turning out to be a Master Class in package design and board game marketing and hopefully you'll find a digital version on Amazon after I finish this game.