Sunday, August 12, 2018

THREE - TWO - ONE . . .

The chits about to hit the fan, P E O P L E! (Yes, I'm game-drunk again!)

Which reminds me, I have a load of chits to dream up and finish before I can call it a day. I had tested these chits as shards in my original prototype and they were horrible in two ways. They were too small and wafer thin so I'm going with the the 1" chipboard with better layouts so that should improve the quality considerably.

1" Chits
You know, that first prototype was both a revelation and a major disappointment all rolled into one. Most of the printing was way too dark so I'm being extra careful not to submit dark images. Most of the images are in PNG format and about 20% lighter than the original artwork. I had quite a few hits and misses.

Wow, it's been over a year since I started working on this game and I think it's safe to say that Millennium will officially launch in January of 2019. Hey, that's only six months away! Not so bad considering I'm a one-man-band, which is unheard of in this industry. Most board games require the involvement of dozens of people, designers, consultants, artists, etc., to put a game together and bring it to market over several years.

There are several ways to accomplish this, but for now, my main concern and focus is to design a board game that appeals to players interested in post-apocalyptic themes and stories. That's the first door I need to fling open, and from there, to introduce and present this new world with all its challenges, rewards, and stories in an exciting and engaging way. Easier said than done, of course, but you will never know unless you try.

And by trying I mean you have to be all-in. Players want to play a game that engages them in unexpected ways and holds their attention in a way that goes beyond game play. Playing a game for the sake of having fun is not a good enough reason to learn a new game. From my point of view, the real appeal of Millennium is that its main theme is totally relevant to our times.

The chits about to hit the fan, P E O P L E! 

Beyond game mechanics, the theme and world view the game represents is the most important asset to play up. By approaching the game that way, you elevate its meaning and its relevance.

At this point my main goal is to finish all the card decks (about 5 different decks) and continue to test the game beyond family and friends for more accurate feedback that will lead to a better gaming experience.

As they say, less is more, and so I've tried to keep the flow of events as simple and as intuitive as possible while maintaining a level of interest that keeps players engaged in a personal way. While one of the main objectives of the game is to rescue survivors, teamwork is important but not necessary to win the game. In light of that, I've made another change to my cover image.

My previous box cover featured Andrea rescuing a young boy, which highlighted the main objective of the game, however, after some thought, I changed the image to Andrea alongside her sidekick, a Bull Terrier named, Apollo. (BTW, she's packing a 9mm Glock)

Overall, I think this is a more interesting snapshot and it doesn't repeat what we already know. The design on the back of the box is also locked-in to juxtaposed imagery that adds depth to the game's themes. Namely, the past and the future.

I'm a sucker for the 1800s or any era in the past for that matter. (I'm sure my high school history teacher would be baffled by this.) And so I've added plenty of references to the Civil War, The Roaring Twenties, and so on. (See one of the video links under the EXTRAS column on the right.)

There's so much I can add to make this game even more interesting but that will hopefully come in a second edition. I realize this initial game is just a proof of concept that needs fine-tuning along the way but for now, I must include bits and pieces, as it were, of the bigger picture. I want to give players a taste of what's to come in a much bigger form if this game catches on.

Something tells me it's going to be a popular game if I can deliver all the elements I have in mind in a way that's a little familiar but at the same time, very different than any game of its kind.

That still remains to be seen and so time will tell. My lack of gaming knowledge can either serve me as a disadvantage or as an advantage because I'm not tempted to mirror any other games. So far, I've tried to put together a fun and exciting game with my own twist on a theme I enjoy playing but could not find on the market.

Once I get this next prototype locked-in and ready for sale to the general public, then I can think about presenting it to a major publisher to see if they are interested. At this point I still need to send out several boxes to reviewers and continue testing the game with various groups.

If I can generate enough interest and excitement about it, then that's a good start. I have to build momentum and follow that up with effective publicity in all the right places. On top of that, you have your marketing mix of ads and promos and blog mentions, etc. It's a marathon of things that need to fall into place around the same time for a good launch. (I know, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.)

"I think it's easier to read the rules
by scrolling or clicking instead of turning pages . . ."

The new Rules Booklet is now available to download off the The Game website, and you can also view it (and Andrea's Journal) from this Millennium Blog. Eventually the rules, journal, more video links, and more about the game will be available via a standalone App.

I think it's easier to read the rules by scrolling or clicking instead of turning pages. This way, everyone can read the rules on their phone, which, in turn, makes the video links and the Millennium blog more accessible.

I've said way too much and this post has gone on far too long. There's a whole book of information I can distill about this game and about marketing your product but that will come in due time.

"Right now, I have to sign off before the 
attention-span police lock me up."

Right now, I have to sign off before the attention-span police lock me up.

There's so much more to talk about folks. Stay tuned for more insights and highlights coming soon. Best thing is to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss anything. I don't usually post on a regular basis (a big no-no) but when I do, I really spill the beans.

Hey, I'm juggling dozens of projects at the same time. Hard to keep track of it all.

Come on back for my next post where I'll talk about the final stretch to finish up all the artwork and hopefully add some new video links and maybe a new promo trailer, which is already in the works.

No worries, I have 20 hours a day to work, 7 days a week. I just need to make better use of all that time.

Game on!