Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shock and Awe. . .. .

I could have guessed this would have happened after attending Gen-con. For the past two days I have thought a lot more about board and card games. The fact that Adventurer, the game I bought there is a hit with Abigail (probably because she keeps beating me at it). Today I have especially thought about the games that I have made. Since that is what on my mind I am going to share. Not all of these games have titles (that I remember) so they will have numbers and be posted chronologically.

1. The first game I remember making was in second grade. That is right, we are going retro for this list. It is obvious in hindsight that I was destined to play games beyond Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land. For how long ago this was, I remember a good deal about it. We were suppose to make a game where you had to rescue a princess. I remember many of the students followed the teachers example, and made a simple board with a castle at the end, and maybe a miss turn or go back 2 spaces spot. Not me though, I had branching fast and monsters to fight. To beat certain monsters, you had to roll certain numbers. If you lost you had to start over. I made a game that for all intents and purposes was the same only bigger two years later when given a similar assignment in fourth grade.

2. In middle school I began my tragic and destined to fail affair with Collectible Card Games. I started with Magic, but soon moved to Spellfire which I liked a lot better. I combined elements of those two along with some of my own ideas to create War Party. I don't remember a whole lot about it. I think I wrote out rules by hand once, and I even started trying to make some of the cards. I do remember that the goal was not to deplete the other person's life, but to collect money a certain amount of money. Money was generated from lands, taken from raiding lands, or by attacking the other player directly and stealing from them. I had some elaborate day dreams about this, and planned out in my head the first three expansion sets. If someone ever rummaged through a landfill and found the remains of one of 8th grade notebooks there is a good chance that somewhere there would be jotted down notes for card ideas.

3. Freshmen year of high school I also made a game as part of a homework assignment. This was for art class, and it was a group project. The people in my group really did not care about it, so most of the game rules fell on me. It was a super hero game with simple dice combat. The goal was to clear a city of Super-Villians. The first one to clear so many captured buildings one. It was not the greatest game.

4. My Senior of High School I created two games. The first was a Role Playing Game. I created my on RPG system. Granted, it was based, in part, on the D6 system which my beloved Star Wars RPG uses. In my system all dice rolls are made with just 2 six sided dice and then the skill is added. I originally created the game to be a RPG for the Redwall book series. To create a character I know that people had to pick their race, background location, and job. Doing these things determined the character's attribute levels, special abilities and skill sets. Unfortunately I could not get anyone to ever play it, so I took the rules made the changes so it could be used for a generic fantasy setting and called it New Legends. I got my friends to playtest it during lunch at high school. We got in trouble once because a teacher thought we were playing craps. Both version of this game existed as their own separate computer files. On multiple occasions I looked through every single back-up disk I could find, and it appears that they are forever lost to the sands of times. Te funny thing is a couple of years ago a Lord of the Rings RPG was released and the system it uses was very, very similar to the one I created.

5. The second game I created in High School was in my Science Fiction and Fantasy class. We read a book that featured some interglactic game and the assignment was to make a game related in some way to the book. The game in the book was fairly complex and kind of Jumanji like, but I re-created it in exacting detail. The teacher liked it so much that he kept it to use as an example for all time . . or at least until he cleaned out his closet.

6. At the beginning of my senior year of college, I created my own game called Kung-fu. I still have the one and only copy of it in the world. The game is meant to simulate a fighting game style kung-fu fight. I will admit off the top that the game design is heavily influenced by Lunch Money (a high school favorite of mine) and Wraslin' (a middle school favorite). I combined elements of both of those and added my own touches. Both people have a base deck of attacks and defense cards. Also each fighter as unique special moves. However, there is then a sub-deck of advance maneuvers and each player gets to pick a set amount of those cards to add to the base deck, that way to a degree each player can customize their deck to a certain play style. I may have a few to many defense cards, and one character was way over powered, but I think the game is a lot of fun. As I mentioned, I still have it if anyone wants to play.

7. The next game I made is called Colosseum. Of course there is now a real game by that same name, so I suppose I have to change it. I made this right at four years ago. The idea of this game is to simulate stylized gladiator combat. I wanted to tap into the fun of RPG character creation for a board game so each time a player can spend five minutes or less creating a gladiator and then play using cards and dice. I got Abigail to play test it with me once, and that was a bit of a mistake. Instead of being patient and waiting on her time, I forced her into it and it did not go well. I did learn there were some small balancing issues, but I never fixed it. I got dejected, and thought what is the point of making someone no one was going to play.

8. That same notion has kind of kept me from making another game that I have had an idea of for a long time (like six plus years). I even bought all of the parts I need to make it. The basic idea of this game is a non-collectible, customizable miniatures game. Games like Battlelore and Memoir'44 are sort of the direction I was thinking of this, but the game I want to make could actually be called Call of Duty the board game as games like CTF, Assault/defend, and even COD stables like headquarters or domination is what this game is intended for. I still have a notebook that has some of my notes about the game, and I have the dice and solider pieces in a closet. I have a list of stuff I want to do in my life, and make this game is in my top ten. . .


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