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Game Design IV - Prototyping

Once you have your rules down on paper you need to test out your game!   But how? Well, you need to develop a prototype.  Prototyping can be difficult and expensive depending on how creative you are and how complex your game is.  Some games will incorporate meeples, custom miniatures, complex game boards while others will just be a custom deck of cards, dice or tiles. When designing a game, you should consider all physical elements that are part of the game and what each of these will cost you to produce.  If you have dozens of custom miniatures it will be very expensive to prototype which is why Big Breakfast is primarily composed of cards. How do I make my...

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Game Design III - Rules and Gameplay

Once you have created the outline and theme of a game, the next step is to write a set of rules and then playtest and refine. Playtest, refine, repeat. Your game might sound good in your head or great on paper but it might be terrible once you start playing it.  You are going to find rules that aren't clear or ambiguous. You are going to find mechanisms that feel forced or ruin the flow of the game.  These intricacies can only be discovered once you start playtesting! I suggest reading the rulebooks for games that are similar to yours.  You can borrow lingo and also reword rules that suit your game.  The ultimate test is giving your rulebook to a friend and ask them to...

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Game Design II - Game Mechanisms

Game mechanisms or game mechanics simply refer to a specific element or type of gameplay.  Let's get technical! Game mechanics make up the skeletal bone structure of a game whether it's tile placement, area control, card drafting, set collection, cooperative, dice rolling, simultaneous action selection or worker placement - the list goes on. You won't find any of these mechanics in the rulebooks but rather in the depths of game blogs like BoardGameGeek (BGG).  If you have played board games in the past, you already have mechanisms that you like and dislike without even knowing it.   A good game mechanic can draw up interest even if you don't know how to play.  If game like Monopoly Deal you might like other "set...

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Game Design I - Framework & Theme

Designing a game from scratch seems like a daunting task but there are a plethora of resources that are available today. Where to even start? Use a framework that already exists.  There are a multitude of board games that never make it to market - don't worry about those.  Start studying your favourite games and start taking notes on them.  What are some of the features or mechanisms that you like? Your friends like? Or hate? Once you have a good understanding of what works and what doesn't, you can start applying these attributes to your framework and then you can apply a theme. Our first idea was perhaps a controversial game called RIOT, in which 2 teams (rioters & police)...

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Mirepoix Games

Starting a board game company during a global Pandemic is either one of the best or worst ideas one can think of(I'm still not sure on this yet).   A low barrier to entry industry is, by definition, extremely competitive and there are plenty of incumbents with more resources and scope than us. On the other side, people are going to be inside more and bored of watching tv and playing video games.  Maybe people won't get bored of video games but there is also the social aspect of a board game that tv or video games can't replicate.  Even if I could create games that my friends and family would enjoy, I would consider that a big win on my end....

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