This is the start of my game making process: sketches and notes. Once I figure out the basic game flow I start fleshing out card stats, player turns, etc. Then I go back over my notes again and again: slowly tweaking the game as it all comes together. This process takes place over the course of a few months ending with the first alpha print out. The brainstorm phase is my favorite part of the game designing process.
James Van Niekirk creator of @MinionsofMordak, wrote a very good article on basic design principals for laying out text in games. Text is the key element in most games and can cause a lot of unneeded clutter and confusion if handled improperly. I recommend the article for any starting out in the board game industry.
This is a quick and fun little game that I had the pleasure of working on for Baksha Games. Players compete as rats and weasels to gain as many points as they can by poisoning their villainous King or the opposing vermin type. This game gets really good when players begin to poison each other out of plain spite and gain tactical advantage. Very simple but a lot of fun!
Silent Stalker is one of the more terrifying units in Armies of Primus. Looking like hybrid of slender man, a mummy and one of those Hollowgast creatures from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, this unit possesses an ability that gives it a defense buff based on how many hits it has taken. If that wasn’t scary enough this Silent Stalker also has flying (It is unaffected by terrain restrictions) which only adds to its threat level.
@ShutUpShow released a very nice summary video last year of the famously large game: Twilight Imperium. Twilight Imperium is currently in it’s 4th edition reprint, the latest published by @FFGames. I’ve been drawn to large games recently, although after reading into the rules on this one I think it may be hard to find a group to play with. That aside I really love the diplomatic stalemates that can arise during game play, making it very much a wargame, where war can hurt a player more than help.
Armies of Primus features many figures, nearly 150. The original plan for the game was to make a print & play paper miniature game, as I am obsessed with a bunch of Patreon artists who are creating them mainly for Role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. The figures I created for my beta game were created by spraying Rustoleum NeverWet on cheap colour print outs from my local office store. You can use pretty much any acrylic spray fixative available at any craft/hardware store. For the bases I purchased a bunch online from LITKO Game Accessories (@litkoga) that are designed for flat paper miniatures. After the figures are printed and sprayed you just glue, fold, cut and color the white edges with a black marker for a final polish. In the end you’ve got a pretty nice result.
For Armies of Primus I needed some custom dice for attacking and defending. When I was starting out I simply used standard d6’s from the dollar store and provided players with a roll chart. Using a roll chart was useful when fixing the die face balancing before I committed to a final layout and design. After I was sure of the balance, I printed black and white symbols onto mailing labels and cut them by hand. As an added protection I spray lacquered the stickers with some Rustoleum NeverWet spray. It was a bit of work but in the end, the beta dice work great and are much easier to use than a roll chart.
Just the other day I received an order of prototype cards for my second game that’s in the works. It’s a quick party card game, more details to come! Right now I just want to give a shout out to Drive Thru Cards for their service and product quality, thanks guys!
A good friend of mine, James Van Niekerk, is currently working on short session RPG game called MINIONS OF MORDAK. I gotta say now is an amazing time for the genre in light of the Gloomhaven craze that’s currently sweeping the board game scene. Even though Gloomhaven offers a short of shortcut to traditional RPG’s like Dungeons and Dragons, Minions of Mordaks streamlines this type of game further. One of the hardest parts about roll playing games is the time commitment, this is coming from the flakiest D&D player known to me. James also uploads visual and game design tip articles that offer good advice for anyone starting out at making their own games! I’m excited to get involved and give this game a try!
For more info visit minionsofmordak.com.
Armies of Primus is the flagship title for Quillow Games. It is a 4 player strategy game featuring, army and deck building mechanics. Players take the role of powerful sorcerers who compete to draft the mightiest army and master the most powerful spells all in order to claim the coveted title : Lord of Magic, over all of Primus. Stay tuned to get updates and posts involving beta testing, game design and crowd funding announcements.