Friday, November 21, 2008

Self-Imposed Restrictions

1:05 PM by Mike ·
So, I've been thinking lately and I've come to the conclusion that I have actually imposed upon myself two fairly big restrictions when it comes to designing games. Firstly, I am looking to design LDS/Mormon themed games. This is a self-imposed restriction, as I am confined to the Book of Mormon and LDS culture. This is a restriction that I have chosen. I did it consciously. And I want to stick to it. Like I've said before, there aren't a whole lot of LDS themed games available currently and there aren't a whole lot published each year. I would definitely like to contribute, in whatever way I can. So far, I haven't really found this to pose too much of a problem. I have had many ideas for games that have been quite easy to theme.

The second restriction, one that I just finally came to realize is very real, is the need to keep the component count for each game very low. More components equals higher price for those who publish these games. Since the market isn't all that large, they can't take big chances with games, hoping that they'll be successful. I'm not exactly sure how this will be overcome. I guess this is my small attempt to help the situation (not that I know it will work, but I'm sure it can't hurt). Anyway, this all just hit me last night after I got done teaching (8:15 pm) and was sitting at the table with my wife eating dinner. It all happened in my head and is just now making it's way out. I've found that my wife is very patient and understanding. And most times she enjoys playing games with me and helping me improve my designs. I've just got to tone it down sometimes. So I didn't bring this up with her last night.

Once this realization came to me, I immediately started thinking of another design that would keep the components to a minimum. The idea goes something like this:

Components include cards and dice (4-, 6-, 8-, & 10-sided)
The dice are used as pawns. Each player would have his/her own set (color). At the beginning of the game each player would roll all 4 dice. The results would determine a few things about that pawn (for instance, if the 4-sided die came up a 3 then it would be able to do this, this, and this).
The cards are used to thwart your opponent, among other things, and create the board. The board would be created as the game progressed, depending on what the players wanted to do.

Well, it's obviously not a very finished design, but it definitely gives me a lot to think about. The only problem is that I'm having a hard time fitting it to a theme from the Book of Mormon. I'm kind of thinking that most of the other designs I've had started with a particular theme in mind, and if they didn't the theme came very quickly. I just haven't really had a hard time like this trying to theme a design. Not that this is in any way going to deter me from fleshing out the idea, it's just a first for me.


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