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I Suck at Blogging (Board Game Development Part 3)



Turns out I really suck at blogging. Summer was super busy and even though I've made TONS of progress on the BOARD GAME, I simply suck at taking the time to sit down a write about it. Also, I have been advised to not be too forthcoming with details about the game play since I am getting near the prototype stage.

So without saying too much and without improving my blogging skills, I will happily tell you that I think I've got the core of the combat system worked out. I've been working lately on Item creation (with some help from Bill), and I think I have narrowed my character pool down to a reasonable amount. So while we are here, let's talk about that.

Characters. Theoretically, the game I am making will be entirely open source. And what that means to me is that you will be able to use the base set of rules and materials to create your own games and adventures. However, for ease of play and to make the accessible to the casual gamer, the base game will feature a more standard Heroes v. Villains set up. The trick for me lately has been trying to figure out exactly how many characters (Heroes + Villains) is too many to reasonably have in the Core Game. I would love to have a whole host of great characters available. All told I have about 50 developed and concepts for that many more. However, the realities of the game and keeping accessibility in mind require a more conservative approach. Each character in the game will have a Character Card as well as a molded plastic miniature that represents that character on the game board. So keeping resources in mind, this isn't Warhammer and I don't want people to have to shell out big cash for a box full of plastic mini-figs, I cannot be as grandiose as my imagination wants to be, at least not out of the gate.

So I need to have a reasonable limit on the amount of characters in the game. I'm currently working with a 25 character limit. Of those, I think to create good balance, I should be shooting for roughly 8-10 Hero Characters (these would be characters the player can select from to build their party) and 15-17 villains. This feels like the right balance. The average party in the game will consist of about 4 characters, so having twice that many to pull from feels right. It doesn't quite allow for the kind of diversity I would like, but the average RPG historically has given you 4-6 classes of character to work with, so I'm already ahead of the game. The villains need to outnumber the heroes otherwise you'll be fighting the same 6 guys over and over and over. And that will get pretty boring pretty fast. (Trust me that's how the earliest part of play testing the game concept went) So if I have twice as many bad guys as good guys, that should allow for some variance in who pops up and how often. Of course, in any adventure you are bound to run across more than just one Ogre, so that helps. 15 villains allows for at least 3 different types of bad guys (undead, monster, dragon, etc.) and at most 5 different types, so I think that will allow the world to be a little more diverse and not confined to one kind of bad guy (sorry kids this is a game all about fighting muck monsters...)

So that's what I'm currently working on, finding the sweet spot with my character set and establishing the Core set of characters that will come with the base game.

I'm also working on the first Scenario build. I've done a lot of work on that already just play testing game mechanics, but now I need to tighten that up into something that is useable to the average gamer. If I can get up the gumption, maybe I'll blog about that soon...


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