Having gone over my initial idea of Doorways, I have made some improvements to the game mechanics and have settled on the majority of the rules of the game. First, I cut down the initial five worlds to four so that the game wouldn’t go for a ridiculous amount of time. I have also changed the movement mechanic from the initial dice roll to a card system where each player has five number cards from which they can choose their roll. Each time they choose their roll, they must discard and pick up from the roll card pile so there still remains an element of chance.
When it comes to quests, there are four different types which focus on certain actions. These are called the Collector (must collect a certain set of items), the Warrior (must defeat a number of monsters), the Rogue (must successfully sabotage another player) and the Jack of all Trades (must do a little bit of everything). At the beginning of each world, players pick up three quests and must discard two. This is because each character has certain strengths and weaknesses that allow them to have an easier time doing certain quests. In the final world, the player who first completes their quest receives a golden key which they can use on their next turn to transport to the end square – giving others the opportunity to sabotage and stop them from winning.
There are quite a few parts to the game at this point, but to make it easier for players to remember the different bits and pieces, the character profiles will include short-cuts which are essentially shortened version of the rules so they don’t have to check the rulebook every time they forget. Also, because of all the game mechanics within Doorways, the target audience will be for ages 12+ and any board game enthusiast who enjoys a fantasy-based plot line.
In my experience playing board games, actually trying the game first (whether at a convention or a friend’s house) and hearing about it through word of mouth is the best way to get people to purchase it. There have been a number of times where a few of my friends have bought the same game to show to their friends ans so on. Following this idea, sending out copies to places like The Nerd Cave – which have regular board game nights – can broaden your audience reach. You’ll initially lose a small amount having given out a number of copies for free, but the potential customers you have gained if they enjoy playing the board game can offset this initial loss. Also, making a Let’s Play video can help spread the word and is a free way to share your game with others.
To minimize the production cost of Doorways, I would make use of cards for collectable items, monsters, quests and event cards. Each game would consist of two die (one numerical and another with pictures of items which is rolled for loot when a player has defeated a monster), four tokens for the players and four character profiles which provides their strengths, weaknesses and super power as well as the game board itself.
Printing in bulk would allow the price of building each unit decrease, but the more you make the more you have to sell and this involves a bit of risk as you won’t know if consumers will bite. After that, the price of shipping comes into action which, again, is discounted in bulk but can definitely put a dent in your budget. As Doorways involves a physical board and some extra tidbits, the price would be higher compared to a regular card game. Also, the design in terms of aesthetics can make a huge impact on the consumers thoughts on the game – I know that I am always impressed by the beautiful artwork that I see in some board games (Takenoko and Splendor have wonderful attention to detail). This means that I have to allow for design costs whether it follows a royalty system or is a one-off payment.
A potential option that will help with the initial costs and release of the game is to use a site such as Kickstarter to help fund the project. However, there is the potential that my game wouldn’t be funded and some of the money earned would be taken by Kickstarter themselves in the end either way. With all things considered, it is important to note that with board games, you have to spend money to make money and it is better to overestimate the cost of creating the game then getting to the point where you have a brilliant game, just no money to share it with the world.
A link to your previous blog at the beginning would have been helpful so I could easily locate the point of reference.
My first thought of your decision to downsize from 5 worlds to 4 reminded me of mine and my housemates’ first playthrough of Game of Thrones: The Boardgame which involves conquering a certain amount of sections of Westeros and in a 3 player game, the bottom quarter of the board is basically denied access. Setup and play took almost 6 hours so I very much support this downsizing. “A good game’s a fast game.”
From a structural and mechanical point of view you should absolutely look at The Resistance which has a 5 quest structure to it but much of the play is performed through table-talk amongst the players. I mention this because concealed and intuitive game mechanics make for very enjoyable play. I’ll link a video of a playthrough for your reference 🙂
As for your research into how to implement the game, I’d like to thank you for your insights as they are very clear and concise and make things easier for the rest of us. This comment is particularly salient: “With all things considered, it is important to note that with board games, you have to spend money to make money and it is better to overestimate the cost of creating the game then getting to the point where you have a brilliant game, just no money to share it with the world.”
Interesting things are happening here! I really like the concept of having cards to dictate how far you move instead of a dice, but would it not be faster to just roll a dice to determine movement? As I understand it, you would need to shuffle your movement cards on every single one of your turns.
I really like your quest system in that your game forces the players to devote themselves to one quest of their choosing in order to advance! I think this is something that brings a lot of diversity to your game!
In regards to production, cost, and distribution, I think that you have done an excellent job in demonstrating the trials and tribulations ahead of you. But with your level of understanding, I believe that you could get your game out there.
I should probably explain a bit further with the movement; I want the cards because it will allow players to land on the spaces they want (to land on event cards or pick up spaces etc). Also, you’d only have to swap out the roll card you used, but I can understand that time wise it will be a bit longer. 🙂
But thanks for the feedback, I’m glad you like the idea so far!
I sort of get an RPG type vibe from this game, what with the questing and the characters with different abilities and strengths. I was wondering if characters would ‘level up’ (much like in Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy) and gain new abilities and become stronger and can complete your ‘quests’ more easily.
Or is this something that would take up too much time in your game? How long are you planning a playthrough of this game to take?
Also, what sort of theme were you looking at in your game? Because with the creating and brainstorming for my game, I sort of realised that the theme/world of my game was an after thought when it shouldn’t be!
I like the mechanics of the game and am keen to see where you will take it!
I like the gameplay mechanics and look forward to how it turns out, especially how your using cards to determine moves instead of dice. One question I have for this though is there going to be cars for just moving forward, or re there going to be the “go back…” cards thrown in as well to put players at any disadvantages? And with the quests, are the quests locked to each class or can the rogue do a warrior quest or vice versa for an extra reward or something like that, but if they do, will the quests take longer than when the set class does the quest?
The quest system you’re putting together here is pretty cool, reminds me of some great class based video games. The first thing to jump to mind when you were talking about quests and the way certain characters are suited to certain types was Armello, which has a really great character building base. In the game the items you collect when questing (along with cards) allow you to get a sense of character building without ever needing to go into ‘levelling up’ – something to toss around in your brainstorming if you ever wanted to explore that path.
Really interesting game idea so far though, I’m keen to see how it develops. Have you given much thought to the art and visual design yet? That is easily one of the biggest draws for a game in my experience – the whole reason I got interested in Armello at first was the Ghibli-esque art with animal warriors!