While heading towards the New Year, I'm going to talk about some methods and tools I usually use when examine new concepts or pieces from different board games.
I've talked a bit about this in another post (here).
This should be an ongoing process that you conduct every now and then. It'll help you when you're creating your own board games and make it easier for you to make decisions base on already tried concepts / ideas (e.g. scaling tokens and board, amount of game pieces, color relations etc.).
The reason why I do a lot of board game research is because - in this way I'm up-to-date and know about new solutions to game problems, game trends, game materials and so on.
I hope you'll be able to use these methods when looking into all the new board games you've received this Christmas ;)
There are many different things you can look into when we talk board games. So I'm usually thinking in terms of categories that interest me when I'm developing my own games.
- Colors of pieces and tokens
- Token and board sizes
- Icons and symbols
- Game mechanics and rules
- Graphics and layout
- Game play
Let me point out some of the methods I use for examine board game pieces.
One of the most important details about tokens and plastic pieces is their size. This has a huge impact on playability (handling during play), price in production, coherency with the game and theme.
I always include a ruler and several of the board game pieces together on my pictures, to make sure I have a measure and a scale to look at afterwards.
Furthermore I want the pictures with a similar background and luckily I have a background with 1x1 cm grid on the backside making scale even easier.
Weight might not seem important at all. But after I developed a board game containing poker chips I realized how much it actually influence on the weight (postage) to choose 4 gram chips instead of 11 gram. With 200 poker chips in the game - you can do the math yourself ;)
Taking pictures of the board game in use at specific times might help you when recollecting the memory of the game and how it's played. Another great thing is to list all the cards / tokens next to each other - and in that way you have a catalog of all the influences in the game.
If you want to look into more exotic colors, I would recommend you doing it on a white background plus the original board setting with a proper light source installed.
There are many board game related items on the web. So it's about narrowing your scope down to what you want to collect and how.
- Lessons Learned > Find them on blogs (like mine :)
- Pictures of board games > Find them on www.BoardGameGeek.com
- Game play mechanics > Look for rulebooks put online.
- Statistics > Create your own surveys and ask on BoardGameGeek :)
Please bare in mind that this is just a small preview of what you may or may not go through when examine board games, and that we all have our different styles.
There are many good ideas on how to go about this - which is why I've tried to focus on the key pointers in my approach to examine the different board games out there.
I hope it'll help you on your way :)
Have a wonderful holiday - and make sure to play some board games with your friends and family, happy gaming out there!