Make an Area Control Board Game - a Finish This Game project | Ben Panter | Skillshare

Make an Area Control Board Game - a Finish This Game project

Ben Panter, Alternative Photography & Game Making

Make an Area Control Board Game - a Finish This Game project

Ben Panter, Alternative Photography & Game Making

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9 Lessons (1h 27m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:19
    • 2. Supplies

      5:32
    • 3. What Is A Finished Game?

      2:55
    • 4. The Game Skeleton

      15:52
    • 5. The Game Design Checklist

      21:09
    • 6. Brainstorm Session

      19:32
    • 7. How I Finished This Game

      11:06
    • 8. Share Your Progress

      6:06
    • 9. Additional Resources

      2:40
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About This Class

I know one of the biggest things that newer game designers struggle with is actually finishing game designs. They get ideas, they make some progress, but they don't have the tools to know how to complete the game. But here's what I've come to learn: 

Board Game Design is a learned skill, and just like everything else, it requires practice.

So this Finish This Game series is aimed at giving you a simple foundation of a game that you can quickly change to suit your style and gain essential practice of finishing one of your games. At the end you'll have a game that you're proud of and you'll level up your game design skills with me, and the rest of the community, offering you feedback and help along the way.

This project includes print and play files of the game skeleton, the digital source files in several formats so you can keep editing and updating your design, and a download of the Game Design Checklist to help you stay on track and keep answering the essential questions for any game.

Please note: this class is not intended to help you get published or produce final artwork for a game. I am focused on helping newer game designers get experience actually finishing their designs through creating smaller, fun and engaging games.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ben Panter

Alternative Photography & Game Making

Teacher

My name is Ben Panter and I am an artist, professor and game-maker. My art is photography based and I enjoy experimenting with and combining new and old media. I've been honored to have several artist residencies through the National Park System over the past few years, including Rocky Mountain National Park and Acadia National Park.

I've also been designing board games for about a decade now. Like many in the field, I started out very casually, but have more recently committed to creating a more steady flow of games. I especially believe in helping others enjoy game design as a hobby unto itself, and through my classes on skillshare I hope to make it accessible for more people.

You can view more of my photography work on my website, benpanter.com, and follow me on Instagr... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, there. My name is Ben. I'm an artist, professor, and board game maker. Welcome to this class, Make an Area Control Game - a Finish This Game project. Before I get into anything, I want to talk about who is this class for. This class is really for newer board game designers, because I know the number one thing that newer game designers need to figure out is how to actually finish a game. Many people have ideas, they have games that are in the works, but really understanding what it takes to complete a game design is elusive. It's really challenging and it's a skill that needs to be developed over time, and this class is to help you take steps towards that. This class is actually the first in a series of classes I'm creating called Finish This Game projects. These classes are going to be all about helping you level up your game design skills, giving you a place to practice making games so that when you're moving on to your bigger game ideas, you really know what it takes to finish. In this class, I'm going to be giving you the skeleton of a game, the core ideas, the components, the rules, the main things that are required. As a foundation, the building blocks from which you're going to be making your own creative decisions of how you want to finish this game. So we're not all going to be designing the same game, we're going to be starting from the same spot and then you're going to make this game your own. For this specific project, we're going to be working on a game that is a small, area control game. The board game is modular. There's no combat involved, and it's very simple rules. It's a perfect small game for you to be honing your skills, to be figuring out how you want to finish it to make the game you want. I'm really excited to be getting started in this class, the area control game, to be starting off this series of Finish This Game. I hope you'll join me in the next video where I'm going to be talking about the supplies that are needed to participate in this class. I'll see you there. 2. Supplies: Well, hello there, and welcome back to this supplies video. Once again, my name is Ben, and this is an Area Control: Finish This Game project. I'm excited to dive in. In this video, I'm going to talk about the supplies you will need in order to participate. For the most part, these are digital downloads that you're going to be dealing with, along with a couple other things I want you to keep in mind. Number one is, you're going to need the print and play components. This is the base version of the game, very vanilla that I've made for you to start with. You can instantly download that, print it out, cut it out, and probably 20 minutes or so, and you will be able to play the beginner version of this game to really see how it works. Go ahead and do that as quickly as possible. Of course, as you make changes to the game, you're going to need to update the digital files. Number 2 is, you're going to want to download the original source files. Now, I personally design my games in InDesign for the most part, and if you're comfortable with InDesign then I would highly recommend using that. It's a great tool for game design. But if you're more comfortable with something a little bit simpler then I also have the files available as a PowerPoint. Those will work in PowerPoint, in Google Slides, in Keynote. Those certainly are a little bit more limited than something like InDesign, but they are a little bit more accessible if you're not that used to using design software, something like that might suit you. If there's a piece of software that you said, I really need it in this particular software, you can let me know in the comments below and I'll see what I can do. But I started out with those two: InDesign and PowerPoint. Number 3, you're going to want to download the Game Design Checklist. This is really a quick two-page synopsis of many of the things you need to keep track of and be thinking through as you design a game to make sure you're asking these most essential questions. Now, is this going to be enough space for you to design the whole game? Of course, no. You're going to need a sketchbook, or a notebook, or something like that to take notes and be writing things down, but this download that I have for you is the place to make sure that you're not missing any crucial steps in the process of game design. Then two more things that are a little bit more intangibles. One would be the attitude that you come to this with. This is game design. Whether you've been doing this for a while or whether you're just starting out and you're just interested in what game design is all about, game design is all about creative problem-solving. At least that's how I come to it. You come to a game and you see what could be tweaked? You have an idea for a game you want to make and you say, well, what's going to make this good? What's going to make people want to come to the table and play this? There can be a million different answers. We see how many games are available online or on the shelves. This creative problem-solving is about you really being able to ask questions and maybe sometimes find some difficult answers of saying, well, what very specifically am I trying to do here? Or what do I really enjoy about such and such games that I'm trying to replicate in this game? It's that creative problem-solving that's going to keep digging and keep trying to get the best answer. We're not about trying to get the easiest answer. We're trying to get the best answer. It's going to take some patience and some willingness to really work through some of these questions. Then last, just a reminder that this class is really oriented towards newer game designers and someone who's not only concerned with getting their games published. If you're on a trajectory to get games published, and that's what you're interested in, that's great. I think completing this class will help you develop your skills just by giving you a place to practice, to put some ideas into motion, to brainstorm some things, but that's not my goal for the end of this class. I'm not hoping that you'll take this and you can pitch it to a publisher, or you can take it to a Kickstarter or something like that. My goal here is to help you level up your skills, to help newer game designers really get access into game design as a fun and fulfilling hobby in and of itself. Even if you never publish a game, even if your friends and family are the only ones you end up playing your games with, I still think it's a valuable pastime to be designing your own games. I'm trying to encourage more and more people to get involved in game design because I find it so fun. Those are the people that I'm trying to gear this class towards. I think a lot of people will benefit, but if you're only concerned with getting published as quickly as possible, that's not what this class is about. Those are the things to keep in mind, some things to download, as well as just the mentality you come into the class with. I think we are set up for success. In the next video, I'm going to be talking about the game itself, looking at the components, the major mechanics that we're going to be using, and then actually looking at how do you play this skeleton of a game that I'm giving to you, and where do we go from here. I'll see you in the next video. 3. What Is A Finished Game?: Hi there, welcome back. In this video, I wanted to take a short little aside and talk to you about just what is a finished game. I had told you that this is a finish-this-game project. In this class and in this series, I'm going to be helping you finish your games. But what do I really mean by a finished game? Often you would probably think of looking at the shelves of the store or Amazon. Those are finished games, those printed games. No, those are published games. We're talking about finished games. A finished game, I would define simply as a fun, playable game that doesn't require you to be explaining things or figuring things out with people playing. It's a finished copy of the game that you could hand to someone with the rules and they could play it without you interfering, without you explaining anything. That is a finished game. We're not talking about making a game that is publishable, making a game that is print ready. All of those things, the art, the finished design, those are all after the fact. What we're talking about is actually making the core game work, making it so it is fun, enjoyable, playable that it is the type of game you want it to be. That doesn't include getting finished artwork, doing any of the illustration or anything like that. There's tons of great classes on character illustrations, on landscapes. If you're interested in doing your own artwork for your game, I say have at it, that's great. I also know the artwork and the design can be a huge barrier for people wanting to actually complete their game because they know it would take either a lot of money to pay someone or it would take a lot of time to learn how to do something like that themselves, so they just end up not really completing their games. What I'm saying is you don't need a super beautiful game in order to have a finished game. We can finish the core mechanics, how the game works, how it plays, with very simple design. Once we are really happy with that and we like how it plays, people enjoy playing it with us, after that, far down the road is when we would start really worrying about getting good-looking artwork. For the purpose of this class, for the purpose of this finish-this-game series, when I say we're going to finish a game, I'm not talking about the final art, I'm not even talking about the final layout or graphic design, I'm talking about you completing a fun playable game that you can share with others. I'll see you in the next video. 4. The Game Skeleton: Hey there and welcome back, and my name is Ben. In this video we're going to be talking through the skeleton of this game that I'm giving to you. Again, this is an area control game, very simple. From this foundation, this skeleton I'm giving you you're going to be making changes and deciding how to make it your own to make this your game. Let's go ahead and jump into looking at the components first. But before we do that, let me remind you that these components are available as a print and play download underneath this video, and with that you'll also be getting the rules. The print and play version of this prints out in four pages, and it's broken into these major components that I have in front of me here. First one of which is the tiles. These tiles are what make up the board game. We have 16 tiles in total that you will end up laying down in a four-by-four grid. You can see there are three colors not evenly divided, and on some of them there's also a black star. Really we end up with four varieties of cards in total, and again these make up the board. Next we have the player cards. The player cards give each player their unique playing abilities and so some variations on scoring and how that works that make it so that every player is not exactly the same. There are eight of those cards to print out. Next, we have the tokens. There are three colors and each color has 18 tokens. Of course if you have other components you could use, you need 18 for each player then I would recommend you use that. It's a lot easier to pick up something that's three-dimensional as opposed to paper like this. But if you don't have access to anything like that, then these will do and I certainly have play-tested a lot of games with these paper little tokens so they will work for you. Next we have the scoreboard. Compared to the rest of the game this is huge. I think as you develop your game you might come up with a smaller and simpler scoring solution. But for right now this is the easy solution that we have. Then last we have your scoring tokens, and these coincide with each of your player colors as you can see and these are just a little strip that fold into a little triangle that then you can play on the scoreboard to keep track of the score throughout the game. Those are the major components for this skeleton of the game I'm giving you. Again, this is an area control game that we're working on. Now, let's talk through the major mechanics. I'm going to talk through them real quick and then I'm going to show you how this game actually plays. We're talking about area control, which is basically looking at a map of sorts and you are trying to control areas of that map. In this case, our map is made up of these squares, and so you are trying to control them. Depending on the color of the square and how many squares there are in a region, they are worth different amounts of points and so it is worth it for you to be moving around to different ones in order to get the most points. From what the game is about, that's really the major mechanic. What you'll actually be doing I've tried to keep this as simple as possible. On your turn, you're simply going to be playing two of your tokens on the board. They need to be adjacent to one you've already played. Then if you want to, you're allowed to slide one of those tokens to another square. Once I'm actually showing you how the game works, it'll be clear why you would want to do one or the other. But that's it. You just play two, slide one and the sliding is optional. That's really the actions you're going to be doing throughout the entire game. Of course you only have 18 pieces, which means if you're placing two each turn you'll only get nine turns in a game. This is an area control game with a limited number of turns that again keeps it nice and quick and let's everyone stay close. Let's actually go ahead and take a look at how this game works by watching them. We're set up for a two-player game of this mini area control game, and I'll explain to you what we have here. Each player has taken their player card, which is their unique player skill, and they've set up their tokens in three sets of six. That's because on each turn they're going to be playing two tokens, and after each player has played three of those turns, that's the end of that round and you do some scoring. You can see the board is made up of individual tiles. We have three colors as well as the stars. Then also it's made up of regions, and regions are simply where there are groups of the same color. This would be a region of five blue tiles, or region of three blue tiles, or region of three yellow tiles, and even a single tile like this pink one that would be a region of one pink tile. The stars are unique in that even though as individual tiles this would count as both a blue tile and a star tile so it would score in two different ways, but as a region even though these are separate they would all count as connected. Star regions are always connected, so this is a region of four stars. The reason I had that in this game is because it needed some variety, so it wasn't just standard tiles and regions the way we would normally think of them. That breaks up that mechanic a little bit, puts a little more thought in there required. On a player's turn, they're going to take two of their player tokens and play them on the board. They need to start from a corner. When a player plays their pieces, they can play on ones that they own or share with another player. That means they have the most or equal to the same number of pieces of another player, or they could play on an empty tile that is adjacent to one they do on. Of course, on their first turn every player starts from playing on a corner so I could for instance play here and here. After both tokens have been played, a player has the option of sliding. Sliding allows players to add their tokens onto a tile that is controlled by another player. So you can't place a token on a spot that another player controls directly, but you can slide one on there. This is about positioning and subtly starting to take over regions that the other players might want. Let's say that was the green player's first turn then the black player would come and let's say for instance they wanted to come down here so he could play here. The black player could not play here because this yellow tile is owned by green. He would have to play here, or he could also place a second one right on that corner and then he could slide. Again, he could slide here, or in this case let's say he really wants to get these yellow tiles he could slide this black one over here because even though green owned it, you're allowed to slide into a spot that is owned by another player. At this point, the green player would begin. He has to play adjacent to ones that he owns or has played on already. Since this is shared by black and green, he could play one there, and at which case he would own that. Maybe he's interested in moving up and gathering some more over here. Second turn. We're already into our second turn. Scoring is going to be pretty quick so maybe this player just wants to quickly grab here. Now, this might all seem random until you start thinking about the scoring. That the pink tiles are going to be worth five points, the yellow tiles are going to worth three points, and the blue tiles are worth one point. There's going to be some logical decision-making of which tiles you want to own. You certainly want ones that are worth more points. But at the same time, the player cards give you unique abilities. Sometimes that's for scoring the individual tiles in the first two rounds or sometimes it will be for scoring the region which will be after the third round. You have to pay attention to what each player has. For instance, the black player adds one point to every pink tile you own when scoring tiles. Normally this would be worth five points, but since it's the black player, that would be worth six points for them. Pink ones are more valuable, which means it makes more sense. The second part of the black player's turn, he would slide over there to try to start owning more pink. This player, green, add two tiles to every star region you own when scoring regions. Now, regions are only scored after the third round. That means if he is able to have the most pieces spread across these four star tiles, he would add two tiles. That would be like having a region of six because four plus two that that card gives him that would give a lot of points for owning that. The green player is going to probably spend a lot of resources trying to make sure he has the most pieces at the end of the game in those places, but he can't completely ignore things now. It would be this player's turn and he's going to come and say, he'll continue getting some yellow and will also go there and now the black player also has a turn and he likewise will go with yellow, blue, and yellow and he will slide over here. Now, that was the end of the first round after which we start to score. A scoring, as I said before, it's very simple. Blue gets one point each. Yellow gets three points each. Pink gets five points each. Stars are a little bit more complicated. You get two times the number of tokens you have on that spot. Let's go through scoring. The black player gets five and 10, but also they get one extra point on every pink because that's what their player ability is, so that would rather be six and 12. They get one point for this, so that's 13. They get three points for that, so that's 16. They don't get any points for that because green owns it. They don't get any points for this because you only score tiles that you have the majority control of. We're at 13 then plus the star is two times the number of tokens you have in there, so that's two. He ends up with a score of 15, so we just come over, mark her and mark 15. Green has 1, 2 plus 3 is 5 , plus 3 is 8. We don't score that because they're tied, and his player ability isn't related to scoring individual tiles in the first and second round. It is related to scoring regions which is after the third round so that doesn't help them at all. So right now, he just has eight points. At that point, then we go to the next round and the game continues. We're at the end of the second round, and so again we score for the individual tiles. Now we're moving on to the last round. In the last round, scoring is going to completely change, so suddenly people's priorities might change because we're not scoring for individual tiles, we're scoring for whoever has the most in a region. Let's see how this game would play out. Now, let's add up these scores. Start with the black player. He owns this region of one tile, so that's two points. He owns this region of one tile, so that's four. He owns this region of one tile, so that's six. He also owns this region of three tiles, so that's seven points. He owns this region of three tiles, so that's seven points. I believe that is it. Let's talk about the green player. He owns this region of two tiles, so that is four points. He owns this region of five tiles, which is 15 points. He owns the star region 1, 2, 3, 4, which would have been 11 points but then he also has the player card, which gives him a bonus of two tiles to that region, so it's like it's a six tile region, which is another 15 points. He goes there, plus another five, ends him up at 62, so the green player pulls out a victory despite a slow start. That is how you play this mini area control game. Now that you can see how this skeleton of the game of works, now the time is for you to start thinking about, well, what would you change to make it your own? Are there elements you would add, remove? Variables that you would change? Themes you would see this game having? All of those are really important questions to start asking yourself to make this game your own. To help you with answering those questions or even knowing what questions you need to be answering, in the next video we are going to be looking at the game design checklist overview, where we're going to be walking through what's on that worksheet, what do we really mean with each of the questions. This is going to be hopefully jump starting your brainstorm process. Let's go ahead into that next video where you can really start thinking about how can you make this game yours. 5. The Game Design Checklist: Hey there and welcome back. In this video, we are going to be taking a look at the worksheet I provided the game design checklist. This is a very simple two-page worksheet that is really meant to just have an overview of the game design process of these big questions, these big themes you need to be thinking about in order to make this game your own and in order to have a game that is finished at the end, that game that has had the essential questions answered. So we're going to be looking at this, I'm going to go through line-by-line giving a quick synopsis of some things you need to be thinking about. So the first thing you have, of course, is the working title. It's not important that you come up with a finished title when you start with, you can just call it some nickname you have forward or what it reminds you of or just descriptive. That it's the dice with area control, with tiles or something like that. But as you play the game, if you have ideas or things that it makes you think of, just start writing them down. You never really know what is going to become the inspiration for a good title for the game. Of course, if you were to go on to trying to sell this game later on, which is not the purpose of this, but the title has a way of grabbing people. So getting a good title, whether you're playing just with your friends or family or with strangers, it's really good to have a title that grabs people. So start thinking about the title and just keep that in the back of your mind as you play this game. You can see, before I go any further, on the left side, this is in the foundation section. These are the questions that honestly, I think a lot of people skip over, and it's to their detriment because if you answer these questions and you really understand what you've set up as your foundations of your game, it makes it much easier to answer questions later on down the game design process. So as you're thinking about these next few questions, make sure you are thinking about this, that it's not just abstract, this is going to help you later on. For example, one of those questions is, what is the game style or emotional experience? How do you want people to be experiencing this game? Is this the type of thing you want them to be secretly holding their cards back and their suspiciously eyeing everyone across the table? Is this more of the party game, fun, uproarious, laughter type of environment you want to create? Thinking about the type of environment or the type of experience you want people to have is really essential in making choices later on about what you want to add, subtract or change about the game. So think about what is it that you enjoy, what is it that the people you play games with enjoy and move towards that. Next, give a game overview. What is happening in this game? Very simple. If you are coming from this as an idea of your own that you had, the idea might have been very rough, and this is a version two of that idea, writing it down just saying, what is this game all about. So in the case of the skeleton of the game, the first version of this, you could say it's a miniature area control game with a variable board, unique player abilities and nine turns. That's just a very factual description of the game. Not very interesting, right? We don't have to make it interesting at this point, that is just describing what the game is. As you change your ideas, you need to think, well, how is that changing how you would describe what this game really is. Next, this is one of the most essential questions you need to answer before you move on towards making changes or anything like that. That is, this game will be dot-dot-dot. Right have a series of skills you need to go through and answer. Just by example, all get a few. This game will be short or long, will be more luck based or strategy based, will be simple or complex. You're going to go through and decide where on the scale you want your version of this game to be. Depending where you answer those, you're going to need to probably make some changes. Because I have given you the skeleton that might strike you one way and you might want to push it another, and so you're going to need to add things or change things to make it align with that desire. So you deciding ahead of time what type of game you want this to be is going to make your life much easier later on. The next question is similar. Who is this game for? You need to decide now, early on, are you designing this for younger kids? Are you designing this for adults only? Are you designing this for the generic ten plus, which is really broad for a game? Or are these for really devout gamers? Or is this more an introduction type of game, as what people would call a filler? Or is this something that's meant to be the bulk game of the evening? Any of those descriptors for who this audience is, is going to help you make decisions about how to design this game. So again, this is the foundation section where you're saying, this is what I'm trying to create. You're not saying what you're doing yet, you might not even know what you're doing yet to get those results, but this is what you want to happen. In the next section we have the theme and narrative. I think even abstract games need to have a theme thought about. Not that it's necessarily going to be dripping with theme or even have much of a theme at all, but all games have some theme or narrative element that the players become or are working through or the characters in the game are working through, and so you need to be considering that early on. Of course, this is a place where there can meet tons of variation with your ideas of what type of theme or story a game should tell. So you can think early on after playing the first version of this game, what would you add to this to give it some theme? So the first question is, what is the game theme? You can think about, is this set in the west? Is this set here or there? You can think about an era or even a condition, it could be post-apocalyptic or it could be utopia or any other setting you can think of, fantasy and what not. So think about where this game, when this game, how this game is set. Who are the main characters? Who are the players? Depending on the game you have, maybe the characters are the players themselves, or who is playing or progressing this game forward. What is the big story arc? This is one that I think would be really beneficial for you to spend some time thinking about. Players when they're playing this game, they're starting here and they're ending here. Everything that's happening is moving them towards that in one grand story arc. If it doesn't help them along that path, then it probably should get cut from the game because it's extra, it's not really benefiting that overall story arc. I think that's going to help you make a concise game that's really focused on what you're trying to have happen. So think about your game in terms of a story or a narrative that's happening and what needs to happen. The primary conflict, this is something that's saying, what is the main thing that is causing players to not just be able to immediately get the results that they want. Why can't they just go to the finish line? What's in the way? Sometimes that's the other players, sometimes it's the situation or the rules of the game itself disallow that, sometimes it's the combination of both, sometimes it's luck. So thinking about what is it that the players are having to overcome as they play this game, that's the main conflict. What are players trying to do? Are they trying to collect resources? Are they trying to gather land? Are they trying to make the most money? Really, again, the answers to these could be endless. Our particular game, we might have narrowed it down a little bit since this is area control, certainly controlling more land probably is part of that answer, but there might be something else that's going on as well. How can a player win the game? Again, you haven't even started changing your game at all probably. It might seem a little early to be asking this types of question, but you really need to know early on what does a win look like. In the case of an area control, for example, does it end up with them controlling the entire board? Is this an elimination style game or is it done after a set number of turns, in which case, the board might be a jumble of pieces, and winning is going to end up being counting points as opposed to saying, last man standing. So how does a player get to win the game? Is it because they've collected the most resources, because they've gotten the best positioning, because they've eliminated someone or accomplished something specific? What would you like to see this game become. What causes a player to lose? This is another really important one that you might not think about early on, but you would say, well, if someone can do specific things in order to win, what is it that causes a player to not win? Assuming everyone is trying to win, wouldn't they all be doing the same thing? So is it just skill? Is it luck? Is it better strategy? Is it the right combination of cards? Or any other variables that you can think of. So how does a player lose? Thinking about that question can help you think about, well, who is this for. If you're trying to make this game accessible for a lot of people, well, it probably can't be a super high strategy game, there needs to be some luck element thrown in so that it's not just the person who's played the game before is always going to win. There's some chance involved. Of course, depending on the direction you want your game to go, the more you're going have to tinker with that in order to get the results you want. Let's flip the page over, and we're going to look at the next section, which is rules. Rules. Of course, writing good rules is probably beyond the scope of this class. But what I didn't include are just the checklist and some short descriptions of some things you must include. Now, with this class, I gave you the main rules as a download, as a document that you can go in, and of course, you can edit to your heart's content. As you change and add things, you should edit your rules. What I have in this rules checklist is just some things that you need to make sure you include, some things that without it, you're going to be writing rules that don't make sense or are confusing. I'll just run through these real quick. I think they're pretty descriptive what I've said on here, but we'll just go through it together. First is the overview. Describe at a broad perspective what is happening in the game, often relying heavily on the theme and narrative. You're saying, this is a combination of some of the earlier things we talked about, the game overview together with the theme. You could think of this like what's on the back of the box in a way that is something that tells people what this game is about, but also immerses them into the story a little bit. Writing a really good one of those can help people understand the rules much better. The main objective. What is it that a player needs to know they're trying to accomplish? Starting with a good main objective puts all the rest of the rules you're going to talk about in context which is desperately needed in a rulebook. Setup, this might seem brainless, but you need to describe exactly how you want the components setup. If the players need to be situated in a certain way, things need to be faced to certain direction, all of that needs to be documented because people will definitely set it up in a way you were not considering they would set it up, if you don't tell them exactly where to put things. Gameplay. After setup, you're ready to play the game, and so you need to talk about, how do you start the game, what do players do on their turns. If there's actions that are available, you're describing each action that a player can take and do. What are they supposed to do on their turn and how does play pass from one player to the next. This is also a place where you would include if there's different phases of the game. Phase 1, you're trying to accomplish this, phase 2, you're trying to accomplish that. That would also be in this gameplay area, describing how the game works. This can be a pretty long section. Terms and definitions. As you're adding theme and story to your game, often you'll come up with custom names for components or regions on the board or things like that. It's really helpful, and I think even essential that you create a glossary of terms. This is just a quick reference for people so that they can read through and say, "Oh, when you say region, you mean this, when you say victory points, this is how you get victory points, when you say XYZ, that you have defined that". That way if they're going through to the end of the game and they're reading something and they say, "I don't remember what this word is". They don't have to remember where in the rulebook it was and read through a bunch more, they can just go to the glossary, read through and you have most of those key words defined. Next, end-game conditions. How does the player know when the game is done? This is one of those that maybe you had just tacked onto the end of the gameplay discussion, but it's also something depending on the game you're designing that needs to be really clear because players would make different decisions if they thought the end of the game was near, or if it was a long way off. I was recently playing a game where it was clear the game was about to be done, because you're running through a deck of cards and there are only a handful of cards left. That made a big difference for me as a player of what decisions I was going to make. Being clear with how the end of the game is triggered is really important, and you need to make sure you draw attention to it. Connected with that would be the next section, scoring and declaring a winner. Once the endgame is triggered, the game is done. How do we figure out who won? Is it adding up a series of scores? Is it just finding out who's farthest on the score track? Is this going to be a dramatic reveal or do we already know just by the game ending, who won? Then last, examples. I think this is one of the things I've learned more recently in my game design career, and that is that showing examples, literally examples of cards on the table will help people be more clear about what is going on. That you can describe where things go as much as possible, but it's going to feel abstract until they can actually skip. Showing some good examples of how the game is set up or how characters should move along the border. What such and such a situation will look like in the game is really valuable. Of course, it can be overdone. Sometimes you need to let people figure it out through playing the game, but the main stages of the game, if there is a way you can demonstrate that with an example, I think that's really, really helpful and worth the time. Now we're moving on to the next section which is components. Now, since I'm giving you the skeleton of the game, you're getting a lot of these components handed to you in a very rough form, admittedly, but some of this is already decided, or at least the first version of it is decided. Then it's up to you to change, add, or remove things as you want. In this section, it's pretty simple. All you need to do is write down what components you're going to use in this game, and then what information needs to be on each component. It doesn't need to be indicated what suit this card is, or what number is on this card or is there texts that needs to be on it? If there's a player reference sheet, what information should be on that? If there's a scoreboard, what's the scale from zero to what? All that type of information needs to be documented, so that you have a broad understanding of the components of the game. That can be a really good way of knowing when you're adding things, does this need to be a new component I'm adding? Maybe there's space on another part of a different component that I could add that to, or maybe you can start to understand, I have this card I'm using and there's a ton of information on there. It's too much information, I need to divide this out somehow. It can help you think through some of the practical aspects of making a game and how is it going to work. Then the last section. The last section is called playtest, and Here I don't give you any room to actually go through the process of playtesting a game, but I gave you really my biggest tip. That is that every time you playtest a game, I recommend that you write down one primary question you are trying to answer. It might be a particular phase of the game you want to investigate, it might be looking at the components and how well they work. It might be the scoring, it might be any number of things. But in my experience, if you take it to a group of people or friends or family and you say, "Tell me what did you like or not like about this game," you're going to get a decent amount of feedback if they're being honest, if they're really trying to help you out. They'll say this, that, the other thing, and that can be helpful once or twice. But if you keep doing that over and over again, you're going to keep getting all this piecemeal suggestions for your entire game. What I've come to realize is, they don't know the exact type of game you're trying to make, and so them, suggesting that you change the score conditions might not really fit with what you're trying to do, or them suggesting that you add something to add more complexity might not be where you're trying to go with the game. You, being specific with what you are asking for feedback on will help you focus on what to pay attention to and will help other people have some context as to what you are really looking for. Now of course, you always want to listen if someone gives some helpful feedback, that's always good to make a note of. But you want a single controlling question or idea that you're going into each playtest session with, and then of course, you really want to document the feedback. Write it down, and then what I like to do actually is immediately write down some possible solutions. They said the game takes too long. What could I do? I could lessen the number of turns it takes, I could make it so each player only plays one token each turn, so that cuts the amount of actions in half. There's any number of ways you could answer a question like that. I just like to write down very quickly what are things I could do, and then as I think about the game and what I'm trying to do with it, I can go through and fine tune how will I address any issues that come up. That's playtesting. Remember, this is really a cyclical process. You already have the first prototype version of this game. I recommend you play it, you start writing down some ideas of things you might be wanting to change or maybe some themes that might work. Rules that you might want to address, and then playtest, play it again. Then come back into the circle and make some changes or add some more details to some of these questions. Play it again, make some changes. Play it again, maybe update your prototype and make a new version of that. Play it again, this is cyclical. That's not the type of thing you can think it through completely, make a final prototype, and be done with a game at the end. I don't think that has ever happened in the history of game making, at least not with any that I have ever seen. That is the game design checklist. I hope it keeps you on track. It reminds you of the things you really need to be thinking about. If you want to go more into depth on any of these themes, I really recommend you check out my Board Game Design 101 classes. I have three classes that have broken all of this essential content into much broader sections to go through where really fine tooth comb to think about your games at a more detailed level. Your work for this video is, start filling in some of these details. In the next class, I'm going to start talking about some brainstorm ideas, some things that maybe could help you get your creative juices flowing for how you can make this particular area control game your own. I'm excited for that. I'll see you there. 6. Brainstorm Session: Well, hi there and welcome back. In this video, we're going to be looking at some brainstorm options for how you can choose to finish your version of this game. You've seen how the game works, the skeleton of the game, the base components. You've looked at the design checklist, that's the broad perspective of all the things you're going to have to think through and keep track of as you are trying to finish this game of yours. Now, I want to talk about some specifics, some brainstorm ideas just to get your creative juices flowing. Now, of course, these are my brainstorm, so I really want to welcome you to take some time on your own and really dig up some thoughts that you have that relate to the way you like to play games. But sometimes it just helps to hear someone shootout with some ideas, and so that's what I'm going to do in this video. There's four main categories that we're going to talk about. There's the theme, mechanics, rules, and score conditions. I think if we evaluate those four, we're going to get a broad list of ideas of ways you can change, alter, and make this game your own. Of course, each of those four areas is connected to the other. So if you make a change in one, it's pretty likely that you'll have to make a change in one or two of the others as well. Let's go ahead and dive right into theme. Since this is an area control game, a natural theme would be some war theme. Of course, they could just be very generic, this army versus this army, but you could put any time, or era, or future sci-fi fantasy type of war theme where you're trying to use your little army guys in order to take control of more regions on the board. That would be pretty straightforward theme on this, which would be easy to do. Of course, you could be a little bit more creative, and instead of the typical soldiers fighting against each other, you could do something like a very popular game route. Where instead of soldiers, you have very cute animals that have created these armies that are fighting against each other and just making a little change to the classic war game, or area control game like that can be enough to make a theme really engaging and fun. Of course, when I see a game like this, I could also see something like tunneling, or digging for things, or searching through catacombs, or underground structures, or even just searching on an open terrain, or hunting maybe, something like that. Where you're moving around, you're discovering new areas as you go. That would also easily fit with this skeleton of a game that we're starting. But let's jump outside of those low hanging fruit, and I came up with two more ideas that I think maybe are a little more unique, and so you can start thinking of how this triggers some more ideas for you. One overriding anything is, I always recommend that if there is a theme that is connected to you in some way, that's almost always going to give you more ideas. If it's something that you already know a lot about, if it's something that you have lots of ideas about, or have spent time doing, that's going to make it easier to make thematic and mechanical connections inside your game that makes sense within that theme. These two ideas I have, I think are a little more unique. The main thing they focus on is this idea that it's not just a straight comeback game, where you are fighting this guy versus this guy, there's that sliding mechanic. The mechanic that says, you're sneaking in to the territory of someone else. My two ideas, one of them is graffiti. What if this was a city and you are trying to tag enough areas secretly. You're trying to do that in a way that you're trying to edge in on someone else's territory by sliding your tags, getting them into areas that other people right now control. I think that could be a really unique one. In that case, the tokens when you place them down, they're not your people, they are your tags that you are placing around the city. I like that idea of thinking, well, what is happening in this, there's that sliding mechanics? There is some subtle connection that you're sneaking into these areas. I think that thematically is a pretty cool direction to go with it. Another theme I had that still related to that, like sliding over to someone else's territory thing was, what if you played the role of an invasive plant? You're trying to spread your species around and everyone's trying to spread across the board as much as possible, even if another player has that region control, you're able to slide your plant tendrils over to their side. I think that could be another interesting way to go. But, of course, don't just stop there. If you want to take one of those ideas, go for it, if it's inspiring to you, but really just take those ideas and let them spin off your own ideas for a theme. Next we're going to jump into mechanics. Now, successful mechanics are related to theme, and so I recommend you're brainstorming these together. If you pick such and such a theme, well, that would mean, the tokens I'm playing would be this, and if I'm placing the tokens on the board, well, then that means each tile becomes this. You want to think about how your mechanics are affecting the theme, and how the theme is affecting the mechanics, so brainstorm these together for sure. I just have a few ideas of mechanics that you could add to this game, but keep in mind that there's no rules written that say, you have to keep all the mechanics that are in the current skeleton of the game. If there's something you want to change about what's there and remove or alter, you can go ahead and do that. I have a list of mechanics that you could think about adding, of course, there's a lot more you could do. If you just go on to board game geek and just look up mechanics, there is honestly an overwhelming list of possible mechanics that you can use, and if you just need some inspiration of thinking, how would I use such and such an idea, then I think you could go there for inspiration as well. Here's what I have for some possible mechanics. You could have resource collection. In a way this is an area control game, but since you're collecting points at multiple points throughout the game, you could see this easily becoming resources. Whether each tile just has some resources on it that you're getting bonus points for, maybe there's an overlapping level of resources on each tile, and so you're also trying to collect sets of things, or various points for whatever resources are on the tiles in addition to the area control, so you could do something like that. Or maybe you're collecting tokens for some reason. There's tokens on the board that as you control a spot, you are getting those tokens. That would be a way that maybe instead of scoring at three points of the game, you're collecting resources at three points of the game, and those maybe allow you to get some upgrades, make different movements, maybe get more players, or maybe they allow you to add more spaces to the board. There's a whole wide variety of things that collecting tokens would then allow you to do, instead of just saying, if you have this spot on the board, it is worth this many points collected. Once you start collecting resources, you can do more things like set collection, or things like that pretty easily into this game. Next you could have some hidden objectives. Right now everyone knows what everyone is trying to do. That can be good if you want it more strategic, but if you have some hidden objectives, then there's things you don't know about what the other player is trying to do, and so you can be caught off-guard. That can be engaging, and it can also level the playing field a little bit. Even if you've played this game a bunch of times and you're introducing it to someone new, if they have a hidden objective, they can surprise you and possibly win more easily. I think that would be pretty easy to add as a set of cards that you would deal out to each player some hidden objectives. Of course, you could just opt to keep the player card hidden, but maybe there's another level you could do with that as well. Of course, this is an area control that has no combat, but there's no reason there can't be combat. Maybe it's not every turn, because I think that would slow things down a little bit. Maybe there's a way that you could choose to fight against another player that you have pieces in the same space as, whether that's rolling dice, or whether that's a set of cards that you have that you're able to play some actions, or you're just picking some numbers some way to clear out a region or a tile of your opponent's pieces would be a form of combat, and so that could be another interesting addition. There could also be some random events. Again, with a game this simple, it's pretty limited in what can happen. Adding two or three random events during the game would keep everyone on their toes, and would make it so that you're not able to just rely on your pure strategy, again, you would have to adjust as the game progresses, which can be interesting depending on the style of game you're trying to make. You could add more asymmetry. In a way the little player cards that we have add a little bit of asymmetry, not everyone is getting the same number of points for the same spaces, but you could add more. For instance, if you decided to go with the invasive plant theme, you can have one player playing as the invasive plant, and the other player playing as the gardener. One player is trying to control the board by getting their tendrils all across the board, and the other player is trying to beat back those tendrils, they're trying to remove pieces. That would mean each player would have some different abilities of some kind more than just different scoring conditions. The same could go with the graffiti thing where you have one person is the graffiti artist and the other person is the police that are trying to reduce the amount of graffiti on the street or something like that. You could see this as a more asymmetrical game and then something completely different and this would take some work to figure out for sure, but you could add some form of a market. When you play on such and such a space, there is a market value and possibly a market value for how you're scoring points at the end of the game that changes. For instance, if I play on a yellow space, maybe the yellow value goes down because there's more people that have that and maybe the blue value goes up, or if I play on pink, then the yellow value goes up and the pink value goes down. You can set up a fairly simple market, but one that would change the scoring conditions at the end of the game, so you don't know ahead of the game what would be most valuable. You'd have to put some limitations on that because that could also be frustrating if you're trying to do that too much, but that would be something where what you're playing not only affects the points you're getting, but also affects how many points you are able to get, which would add a level of complexity to this game. Those are all the mechanics I came up with after a short brainstorm. But as I said, there's a million more and if you go on BoardGameGeek, you could view a whole list of every possible mechanic. What I would recommend is start honing in on your possible themes and then let that inspire some of your mechanics and then vice versa. Maybe there's a mechanic that you think, "Oh, I'd really like to see this in play or I want to experiment with this mechanic. Is there a way I can add it into this game? Then what theme does that mechanic suggest?" Next we have rules. This is like if you just kept the base skeleton of this game, what rules would be up for grabs that you could change and would change this game. I just have a few here for you, one would be diagonal movement. What if instead of only being able to move vertically or horizontally, you're able to move diagonally. Each space is connected to more spaces which would allow more freedom. What if there was a way that you could protect areas? Generally, the idea of sliding is that you're able to slide into any space, even if it's owned by your opponent. But what if there was a way that a player could say "No, this spot, this one that I claim, no one else is able to go into," whether that's for the rest of the game or just for a turn, that would allow for more control in the area control mechanic that we are using. In order to do that, there might be a trade off. You could say, well, you would maybe have to discard one of your tokens in order to place a save token or something that lets everyone know that they're not allowed to go into space for the next turn or for the rest of the round or something like that. What if the tiles were able to move? I can picture this happening especially early in the game where there's no one on a lot of the tiles and so you could shift them around. That would make a big difference in terms of how the final regions are getting formed and if there's large regions or smaller regions, you could try to manipulate those to your advantage. Again, there's a lot of figuring out you'd have to do whether it's only tiles that are next to each other, whether you're allowed to do it once the player has played on a tile, there's a lot of things you'd have to experiment with, but it could be interesting to let the players shape the board more intentionally instead of just randomly. Last, what if the order of the tokens as they were placed mattered? What if you were the last player to play on there, you might not own that tile, but it would give you some privilege or right, or maybe it would give you some point value or something like that. If it mattered what order you played your tokens on the tile, that would open up another area of strategy, another possible area to play with. Again, these are just a few rules that if you were just to change those without changing much else about the base of the game, you could still really form a very different game from this core skeleton that I'm giving you. Last, there's the score conditions. These are how can you change the way points are given at the end or victory is determined? I have a few key ideas on this. One would be objective based. Some games do this where there's a deck of cards and you deal three at the start of the game. For this game, those are the objectives you're trying to do. Maybe that's in addition to the area control element, or maybe you really simplify the area control points in order to make sure that these objectives become a core focus of the game. Objectives could be, you want to control three spaces in a row or four spaces in a row and you get x number of points if you do that, you want to have at least two tokens on such and such tiles. You could have that. I think you could be really creative with the things you're trying to make players do. If you combine that also with the vertical stacking, that it matters what order you play on a tile, there's really rich territory that you could have for objectives that you could be scoring through. You can also change how the game ends. Right now we have three even rounds and you're playing a total of six tokens in each round, but what if the game ended more unexpectedly, where you couldn't count on getting all of your tokens on the board, that would certainly change your strategy and that would possibly make the end of the game a little less zero-sum sum you're trying to do all the math and adding up all the scores in your mind before you do each move, and you just say, "Well, I hope I get another turn after this, but I'm going to do the best I can with this turn. I can't plan on in the future." You could do that. Just say the game is over once all the tiles are full or everyone gets one more turn after all the tiles are full. Yet again, you'd have to do quite a bit of experimenting to figure out what will work. Still, you might have to change the number of tiles on the board. Maybe it's a bigger map and you want to play that way. But that would be a way to add some more random event or some unexpected elements into the game where you can't just rely on pure strategy. Last, you could have a changing point scale. This could mean two things. One, you just look at that point scale we have right now and you can change it. You could do a more parabolic curve. Whatever your starting point, whether it's one point for the blue or two points for the blue and you can have it go more steeply up where it ends up being seven points for the yellow ones or something like that. You could certainly implement a different scale like that and the same on at the end of the last round with the regions, you could change how that works. That would certainly be one change that I would recommend you look at. But you could also have there been more of a market value. I recommended this before when we were looking at the mechanics of what if there was a side market? Every time you played or at the end of every turn, you're able to adjust that market a little bit by one mark. Depending on what your player card is or your hidden objectives or the objectives on the board if you're doing any of those things, then you are going to want to be adjusting the market a little differently than your opponents. I think you'd have to come implement a way where there's some limitations or some structure to how that's done. That you can't necessarily just say, " Well, you're allowed to move it up." Then if the other player want the opposite of you, they'd move it down. The whole game, you'd just be moving up down, up down and that really wouldn't do anything. But maybe there's a dice roll involved, maybe depending on what areas you play on that controls what you're able to do. I think adding a market value to the points that you get at the end of the game that's like a side game going on that could really add a lot of strategy. This has been my brainstorm. Again, this is my brainstorm not yours. I really recommend you spend some time thinking about how you would change this game. In order to do that, honestly, you should probably try to play two or three rounds of the base game and see just in playing that, how could you make it better? How can you make it more involved, more engaging? Because as it is, it's not a finished game. My goal for this series is to help you practice finishing games. Start asking yourself those questions on the checklist. Start looking at the possibility of what you want to make this game into. Then begin making changes to the prototype, trying things out and seeing how it could work. I'm really excited with what you're going to come up with. In the next video, I'm going to show you how I actually chose to finish this game. I didn't implement all these ideas for sure. I implemented some of them and I whirled up with a game that I'm really happy with. I'm going to be sharing with you the choices I made to make this game my own in the next video. I'll see you there. 7. How I Finished This Game: We've been talking about how you can make this game your own, the changes you can make, what is inspiring to you for the types of games you want to complete. All of this with the hope, one of, making a fun game, but two, also with just leveling up your skills of giving you a practice of what it takes to actually finish a game so that as you become a more seasoned game designer, you can more reliably finish the games in the way you want to. I started with this base game the same as you, myself, and over time, I developed it and finished it into a game that I call minor mischief. I'm going to talk to you, one, about what's the same, and then things I've changed or added to that core game in order to finish it in the way that I wanted. To start with things that are the same. It's still a 2-3 player game that use 18 tokens over a series of nine turns, and the board is a 4 by 4 grid of square tiles made up of four different regions. Those core elements that were there are really the same, they're almost unchanged. What has changed is, of course, I've added more theme on top of it, and then with that theme, I've added in more elements to make it a little bit less calculated. Add in a little bit more element of the unknown or of random elements that come in and can change the game. Let me show you what I have. Before we jump in though, I do want to tell you that if you would like to download the free print and play version of this game, you are welcome to. The link is below in the description of this video, and if for some reason you can't find it there, you can always access this and other print and play games through my website at circlecanoegames.com. Let's go ahead and jump back into how I finished this game. Let's talk about the theme of the game. I called it Miner Mischief. Miner like someone who mines or works in a mine, and mischief, a little play on words. I'm not too proud of that, but I do like the name. The theme really is a new west mining area control game. It might be a little on the nose. I know there have been a ton of mining or digging in the ground type games, but it fits the theme really well, and I just had some ideas that went along with that theme. As I was designing the game, the idea stuck to that, and I liked the results. You end up with the individual tiles I ended up calling tunnels. Each one of these is a tunnel, and then as you get groups of them that are the same, those create the mines, and the tokens you're placing down, those are your miners. The theme, I was able to work in in several different ways where it makes sense in this western mining theme. You'll see more of those thematic elements come up as I'm talking about this game. The tokens are unchanged, they're just simple little cardboard tokens, and there's 18 of them for each color, and it's a two or a three-player game. Let's talk about the scoreboard first because it's not really that exciting, but I did end up changing from that ridiculously, large, comparatively board or a score track. I changed it down into these little carts. On the back, they say score, and on the front of each one, we have 10 digits. You can easily, in the game, line these up just to the side of the board, and you'll be able to keep track with your score tracker on there. My reason for turning these into a series of cards that go from 0-100, is to make this game as compact as possible. Originally, I was experimenting maybe with keeping score with dice or a few other ideas that I had, maybe just writing it down which is always a possibility. I like the idea of having a dedicated way to keep track of score that would be visible for everyone throughout the game, and so I came up with this way of solving that problem, where you do end up with a score tracker that's visible, but it doesn't have to be its own huge board, it is modular. Next, I have the board tiles. The three main kinds of tiles are gold, silver, and copper, and then the ones that are special and always connected are their gems. They look something like this. You can see I did this little 8-bit illustration going on there, and we have different types of stones inside. You can see there's one with the gem right there. Very simple, nothing too complicated with those. One change I did make is that I ended up making these double-sided. What that does is it actually adds more variety to what each game could have. Some games could have as few as two gold, which is the most scarce resource in the game or having a ton of copper, or a larger variety of tiles from game to game. You really never know what the board is going to have. It does make it more complicated in terms of producing prototypes, just that you have to make sure you align front and back. Of course, you could print two separate ones and glue them together, you just have to be sure that you have a specific variety of copper and gold sided one, copper and silver, silver and silver, or gold and gold. It just takes more work to figure that out. I'm glad I did it because I like the variety that this offers, but it did make more work in the design process. It's probably not 100 percent essential to still have a replayable game. I did add one other variety since I was dealing with 32 faces of tiles instead of just 16. Since it's double-sided, I did add one side that is a bottomless pit. So this is a no-fly zone. No one is allowed to enter that space. It definitely throws a wrench in the works of trying to move around this fairly small board. It changes the game when it's in there, but it's only in there 50 percent of the time roughly because it's only on one side of that tile. It's a nice way to change the game when it's in there, but it's not always in there. That is how I changed the tiles to make them how I wanted. I kept the idea of the unique player cards. In this case, why I ended up calling them the minor cards if you can see that there. On them, we just have different abilities. Some of them are, one point is added to every copper tunnel when scoring tunnels. Some very similar things to those original player cards that I had. But I did think, this is all visible information, and so either we could have that be hidden, which would be interesting, but I like the idea of having that visible and then having other information hidden. What I added to this game is another set of cards that each player would get one of, and these are called investor cards. These are silent partner. Everybody knows you have an investor, but they don't really know who they are, and those investors have interests of their own that you need to fulfill. So a variety of things. I have a jewel baron. They add two to the number of gem tunnels when the scoring mines, a railroad man. You're trying to get tunnels in a row, and so, you get points based off how many of those in a row. Boomtown, manpower specialist, frontier speculator, all these different things that are different conditions that don't affect gameplay in terms of changing rules for how you are allowed to play, but they do give you bonuses at the end of the game that no one else is aware that you're working towards. Those are investor cards that definitely changed the game a bit. The last thing I added is event cards. These cards are things that are triggered just twice during each game, and they make it so that even someone who has a perfect combination of the miner and investor card and has a great strategy might still be caught off guard by something and have all their plans come to naught. The event cards look like this. Little explosion on there, something has happened. An example of that would be earthquake. When an event is triggered, which is at the end of the first two rounds, you flip over every unclaimed tunnel. Since these are double-sided tiles, that can change the way the map looks pretty drastically. Let me find another one. Shared claims. Tunnels are now able to be scored if you have majority claim or a tie. Suddenly, it's not a zero-sum game anymore where only one of you can win, you can share a tunnel, and so that changes everyone's strategy suddenly. There's tunnel collapses, and gold rushes, and other types of things that are just random elements. You have no idea which one of them is going to come up each turn, and it can really change the way the rest of the game plays out. I like that, really makes players stay nimble. They can't just lock in on a single strategy and ride it through to the end, they might have to change what they're doing. That is how I've solved this game of how I've finished my version of this game. Of course, yours doesn't need to look like that, it shouldn't look like that. You need to make your version of this game. If you're interested in this, if you want to play it just to get some more ideas, or you want to see the finished version yourself, again, it's a free print and play, it's available down below. You can download it, and you can get to it through my website CircleCanoeGames.com. I'm really happy with how this game turned out, and I'm excited that you can be starting from the same core concept and end up with a game that you're proud of as well. In the next video, we're going to be jumping into reviewing your game. Looking at what do you have so far? What are your ideas? What are the changes you've made? Where is it going? What should you do now? I'll see you in the next video. 8. Share Your Progress: Hey there, and welcome back to this video. We are winding down this area control game, finish this game project, where you are taking this skeleton of an idea that I'm giving you and turning it into your own game. Again, the whole goal of this class, of this whole series that I'm making of these types of projects, are to give you a way to practice your game design skills, to really practice finishing games, which can be so challenging, especially early in your game design process, because I think it's so valuable to get in the habit of finishing a game, finding out what it takes, so that later on down the line, as you're designing more games that you love, you know you can finish them, you have what it takes. You're going to be leveling up, adding skills, and I'm excited to see the game that you make right now. With that in mind, I want to talk about what should you be doing. Hopefully, you've played through the game a few times, you've taken that first prototype that I gave you, and you've started to change it. I'm going to ask you to do a couple things. One, I want to see your current prototype in action. Whether it's a new version you've made digitally, whether it's one you've altered, or whether it's one that you've scribbled down and changed numbers or the way things look on a piece of paper, in a project, I want you to take a picture and share that with us and talk about what changes you've made. Talk about those main four areas, the theme, mechanics, rules, and score conditions, and what direction are you going for each of those? The other thing I'd be interested in seeing in that project would be a photo of your game design checklist. Where you are starting to answer some of those questions, write down what are those foundational answers to those questions? What are the theme or the narrative elements that you've decided on for this game? Take a picture of that and also add that to that project. This is something I love in Skillshare that you can go back to that project and add to it. As you make changes, as you move more towards a finished game, then you can be adding to that project and you can share it with the rest of the class. I'm really excited to see what game it is you are designing. Really, I keep circling back to this because it's so important, and I hope if there's nothing else you take away from this class, other than a fun project, I hope you remember this, is that, you really need to decide, first, what type of game is it you are trying to make. You're not trying to make a game that is everything, you're trying to make one specific type of game. The second is, who is this game for? You're realistically not making a game for everyone, no one does. It is for a specific audience, it's for a specific group of people that like a certain type of game. Who is that person? Who is that audience that you're making it for? Maybe it's just for yourself, that's completely fine. Maybe it's just for your friends and family and the types of games they like. That's great too. I really encourage that. But you need to decide ahead of time what that audience is, and what type of game it is you're trying to make. It's going to make finishing your game, answering these questions so much easier. Now, I can hear you saying, "What about the aesthetics? What about the looks of the game?" Well, really to have a finished playable game, that's not all that important. I've seen a lot of games, I've played a lot of games that really aren't the most beautiful things. Certainly, if your game is going to make it onto the shelf one day, and you're going to sell a bunch of copies, well, eventually the artwork is going to have to be beautiful. But in order to enjoy playing a game, in order to have a solid, fun game, the artwork doesn't really need to be front-and-center quite yet. That's something that once you have completed your game, and you are ready to take it to whatever the next level is that you have planned for it, then you start thinking about what more finalized looking art would be. But for our purposes, for making a fun playable game that you can play with friends and family and share with others, it just needs to be serviceable, it just needs to be good enough, and whether that means, you're using some free and splashed photos to fill things in, whether you're using some clip art, you're using Game-icons.net, anything like that to finish your game, I think that's the route you should plan on going. You can always work on making it more beautiful later, you need to make sure it's a fun game first. That's really my homework for you. Make sure as you are working through this game, you're writing things down, take a picture and share it in the project, I know we'd all love to see it. But I'll tell you, there is a way you can get bonus points, and that is, if you upload a print and play file of your game and your set of updated rules, that would allow everyone to try it and give you feedback. We could let you know that we've played it, that we've tried things out, we could maybe help you with brainstorming some ideas or things that could change. If you really want to go the extra mile, and I would love to see this because I'd love to play your game, make yourself an updated digital copy that you can share through your project, and I will print it out, I will play it, and I will give you direct feedback. In the next video, I want to talk about some more resources that are at your disposal for helping you know how to finish games. I am giving you as many resources as I can for this specific game, but also you might need some broader support for the game design process. I have some other channels, some other avenues of support that I can give you, and in the next video, I'm going to talk about what those are. Thanks for sticking with things so far, and if you want the most help, go through to the next video. I'll see you there. 9. Additional Resources: Welcome back to this final video in this class. In this class, I'm going to be talking about some additional resources that you have access to. The first one, I've already mentioned some, so I'll just breeze over it and that is my Skillshare classes that are Board Game Design 101. It's actually three classes that do a really deep dive onto some board game design topics. It's a little more abstract, definitely a little more thinky, but it's helpful for you to really be putting in the thought to how you're going to make your games. So if you haven't gone through that yet, I'd recommend it, and it is going to help you level up your game the more you can think about them in depth. Next, I'm going to encourage you to go to my website CircleCanoeGames.com and there I'm actually making more projects like this that exist on YouTube. I'm also creating some design tips, videos, and short little snippets of resources and ways that you can be thinking about game design and really be progressing your skills forward. So whether they're free print play games that you can download and try just to get inspired or some design tips and things like that, it's all through my website freely available at CircleCanoeGames.com. Last, if you want more one-to-one interaction, I'm always available through Facebook and Instagram, especially on Instagram really, and you can find me both places @circlecanoe. Look me up there, send me a message, and I'd love to connect with you, give you some feedback on your games if necessary and just talk about how you can progress in your game design skills. I'm also really excited about some of the classes I'm going to be offering in the future. Of course, I'm going to continue adding to this Finish This Game series where you get a skeleton of a game, and you get to finish it, but I'm also going to be adding some more skills-based classes as well that are with, how do you upload files to a print-on-demand sites? You can get a really nice finished version of your game. How do we go about taking your artwork or your graphic design for a game to the next level so that it really starts getting a little bit more polished, and it makes it better and easier for people to play? There's more to come in this game design series that I'm working on, and I'm excited for you to come along the ride. Of course, reach out with comments, I'd love to interact with you if you have any questions or suggestions and thanks so much for joining me in this class. I'll see you in the next one.