Hey everyone, My name is Tom Hardy and I made a card game. But then a lot of people have. Probably you have too. I plan on kickstarting it. Again, nothing new. So why the blog? I wanted to talk about the design process, what i went through, my experiences, how i would make my way to the launch.
The name of my game is cadence and it’s a microgame. Not just a microgame, its a game played with only 18 cards and no other components about cycle racing. It is based on a mechanic where cards are placed on the table in such a way that each card shows a stat on another card and you can slide, shift or rotate cards to change stats and do different things.
It’s a very tricky concept which i brought out through a contest held an year earlier on Boardgamegeek called as the 18 card Microgame Contest. The rules say that you have to make a game with just 18 cards and no other components. I looked at my second favorite hobby, and turned it into my first favorite. I thematic cyycling game of 18 cards.
If you are reading this you are probably not a new designer, but you might like to read about some of the things i learnt about game design in the process.
Game design as i used to think has 3 phases.
- The idea phase
- The playtesting phase
- The polishing phase
As i came to know, it actually has 5
- The inspiration phase,
- the brainstorming phase
- the experimentation phase
- the playtesting phase
- the polishing phase
In this post i’ll talk about the first 2.
- Inspiration Phase – You are thinking about making a new game, or you’re probably just roaming around in a park. This phase is about that alarm that goes off in your head and you think “Hey, that could be a pretty cool game!”. There, that’s your first step to a very very successful game project. Capture it. Go ahead with it no matter how vague it sounds. With cadence, this was when i started to think about making a game for the contest. I just couldn’t think of a very fascinating theme. Then, out of nowhere, i thought abut doing a game on something i do almost regularly and something i know a lot about. Cycling. It’s almost always best to go with a theme that you can relate to, you know about and most importantly you are exited about. Always ask yourself a question, “Why am I the one who is going to design this game on this theme?”. Its all about finding hat special relation between you and your theme or main aspect of the game.
The Brainstorming Phase – This is often the most difficult, but the most fun phase. At least for me. If there are 100 games that go through the inspiration phase, 10 actually make it to this phase. Why? Because this is where time and effort starts to show up. You are going to make a game about solar systems. Great! But how? What will be the rules, the length, the components? This phase is about figuring out these things. I’ve learnt that it is good practice to start with setting goals for yourself or even restrictions. For cadence, my restrictions were pretty clear, make an entire cycling game in 18 cards.
As for my goals i wanted to challenge myself so i told myself, it should be thematic and simulating. It should actually feel like you are on the roads racing on the track. It should be very strategic and should make players really plan out their tactics every turn. I’m very happy to say, that i think i’ve achieved at least 80% of these goals as of now. But that was only after the next 2 phases. When i brainstormed first about cadence, i hadn’t achieved even 10% of these goals. That was because i didn’t keep in mind my audience. Definitely keep in mind your audience for the game right from this phase. You don’t want to make a euro game of action point allowance on making cocktails at a party. So if you are making a game about making cocktails, consider drafting, set collection… brainstorm with a structure of your goals and audience in mind.
I’m planning on kickstarting cadence in August, somewhere in the middle. So this is probably a little bit late to start a blog. Nevertheless, i’ll try my best to cover most of the interesting things i learnt along the way and what i will learn in the next few days till the Kickstarter. If you want to know more about cadence you can find a detailed descriptions and more on its thread here:
Or if are not a BGG user, you can just go to its facebook page here:
Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and reading! I hope you’ll stay tuned.:)