During week 8 we were asked to brainstorm five potential board game names or ideas in five minutes. I managed to come up with five names (drink bottle wars and salty fruit were among these) and two to three potential game ideas to accompany some of the names.
- Take my word
- The aim of this card game is to create the best catch phrase with a meaning out of the provided words. Each player receives a number of random cards with different words on them and they must use these to create the phrase. All players vote on the best one.
- Freaky frenzy
- Players are given a number of cards with different clothing items/accessories on them and must create the best outfit within a certain amount of time.
- World’s Greatest Board Game
- I drew inspiration for this name from a mug with a similar slogan that I saw earlier in the day. Originally, I had no idea what this game was about, all I knew was that it would be a board game and it would be great.
After our brainstorming exercise we were asked to conceptualise our ideas and come up with a foundation for our future game. At this point I already had two potential ideas that I could work on, but the title ‘World’s Greatest Board Game’ stood out to me and I decided to explore this further.
After further brainstorming, I initially decided that players will each have their own board where they will create their own game and at the end, unanimously vote on who has the best completed board game. My original idea included theme cards which direct the outcome of the game. For example, if a player chooses a space theme they will follow the rules on the given space card etc. After a discussion with Chris, I decided to alter the overall concept of the game. Instead of focussing on different themes as the foundation of the game I decided to focus on all aspects of game making.
The World’s Greatest Game is a meta board game that refers to the world of game making. It explores all stages of game development in an ironic fashion and can be possibly used as a tool for game developers to conceptualise ideas.
To break it down simply: this game is a game where players create their own game. Players go through different phases of game making, from ideation, designing, and publishing, with an overall goal of reaching the designated crowdfund goals and accomplishing each game objective, while balancing their budget.
Each player starts off with a crowdfunding goal of $20,000 and certain tasks must be completed in order to earn funds. Players will also have a seperate bar of $20,000 which they can use to spend on themes, mechanics etc. or to buy other players cards.
The specific rules of the game can be found here, but there will be 4 rounds on the board, each with 5-6 different phases of game making which must be completed satisfactorily in order to move on to the next phase. Players will each be given four cards and must have four cards in their hand at all times. The phases you must collect throughout the game include:
- Choosing a theme
- Deciding on mechanics
Players must balance their spending tracker and crowdfund goals, while simultaneously investing in smart game-making choices, leaving little of the game down to chance.
World’s Greatest Game will have high materiality as there are a number of components to the game itself. Some materials include:
- Crowdfunding goal tracker. This will be scale from $2000 to $20000 with a pointer that will point to the current amount of funds. This will help to keep track of your crowd-funds.
- Individual boards: this is where the creation of the game will be visualised.
- Spending money tracker: this will assist in keeping track of funds.
- Tokens: These will enable the players to keep track of their position on their individual boards.
- Phase Cards: Cards that explain different phases along with the corresponding crowdfund value and price. Each of these cards will have a colour on the top right corner that will allow players to match together in order to gain more crowd-funds.
The board is the main item in the game and will consist of four different sections with five blocks in each section. The first section will be theme, followed by mechanics, prototyping, playtesting, and publishing.
There are a number of similar games on the market that follow a meta theme. Although not extremely common, there is a niche trend in ironic board games. The game I came across which has the most similarities to World’s Greatest Game is called UnPub: The Unpublished game.
Unpub: The Unpublished Card Game is a 20-30 minute party game for 3 to 8 players. The game comes with 54 cards, each featuring a possible game theme, a core mechanic, and game components that the players will use to craft a game idea. Each round, one player acts as publisher and uses an element from one of their cards to inspire the designers to pitch a game using two of the other three elements on cards in their hand. The best game pitch gets a publishing contract!
Similar games include:
- Deck Building: The Deck Building Game,
- Time Management: The Time Management Game,
- and Traitor Mechanic: The Traitor Mechanic Game.
For my game aesthetic I am striving for simplicity. Simple colours and pictures will be used to prevent the game from becoming too confusing and cluttered. I am excited to being properly play-testing and iterating my game for the final dossier.