11: Grail

11: Grail

Is there a particular game mechanism or theme that you have wanted to use for a long time, but haven’t been able to yet? What has stopped you so far?

 

 

I’ve always wanted to do a ‘roll and move’ game; one that does it ‘properly’. What does ‘properly’ mean? The luck bit is good but it can’t be 100% luck; you’ve got to utilise that 2-12 bell curve and make the players take decisions about how they’re going to focus in on it, bend it and (ab)use it to their own ends (no ‘pip modifiers’ though). I like the idea of the game causing shifts in the focus too – throwing a you-know-what’s-coming spanner in the works.

Tony Boydell

I operate within many spheres of storytelling and there is an interactive theatre installation I’ve wanted to do for years. I still may end up producing it, so I don’t want to give the idea away, but it involves players slowly realising they’re ghosts, RFID tracking, and a whole lot of invisible ink that glows under black light. The blocker has really been finding the space and capital. Interactive theatre is niche, and this installation would be highly experimental. So, you know, hit me up if you want to bankroll this.

Whitney “Strix” Beltrán

I’m not a huge fan of dice. That’s why my designs never included them. However, as a recent personal challenge, I’ve tried to include dice in my latest designs. But in the end, when becoming a product, dice have become other mechanisms so they have been removed from the designs. So dice are still my unfinished business.

Eloi Pujadas

I really want to make a great time travel game – it’s such a fascinating theme with so many interesting possibilities, but I haven’t hit on quite the right way to tell the story I want to yet. I revisit the idea from time to time, and one day I’m sure I’ll figure out how to create it!

Roberta Taylor

I’m completely and deeply obsessed over asymmetry. It’s something that I want to put in almost all of my recent designs but I often give off at some point because I find it too hard to balance.

Théo Rivière

I really want to make a great time travel game- it’s such a fascinating theme with so many interesting possibilities, but I haven’t hit on quite the right way to tell the story I want to yet. — Roberta Taylor

In high school I’ve always been one for theatre and improv so I wanted to do one on Commedia d’ell arte, or commonly known as Italian improv with the masks and the huge noses. In addition to Lanterns I also want to do a grand sprawling combat game with Chinese mythology (it has to have huge, detailed miniatures for me to be sated!). Time has always stopped me so far with work and being motivated to do so, but this year I’d like to get started.

Christopher Chung

Yes, I have tons of themes and mechanisms “mulling.” There are so many half-baked ideas floating around my office that I don’t want to pressure into existence. I review them couple times a year but if a solution doesn’t arise, it continues to mull. I much prefer to repeatedly make small tweaks than to try to polish a game that is definitely not ready because it’s missing some magic.

Kim Vandenbroucke

I’ve wanted to make a game with inherent asymmetric player powers for a long time. But I’ve never ended up using them because a) they increase the time it takes for people to learn the game and b) they make it harder to balance it. I think once I find a use case that considerably outweighs these drawbacks I’ll use them.

James Naylor

Dinosaurs. I have a lot of ideas about different dinosaur games, but I just haven’t chosen which one to start prototyping. I think it’s because I like dinosaurs so much that I have at least 4-5 games written down and deciding between them is hard. With other themes, I just have the one idea, so when I get a chance to prototype, I do and progress is made, but when I have to choose from several ideas…I don’t. I like them all, but I can’t make multiple dinosaur games so none have been made.

Carla Kopp

I would like to design a game based around a hidden movement mechanic, as it is a type of game that I enjoy playing, and which can lead to some really memorable experiences around the tabletop. In particular I am convinced that a hidden movement game based around political shenanigans would make for a lot of fun – the only thing that has stopped me from doing so is that UK politics currently appears not to be grounded in any semblance of reality, so where would I start?

Sam Illingworth

There are so many half-baked ideas floating around my office that I don’t want to pressure into existence. I review them couple times a year but if a solution doesn’t arise, it continues to mull. — Kim Vandenbroucke

I’ve always wanted to use booster packs inside of a board game as a means of unlockable content. Perhaps it would be a solo or co-op game, but I love the idea of the game rewarding you with content via opening booster packs. Perhaps defeating a particular boss will unlock equipment cards crafted from that creature monster hunter style, that sort of thing. I haven’t really had to time to develop something so content heavy, but one day when I get more free time, I certainly want to come back to it.

Brother Ming

First thought: I’d like to make a heavy-weight strategic game. Maybe to show that I can, to meet expectations (people keep asking me), or to try making a new kind of game. But I’m not in any rush.

I’d much rather make a game about empathy. Something that motivates players towards selflessness. If games are ways of learning behaviours, then we should be able to teach people to consider others above themselves and even improve the world.

But how would I even start? It’s a daunting task.

Bez Shahriari

If you had asked me two years ago, I would have answered sex. I’ve done it now with Kamasutra, a zany sex-positive game I’m really proud of. What’s left ? May be religion. I like to make fun games with ridiculous themes, but the problem is that while religion is certainly the most ridiculous idea men ever came with, it’s also so sadly embedded in our daily politics that I never really manage to keep things fun when dealing with it.

Bruno Faidutti

I have been trying for years to create a deck builder for families/kids. It’s hard to top the feeling I had the first time I played Dominion and Clank. So anything I come up with pales in comparison. I try to find a way to make it happen, and I just feel like I’m chasing that dragon. I keep trying though.

Helaina Cappel

I’ve been mulling over a 6-20 player city building game with an interesting theme and mechanics, but the logistics of getting that many players to playtest has been the biggest hinderance to getting it on the table. I also like to work on designs with other designers, so it might take some time to find a co-designer who is interested in the project.

TAM

I’d much rather make a game about empathy. Something that motivates players towards selflessness. If games are ways of learning behaviours, then we should be able to teach people to consider others above themselves and even improve the world. — Bez Shahriari

I’ve been playing with the idea of a competitive Tower Defence game for years now. You send attackers against the player on your left, and defend against the player on your right. I have pages of attacker/tower content, but I can’t for the life of me work out a basic system for the game.

Peter Hayward

One thing I like about Viticulture is that I think it’s a giant rondel wheel game, not just a worker placement game, and that works logically with the seasons. I’d like to explore this further as I love how worker placement games adds interaction and competition between players, but I’m still working out the theme and the special sauce to make it really interesting.

Kathleen Mercury

Jay Cormier and I have been thinking about making a wearable game for a long time now. The concept just seems so cool! It could be a bit like Buttonmen by James Earnest in that you wear something only more toyetic. We see it as a thing kids the world over would wear and play against each other at recess! We just haven’t been able to hit on the right mix of components, but now that there are 3D printers, maybe it’s time to look into this again…did I just talk myself into getting a 3D printer? I think I did!

Sen-Foong Lim

Co-operative. I’m working on some concepts, but am finding it hard to create meaningful player motivation while also giving each player full agency over their turn, as I want to minimise a single player directing everyone’s turn. I love the non-competitive nature of co-op games, and really want to make some games that are about working together instead of against each other, but have found it quite difficult.

Sye Robertson

I really want to design a kids dexterity game! Something that relies completely on the physicality of the game components. Titles like Animal Upon Animal, Gulo Gulo and Bandu are exciting to me because they create a game from essentially playing with interesting objects. What stops me is simply finding core idea that will work, and has not been used before. Interestingly, this process feels more like “searching” for something rather than traditional game design.

Phil Walker-Harding

We see it as a thing kids the world over would wear and play against each other at recess! We just haven’t been able to hit on the right mix of components, but now that there’s 3D printers, maybe it’s time to look into this again… — Sen-Foong Lim

I’ve been fascinated by Rob Daviau’s work and his legacy systems (first on Risk Legacy). And I would really like to work on such a legacy/evolutive game system. But at this time I have no sparkling idea to make it different than the way he did. So, if it’s not different enough, I prefer to wait to have THE idea.

Bruno Cathala

I’ve always wanted to design a game that has a hidden traitor or betrayal mechanic. I think honestly the only thing that’s stopped me is that I like sabotage so much that if it’s involved at all, I make it the whole point of the game and nothing about it is secretive. Either that or the game is the extreme opposite, with players collaborating to reach a goal. I also worry about putting too much pressure on a single player to make the game work.

Clio Davis

I’ve toyed with the idea of a pick-up-and-deliver game for years, and think I have some good ideas, but creating a large map board scares the life out of me. I really don’t know where to start. The only game I’ve worked on with a spatial element is the upcoming Europe Divided, but David Thompson already had the map and movement in place when I came on board. This extra element just feels daunting – I can’t really explain why!

Chris Marling

So many…The theme I’ve toyed with the longest is trying to turn Herman & Chomsky’s propaganda model into a game. The problem is that – bar the commercial aspects – the pressures and biases that shape the mass media are mostly subconscious and systemic. And when translating those pressures into a game, they need to be made explicit – but without dominating the outcome. It’s like trying to make a game of the double-slit experiment.

Andrew Sheerin

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