Soooo I’ve suffered a minor setback…
If you know me, or follow my work, then you should know that I like to experiment with different ways of telling/illustrating my books. Well, I also like to dabble in different mediums, which is what I’ve been up to lately.
Recently, I began work on my first official board game. It’s called, Pirate Wars – Sea Skirmish. It takes a pirate-themed form of Rock, Paper, Scissors (Cannon balls, Maps, Cutlasses) and mixes it with a game board and has multiple different modes of play to add variety. The more ideas I add, the more complicating the manufacturing process gets, so I’ve worked very hard to keep it simple. Still, what I quickly learned was that, despite my efforts, the manufacturing costs will be high, unless I purchase the game in bulk quantities, which would require a significant upfront cost.
Solution? An economically priced version that will require the player to do some upfront work when they first open their newly purchased game. Dumb idea. Sounded great on paper, and it even looked good on the computer screen in front of me as I designed it. After all, most board games require you to punch out a few plastic tokens or game components, so why was what I asking so much worse?
Before I answer that, let me first say that I never thought this solution was ideal, but merely justifiable because it significantly lowered the manufacturing costs and made my game affordable. Problem is, once I got a version manufactured and mailed to me for testing, I quickly learned that it was lacking, cheap in quality, and–basically– did not work as planned.
Once purchased, I would have required players to spend a half an hour cutting their cards apart into game components, and that’s a ridiculous and unfair ask of someone who spent money for a product. Dumb, dumb, dumb on my part. I simply did not factor in the time it would take.
It’s a bummer for sure, but not a complete loss. I saw that, while the materials felt cheap, I do like the artwork and designs that I’ve done so far. Better yet, the basic gameplay (and most important element) holds up. And since I’ve designed deluxe version (which will consists of higher quality components) as well, I didn’t really waste much time. Plus, the deluxe version will do away with the cheap feel and the need to waste time cutting anything. I simply won’t be able to offer the lower cost version come Christmas time (my planned release date).
Either way, lessons learned are always important, and I’ve definitely learned a lesson from this. Take a moment to see some of the artwork for the game below and peek back from time to time to see all the updates.