My MAIN goal was to create the type of game I, Curry C. Curry, wanted to play, but couldn’t find. So, yes, I created this game for my own enjoyment. (Spoiler alert: Mission ACCOMPLISHED!)
When I started seriously exploring board games, there were a handful of barriers I hit and that’s what I’d like to talk about today.
HIGH PRICE POINT:
Board games can be costly, especially the ones more geared towards the hobbyist. While I want to explore all of the games I’ve been missing out on over the years, I couldn’t (and can’t) justify throwing my money at them simply because they have fancy miniatures and thousands of less fancy, but almost as cool tokens. Now, I certainly love me some neat lil’ miniatures, but they really drive up the manufacturing costs.
So, with price point in mind, I designed Dead End – The Deceased! without miniatures to better position myself to retail it at $15. I see my game as a compact, travel-sized game, so $15-$25 is my sweet spot. Originally, I hit that goal, but then I decided to launch it on Kickstarter and I got excited about the possibilities (and scared of failing), so I expanded it and raised the retail price to the still affordable $25 to cover the additional manufacturing costs. (Note: If you back it on Kickstarter, it’ll be discounted.)
NO SOLO MODE OR A CUMBERSOME SOLO MODE:
Some of the coolest games I’ve seen didn’t have a solo mode, or they had one tacked on that was cumbersome. Since I don’t have a circle of friends who play board games, solo modes are a big deal to me (To be fair, though, I prefer solo video games, too). My wife will play, but who will watch our kid’s? My kids will play, but they aren’t yet into the types of games I am. Actually, my 12 year old is down for any game, provided Rocket League or Fortnite aren’t distracting him, which is rare.
Because of this, I designed my game to be completely solo, and not only that, I designed the solo play to be simple. From what I’ve seen, solo play tends to be cumbersome and lengthy because you often have to control your character PLUS the A.I./computer/automa character(s). Because of that, I made controlling your opponent easy and quick, so you can spend more of your time strategizing on how you’ll get yourself out of a dead end.
GAMES TOOK TO LONG TO SET UP:
Games like Mouse Trap were neat to look at, but the set up was always irritating to me. More serious hobby games can be even worse. With my game, you open the game box, flip it over and it becomes the board. You then add your character to the board, shuffle and lay out a few piles of cards, deal yourself a hand, and begin playing. Check out the image below to see a work in progress of the game manual. All in all, it takes less than 2 minutes, unless you stop to chew your nails because you’re getting nervous about your impending doom.
DIFFICULT LEARNING CURVE:
I own a few games with thick, confusing instruction manuals. I also own a few others that are thin, but still confusing. Simply learning how to play these games makes me not want to play. After all, why invest so much energy into learning how to play these games makes me not want to play. Why invest so much energy into learning a game that I might not even like? To be honest, most of the time I simply find a tutorial video on line.
That’s why I’ve tried to make my gameplay mechanics as simple as possible in order to make my rules more easily understandable. It’s all on one folio with a second folio to use as a quick reference sheet. I am also planning on placing a QR code in the manual to direct visual learners back to my website where I plan to have instructional videos.
GAME PLAY WAS TOO LONG:
There are games out there that take 3-8 hours to play. Some people love that, and I would love that too if I had that kind of time to dedicate, but I don’t. With a houseful of amazing kids, each vying for my attention, I prefer my game sessions to be around 30 minutes. So, again, I designed my game with that in mind also. IF you can survive until the end, which is the goal, it should take anywhere from 20-30 minutes.
And there you have it. Those are my biggest gripes with board games, gripes that I tried to design around when creating Dead End – The Deceased! At the end of the day though, I know that I thoroughly enjoy playing it, even after hundreds of playtest, so that’s a great sign. Now to see ho the rest of you feel!