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In my last post, I sated that I will try to create a new tabletop game every month, and now here I am, nearly 3 months later, and I've not posted anything else. Did I fail?

No, not really.

And at the same time, yes. Very much so.

I have come up with a few ideas, and tried fleshing them out for a month, but never got something which I could really feel like they were going anywhere. My plan initially was to write them up and release them, regardless of how bad they were, just as an exercise for myself, but this didn't happen, because there just wasn't enough there.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich

Making games is hard. I knew that when I started. I didn't expect to make the next best selling, critically acclaimed game. I'm someone with no experience. But I was hoping I could come up with ideas that, while not good, were at least playable. I'm not overly surprised, and I'm not disappointed. I have tried some things, and I will continue trying. I've learned things that don't work, or that I am not interested in developing further.

I'll just qickly go over the two games that I poked at a bit, and give a quick description of why I stopped with them.

After Treasure Isles, I asked MiniNisturette for a theme for another game, "pets". What I came up with was a card game, where, ovver successive turns, you construct pets. One card might have a Pomeranian head, the next might be a cat's forequarters, and the last might be a micropig's rear. I tried a few different ideas for how the actual gameplay would work. Points for matching the correct animals would go against the entertainment of making odd combinations, but enforcing odd combinations seemed weird too. I had an idea where it might be a frankenstein pet shop, and a customer comes in and says "I'd like a pet that is [7] cuddly and [3] defensive to guard my underground lair" and you have to make pets to match the requirements. That might have worked, but the biggest stumbling block was the cards. One of the core, and important concepts behind Treasure Isles was that anyone (especially the child in question) could create all the parts and be involved. With this idea, creating what would have to be tens of different cards lost its appeal very quickly. We made a good go of it, but as I couldn't get a game to make sense, we dropped it.

Photo by Nati

The other concept had even less time put into it, partially because of the frustration of not getting anything the previous month, and partially because I was busy with other things. There was a vague idea about creating a garden. It was a hex tile based game where you could place tiles, and then resolve the effects. Some of the tiles would cast shade, stifling growth, some would grow specific plants etc. I think it was actually a decent idea, which I may flesh out in future, however I just didn't get to a point I was happy to continue yet.

Another update to this is, I got a cover image for Treasure Isles from my friend Rose Loughran. The idea behind it was that it should be black and white, to look a bit like it could have been produced at any point in the past 40 years, and photocopied to be distributed between friends. At the same time, given the intent behind the game, it was also chosen to be this way so that it could be a colouring page for a child, to again let them be involved with the game. Overall, I think it came out great. I still have to request covers for the expansions, but I will do this when I revisit this. There are still a few more things that I want to do to polish and balance, especially the expansions. Also I want to provide a quickstart PDF of parts. They can all be hand drawn (as we have done in our games) but I can see it being desirable to just have something to print and go.

Photo by Nistur

So, what next? Well, I do want to come back to Treasure Isles, like I have said, I want to maybe look into the garden game when I have time and a bit more motivation to do so. Right now though I'm tinkering with a game set in Ancient Rome, this time this game, while I will be making it for MiniNisturette to play too, it will be primarily to see if I can poke some nostalgia for playing Caesar II.

So, I have failed to make more games, but I've learned a bunch of things, and I will continue trying in future!