Building a board game on your own is an up and down affair. Part 1.

So you had your moment of clarity and now you want to seize the day. Yes, I am working on a health and fitness game for families. The game is unlike other games of sitting around because it involves non-stop action and never sitting down. Of course a lot of the other areas in the game have similarities to other games with dice, cards and rules. But this isn’t about how my game plays but about how the path to get it to the masses was at the least extremely complicated and I’m not even near the end yet.

The first area is to think your idea through and make a prototype. Now our initial idea was a giant twister sized board game with squares to stand on while you moved through the game. That didn’t work because the price to print was expensive and it didn’t play smoothly. Now I printed a 6′ x 6′ board and I made it with duck tape and regular pieces of paper late at night. I saved that piece for future reference. I had a designer work on that board and I liked how it looked. The person that worked on it seemed to move at a snail pace and it felt like they didn’t really want to do it. That same feeling kept following me around. Nobody wanted to help and I was willing to pay.

So I decided to scrap the big board and move into a new direction. With that I started just writing silly stories about health and fitness through kids eyes. The stories all rhymed and were funny but I didn’t know how to incorporate them into the game. Then I made fitness activities on four different levels to use for younger kids all the way up to adults. After that I began working on trivia questions to add to the game. So I had three parts of the game that I assumed was enough. It probably was enough but when I went to different designers and told them about the idea they wanted to pass me off to someone else who could help. The help they pointed me towards was basically helping streamline the idea. All I wanted to do was put some graphics with my words and ideas and test it. Plus, I thought it was streamlined already. It was a health and fitness game for families that had you unaware that you were exercising and learning but just having fun. But apparently I was mistaken and I now was back at square one. Now I understand what people mean by if you’re going to make it then you need to grow some thick alligator skin.

With that I kept moving ahead and did eventually find an artist who was able to give the project some images. Now they moved slow and I could feel that I was on the back burner. I know I was far from important. The good part is they didn’t charge too much but they just did exactly what I asked and nothing extra or no creativity. It was done slowly and without much effort if that makes any sense. I had to keep hounding them and what I received was less than spectacular. The current theme was called Delirious and the main character was Ben E. Fits the tiger. He would help you learn the benefits of being healthy and fit. I thought I was moving in the right direction. So after testing it and receiving some positive results I decided to find another artist who could take it to a more professional level. I assumed artist were starving for work but I assumed wrong. After dealing with several artists who were too busy, too expensive, or had too many requirements I realized this may be harder than I thought.

The last artist said I needed to have someone help me get the idea into one uniformed vision and I needed to give them a better, more focused direction. Oh man, I had just told them everything and they didn’t think it was a fully developed idea yet. I was devastated and just wanted someone to work with me. Now this person did help and listen to me. They gave me a name of think tank or accelerator program that specializes in helping small businesses and at least something positive came out of it. I called them and had an appointment to go in and give a 10 minute presentation on my project. I began working on that and try to polish up the games idea and look. Time to showcase the game Delirious to some professional people.



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