Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I have been slugging away at the half formed idea I had for a camping themed cooperative game.  The basic mechanics are down and seem very good but as it is a game that requires a whole bunch of cards with wildly different effects on them it will take a while to actually flesh out.  This process is illustrating to me just how little the basic idea matters in game design.  People who have an idea for a game often get completely wrapped up in secrecy and worrying about somebody stealing it when that is a laughable proposition in nearly all cases.

The hard part about building a game is very rarely a simple, raw mechanic.  There is so much to do to polish it, to create all of the working bits, and to get everything to feel right that even if you tried to get people to take your game ideas they wouldn't bother.  That is all not to mention the real challenge, which is to build prototypes and get the game published and convince people to buy it.  Heck, even if you took a complete set of game rules and tried to get somebody else to go through the mess of getting that published it would be hard to find takers.

I am very excited about the build.  I look forward to seeing people trying to deal with bear attacks in the middle of the night and yelling at one another about who gets to control the marshmallow stick to produce delicious smores.  Obviously in a coop game everyone could play along nicely and such, but a little bit of conflict over what to do about the raccoons seems like it could be pretty amusing.  Kill them!  Bribe them with shiny things!  Just wait until they go away!  Feed them to the bears?  And when the Park Rangers show up, definitely just bribe them with beer.

The pictures for the cards are going to need to be cute.  I am thinking of a vibe similar to Munchkin with cards mocking the terrible things that happen on camping trips being portrayed in silly cartoon form.  I have no talent for drawing such things myself and art is getting way, way ahead of myself but I think having a vision for where I want to go at the end is a useful thing.

Hopefully over the next few weeks I can get documents up here so everyone can see what I am working on.  If you have suggestions for a name for a silly camping themed coop game, get them in now!

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