Thursday, May 25, 2006

Advice From Game Designers

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Keeping Game Play Simple

When you buy a new board game, the immediate challenge has always been understanding the rules. The next hurdle is explaining the rules to the other players. Everybody will be dying to get the game started without much apprehension to the rules because nobody remembers them.

Hence, when I design Hercules I keep in mind the game should be easy to learn, but hard to master. Hercules will have 2 modes of game play to facilitate this: Normal & advanced.

This is important because when designing the game, I will need to take into account which game factors go to normal mode and which to advanced.

The normal mode requires players less time to learn allowing them to get a quick start. After familiarising with the basics, they can opt for the advanced mode.

With features in advanced mode, you get to differentiate the game for marketing purposes later via :

- Packaging design
- Website
- Public relations

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's All About The Game!

Time is money.

So it goes without saying 80% of the time is spent on doing, not planning.

Prototype. Bounce ideas around. Observe. Listen. Repeat.

Not talk and do nothing.

How to sell is not important when prototyping the game design.

'If the food's great, people will come.'

Then the question is what makes the 'food' great?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Getting Started Resources- Part 1

What It Takes

Making a board game business work is no walk in the park. The game design, although critical serves only a small element towards the success of the entire project. Click the image for a full size mind map.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

War! War! War!

I figured if I wanted to make a super huge strategy board game, it has to be about war. Probably the best way to debut the first Denken game.

It's not gonna be bang bang kill everybody john woo style unlimited bullets kinda game (mmm i might be tempted to do such a game).

Sun Tzu sums it up best: "For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."

Ever Feel Like Screaming?

Ever had this feeling where everything caves in simultaneously and there is only one YOU to handle every damn thing thrown at you?

Ever feel like screaming?

When identifying things you have to do to move a startup idea forward, a humongous load of task keeps piling on your 'To Do List' that it seems it will take an eternity to ever do anything.

Fortunately, this is not the first startup idea i've worked on, and it helps when you have a sort of system to capture all these thoughts and things you have to do.

The book, Getting Things Done by David Allen, is that system. Well the book doesn't do the work for you (i wish it did), but at least you don't feel like a complete noob when managing the work that comes with a new business idea.

I have a plactic zip lock wannabe folder dedicated just for this project, so that i can put whatever stuff that comes along into that folder. So whenever I feel like working on Hercules, I'll grab the folder and everything's there. David Allen would be proud of me alright!

Organising Lots of Ideas

Getting lots of ideas is key when conceptualising a game. Doesn't matter if they're bad or good, as long as they keep coming in.

It's hard to visualise the relationships between the ideas when you keep it in a piece of paper as a listing. That's why I use the FREE mind mapping software, FreeMind to organise ideas that comes along anytime of the day.

FreeMind is open source and Java based. You can simply google it or download the FreeMind software here:

Hercules - Code Name For Our 1st Strategy Board Game Design

I've decided to code name our 1st strategy board game design, Hercules. Always easier to reference it by name instead of calling it '1st strategy board game design' all the time.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Getting Started With Strategy Board Games!

I want to turn Malaysia and Singapore into a board game geeks' paradise.


I started this for 2 reasons:

No.1 : It's about providing an avenue for Malaysian & Singaporean board game geeks to come together and play competitively until our brains overheat. And for those who aren't board game geeks, hang around with us long enough and you wish you could upgrade your brain processing power just to catch up.

No.2 : Building a support network for board game designers in Malaysia & Singapore to produce & market strategy game products globally.

Am i crazy? a little. Am i serious? i better be! i bought the domain and started this blog! Am i realistic? who knows! but it sure would be fun to see what i can do!

This idea started while i was playing euro games with a group of my friends about 2 to 3 months back.

For those who don't know, Eurogames are german-style board games that emphasises alot on strategy and less on luck or dice throwing. Yes, I love the feeling of overclocking my brain neurons.

I'm going to kickstart this crazy idea of designing a board game that's superhuge and requires heavy thinking on strategy. Don't ask me what it is yet, cause it's not ready for prime time. But if you want to keep posted about it, just hang around this blog more often. We'll let you be the first to beta test it!

Special thanks to Jeff of and my good friend Chris Yap for their positive support and encouragement towards this idea!

ps: for those of you who just have to know, denken is 'think' in german. Go to and translate denken in german if you must!