So this is it, you had a cool idea and want to create your first board game! You've been thinking about the concept, the theme, you've been talking to your associates, and you all agree: it doesn't exist and it deserves to be created.
Congratulations! You've just been inspired and managed to validate the concept. Now begins the continuous improvement work. Your goal for the next few months will be to test and improve your game methodically, iteration after iteration.
Define your game
Whether you like it or not, your board game is a product. If you want to produce it, crowdfund it and distribute it, you must establish its identity, its public and its gaming experience. Imagine the most representative group of players for your game and ask yourself what experience you would like to share with them.
Is it a casual or strategic game? Difficult or easy? Cards or miniatures? For families or gamers?
If you hesitate to put a genre on your game, it simply indicates that you have not yet reached the final version of your product and that you cannot identify it permanently, it will come. If you lack board game culture (and it is normal) Browse the BGG site, although extremely painful visually, it is THE reference site.
The pillars of your game
The simplest way to identify your game is to build it around three pillars. These pillars must be sufficiently clear in your mind. Your goal is to have the gaming experience sufficiently close to these pillars, so that each player can naturally qualify your game by those pillars.
For example, for Kiwetin, we knew we were too inexperienced to create a product of sufficient quality if the game was too complex. So we decided to make a QUICK game, to speed up the gameplay and make the experiment exciting. The board was therefore short, the actions of players limited to an action, without a complex strategy. We wanted the game to be short, but FUN. We have therefore created cards, tiles and mechanics that can be used to return the situation very often. The goal was to fill every moment with suspense, cliffhangers. In Kiwetin, it’s not rare to move from last to first to last very quickly in a single round. And finally, Kiwetin was meant to be BEAUTIFUL. Most games are horribly ugly or whatever, we had to stand out from the competition and draw attention at first glance.
Create your alpha and test it with your team
So we created an alpha, by hand, on a table corner. There is no point in printing, photoshop and invest in this version of the game, you will change quickly. Play, test between you, until your game version is stable enough and match your pillars and agree with your target audience.
Testing, Testing, Testing
Finally, it’s time to brave the outside world and test your stable alpha with wider circles. Start with your family and close friends, then test the game with your relationships, your acquaintances, until you can get the game tested with strangers, experienced players, other business creators and finally professionals .
The logic is simple: test the game by simply explaining it, staying out of the game, and observing the reactions. Answer questions, ask for comments and understand their game experiences. "What was going on, what was wrong? What would you improve?" Improve your prototype and your game. When this group doesn't give you any more resistance, go to the next group.
When you are able to play your game, create the experience you want, there is no more confusion and each player can specify your pillars, then you can move to next step of creating your board game, the crowdfunding campaign.