As I mentioned in my last post Dollyo was started around two years ago, but paused for a very long time.
This time round I'm keen to take the game in a slightly different direction, by reducing the emphasis on combat and increasing the emphasis on trade and politics.
I begin my design of a new game by thinking about what elements I want in the game. To begin with I tend to include far too many elements creating a very complicated game, then slowly over time simplify out those elements that work the least well. I scribble down all my early ideas, then try to start playing the game against myself to set the mechanics up. It gives me a chance to tweak the elements of the design to improve the balance, or change the speed at which the game plays. At this point the board/tiles are scribbled on a pad of paper and I use pieces from other games to represent the game pieces & cards where I can, scribbling bits on scraps of paper where I can't.
That's as far as I got today - it'll be a good while before the game is ready to start playing with other people.
For the record the following stages my games go through are:
- Making my own cards and pieces
- Extensive playtesting with the rules regularly changing
- Playtesting with infrequent rule changes and 'beta' cards, pieces, tiles and board
- The prototype - by this stage I've made 'nice' bits, and the rules are fixed