10 Bridges: 1. The Grand Plan
The grand plan is to kickstart ten small boardgames and use some of that money to kickstart an RPG system.
I've been a dabbler in, and a fan of, hobby board gaming for a while now. My collection is very small compared to the majority of people who call this their main hobby. But I would like to think that through the voracious consuming of podcasts, review sites, and just boardgame culture in general that I've gotten a decent grasp on the state of the hobby. There are three things that are prompting me to start this endeavor.
The first is that I made a discovery while I was teaching my friends all of the board games I would buy. Nothing profound mind you, and nothing most people designing don't already know about, but new to me. That discovery was that the majority of games ran on the same small set of mechanics with a couple twists. If you understand how deck building works than you can play dominion and arctic scavengers no problem. If you understand how drafting works than you're going to pick up food fight and 7 wonders pretty easily. So if there was a simple way to teach people mechanics of board games than you could teach them every other game much more efficiently.
The second item that came to my attention was the arrival of micro games and just small games in general to the board gaming scene. Micro games are as small as just 18 cards with a theme and game built in but they tend to lack strategical depth. Iello is a company that is currently doing a great job marketing small quick games from indie designers used as intro games.
And third, kickstarter has made it possible for first time designers to actually raise enough money to get their game published and distributed around the country or even the globe. Te problem is that a lot of these games are "boutique board games" costing upwards d $100.
While all of these elements were coming together I started to notice a gap in the products available. It was within the category of "intro games". These games were meant to be simple to learn yet complex enough to delve into and enjoy. The problem was that while people would find them enjoyable and possibly become interested in the hobby they just spent all night playing a single game and probably now only understand one, maybe two mechanics. With games ranging anywhere from $15-$120 that's a steep entry price to trying to figure out what you enjoy. The other problem was that attempting to teach someone a game that takes a few core mechanics and adds a whole bunch of little twists and side mechanics is really difficult.
So I thought it would be really awesome if there was a set of 10 mini games that each incorporated two of the twenty most popular mechanics. They would all be set in the same fictional town and look beautiful lined up on your shelf together. Then you could either use them to teach your kids or new people to the hobby. Or even just pull one down to play that has the same mechanics of what you're playing that night. That way you have a small fast game that helps teach the larger game.
This will be a place to keep track of how this project is going as well as share prototypes and play tests. Hopefully you'll see the first game on kickstarter in the not so distant future.