It is important for me and for Opie Games to be a supporter of the table top gaming community and we are always looking for opportunities. I don’t want to create a long list of goals for 2015, but have a few that are worth noting with some activities or approaches that will help me achieve them:
As mentioned in the 2014 Review: Playin’ Games, I have not previously committed to a gaming goal in the past. I am not one much for New Years’ resolutions – they typically disappoint – but at the same time understand the need to set goals periodically. I just try to set shorter term goals more regularly than annually. I might be disappointed more frequently, but at least none of those missed goals are major. So without setting specific goals for playing games in 2015, here are a few of my desired outcomes and some ideas about making them happen:
Annual New Releases
Before we can begin evaluating any particular subset of games released (by category, genre, mechanic, etc.), we first need to establish a baseline for total games released.
A study of the hobby game market should naturally start with an analysis of the companies publishing hobby games. Given the lack of public information about publishers and distribution volumes previously described I can at best provide a survey and more speculation to add to what is already available.
The card and board game design and publishing industry has been growing rapidly in recent years. Some might call it a boom, some might worry that it is a bubble, and some optimists (like me) say it is only the beginning. Beyond the sheer quantity of cardboard distributed, the number of new releases is also rising and some argue that the general quality of design and production is improving; they suggest that we are in the “Golden Years” of game design.
Although the expertise and focus of Opie Games is not to analyze the game publishing industry, as we design and develop games we are considering the current marketplace when deciding which game designs to pursue. Time to design is always a limiting factor, if not the most limiting, so working on something for which the market is quickly diminishing or is over-crowded may be equally wasted. These studies may also be helpful in providing information for a pitch, to differentiate what Opie Games has designed from what is available. How this information is not being use is to determine what game to start thinking about. Ideation is upstream of this process.
Survey and analyze (to the extent reasonably possible) the game publishing industry to:
- Inform the Opie Games process decisions from design into development.
- Become knowledgeable about the game publishing aspect of the table top game industry.
- Identify game publishing trends to forecast the market needs of the near term future.
- Provide the game design and development community information that maybe helpful on its own or may seed further analysis.
Hopefully, you will find this analysis interesting and helpful in your own forays into the game publishing industry.
I started 2014 with the intent to get more involved in the card and board gaming community and to try to provide some value to it. Hopefully I have made at least a start in that direction and some minor accomplishments. So, what did I do in 2014 to advance the hobby?
A whole year’s worth of gaming reviewed in one blog post. Hmm. Could be a long one. Note: I wouldn’t consider this a review of the games so much as a review of my experiences with them.
I started tracking my plays on BGG in January 2014, so I can report on the games that I played and the ones that didn’t get any attention. It wasn’t until later in the year that I heard about various challenges gamers set for themselves like “10 x 10” and “H-Index of 14 in ‘14” so I did not start the year with any such goals. Mostly I was just curious about how many games I would actually play, but I suppose I also wanted to see what games were getting the most plays and compare that to the ones that, by recollection, were providing the most entertainment.
At the risk of falling into complete nerdom, a little analysis of the year’s plays follows.
In the exploration into new game designs I will certainly come upon ideas that have been tried, successfully and not, in other games. I also just might come upon some ideas that are "new"; that is, new to me or not well known. This notebook will document some of that exploration.
Explore game design "ideas" and post any research and insights regarding:
- Game Design Process
- Game Genres/Classes
- Game Components
- Game Setup
- Game Mechanics
- Victory/Winning Conditions
- Game Design Tools
- Game Design Resources
Hopefully, you will find this discovery process interesting and maybe even gain some inspiration from it.