Ever have an interest in designing your own board game? Me neither, but I had the opportunity to do so recently and decided to give it a try. See, I got this cool invite to do this because there was a pledge drive at a podcast I listen to and so I put in my two cents and ended up winning a contest. It was to have a short game developed. So, the last couple weeks I’ve been co-designing and playtesting a little 2-page game based in the Land of Oz.
The fellow running the contest is a published game designer, architect, and podcaster. He contacted me about having won the contest and wanted to know if I had any ideas about what kind of game I was wanting to end up with. “Well,” I said “I’d really like to do something placed in Oz, and for a couple of players to compete over the areas of Oz for political clout to become the ruler of Oz.”
A few days later I got an email with alpha rules, a map of Oz with areas marked out with boundaries, and a dice-mechanic to handle how players would gain control over each area. Some playtesting, some conversation and tuning, and the beta rules came over next. My girl and I played this some more and I got my butt kicked soundly and without mercy. This time additional rules were put in place for the smaller areas being worth more if the nearby territory was also captured by the same player, and a refinement of the dice mechanic to handle 2-4 players was added.
After a little more playtesting and tweaking, I got the email with a finalized page of rules and the game map of Oz. Printed and laminated, now I’ve got a game I can at least partially call my own and whip out to show off to anyone who will stand still long enough. Pretty cool if you ask me! A fun, quick-paced board game that sprung from my girl’s love of Oz — something we could play together or with a couple of friends.
I want to thank Craig Campbell of Nerdburger Games for hosting the design contest and L. Frank Baum for creating Oz in the first place. Craig and a couple of his friends also put out a weekly Nerdburger podcast worth checking out(for laughs and nerd-centric news) and his RPG Murders & Acquisitions is available from rpgnow.com for purchase.