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Joined: 01/17/2012
30" Arctic Char

Hello Everyone!

Glad to be here and so happy that this site exists at all! What a resource!! Thank you thank you!

I'm 38 soon to be 39 and live in the Pacific NW, USA. I've been playing board games, card games, video games, and RPG's my entire life. I love games!

My first game design was a space exploration game that literally filled 5 binders and each player would sit in silence for hours filling in star charts while their ships slowly explored the deep reaches of space. It was a blast for a geek, but no one else! :D I wish I knew where I could find it today...

Since then I've written a ton of ad hoc rule additions to existing systems (nothing serious). I haven't really paid much mind towards doing writing for money but looking at this site, there appears to be plenty of good advice on it. My personal belief has been to design for the pleasure of designing and worry about the rest later.

This past month, the game design bug has bitten and I've started doing a bit of research, which led me to this site! Yeee HAW!

I'm sure I'll be asking for lots of advice from all of you experienced designers and enthusiasts. Please don't kick me out for asking dumb questions, but feel free to poke fun.

Cheers! (This picture is me enjoying my other hobby of fly fishing)

Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Hiya Ted! Well its lovely to

Hiya Ted!

Well its lovely to see someone with such enthusiasm as you!

Welcome to BGDF, I'm sure you'll have a great time here. There are a lot of very wise gamer pros / designers / publishers that read this forrum so it's a good place to "hang out" asking questions and getting ideas and what not - a very good community :)

n.b.Your first challenge: Create a non Sci-fi, non RPG dice game about fly fishing - the game needs to play a full round (2 or 4 players) within 15 minutes ;) - I dare ya! haha

All the best mate, looking forward to hearing more from you :)


Joined: 01/17/2012
Sam, you're good man!

Challenge accepted!

I'll figure something out. How's this idea to kick it off?

Premise: It's the weekend and after a hard work week, you've decided to head on down to your favorite "secret" fishing hole to do some fly fishing.

Sadly, it's not secret anymore. There are several other fisherman on that same stretch of water all fighting for the same fish. Looks like today won't be as relaxing as you thought!

Players draw cards and play cards that will beat the other fisherman on the water. If they have the best hand that round, they catch a fish!

Now... The big part. The cards!

Players will have an assortment of cards that will be "fly", "rod", and "technique" and they will have some educational value to them so those non-fishing people (No idea why!) get some value and understand the cards.

For humor, there will be "event" type cards that the players can use on themselves if they are boosts "Fish Sighting!" card or give to another player "boons" like a "Bathroom break" or "Snag a Tree!" card.

Finally, the game ends when the first player to catch x amount of fish or some deck is extinguished (perhaps a separate "catch" deck).

Geez Sam! You sure know how to get me off track! Haha. I'll keep working on this and see what I can come up with. Pretty funny.

Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Ahh Ted, very good sir! I

Ahh Ted, very good sir!

I love the theme :D - and would happily play that game ^^

Ok so I still want dice in there somewhere, remember the challenge "a Dice game" - SO the actual "Catch a fish" mechanism needs dice!

perhaps some rods could only bare the weight of little fish, and others excel only at larger ones? Perhaps we can then have "fish" cards. Initially drawn face down that the player must try to catch with the rod and fly (via some clever dice system) while other players play negative cards on you, and you perhaps countering them / buffing yourself with your own cards ("Starving Fish!" +2 to dice roll to catch, ONLY IF the fish is large). Certain flies will have a dice modifier to differet type of fish of course.

Perhaps you could even have a positional element in the game. So, say there are three players: the first player gets first attempt to catch the fish, so he doesnt know what the fish is and attempts to catch it - flipping it over. If he fails, the next player can then try and catch the the fish with a +1 modifier (the fish is on the surface and a little tired). If this guy fails, the next player then has enough time to change his fly and try and catch the fish, obviously making it very appropriate for the type of fish. If someone catches a fish, it brings them one position forward - this could perhaps give an automatic buff to players that are trailing behind? Perhaps then even in a four player game the last last last guy could change his fly and get a +1 to the catch? Perhaps each fish is worth a different number of victory points (Weight of fish?) that makes some harder than others to get.

You could even have it so the fish eventually come back round if everybody fails in a queue line for the fishermen to catch? I love the idea of a mega fish (sea trout?) being incredibley hard to catch and everyone rolling dice and failing in hopes of getting a double 6 one after the other and the first one to get it wins a load of points ^^

Heck I would play that game! It sounds great! haha!


bonsaigames's picture
Joined: 12/20/2010
Fellow NW-erner

As a fellow North Westerner (Albany, Oregon) I wanted to jump in here and welcome you to!

I agree with Sam (as is often the case), this looks like a fun game with no competition in the current market and a built-in fan base. Especially if you can make it simple enough to take camping. That is why I'm guessing Sam suggested making it a dice game primarily; because dice are much easier to play with while camping and not worry about them being destroyed compared to cards. We took Zombie Dice camping with us this last Summer every time!

Can't wait to see how this develops!

Levi Mote
Bonsai Entertainment

Joined: 01/17/2012

Ha! I mis-understood your challenge when you said non rpg dice game, I thought the non applied to all of that! oops! I agree, dice are necessary and I was thinking the same thing about transportation (cards, dice, or perhaps both. But no boards or other pieces) which is why I only wanted cards, thinking less is more on a camping trip.

Dice are indispensable on camping trips. I spent a week in Yakutat chasing steelhead and we only had 6 hours of daylight. All of our tent time was spent playing Yahtzee. Dice are as important on camping trips as matches. :D

The other issue with cards is reading light. Sometimes there simply is not enough light and reading cards (detail/favor text) can be a problem. I've almost talked myself out of the "educational" aspect of the cards. Focus on more fun and ease of use. So the cards have to be bright, big stats for ease of reading in most conditions.

I love your positional turn idea!! Brilliant! In the fishing world, if a fisherman catches a fish when no one else is catching, other fisherman move close to the fisherman thats catching, thinking he/she must be where the fish are at! Your idea works perfectly with that and can be explained easily in a humorous way.

The fish draw deck is great too! I was thinking something similar and perhaps that deck and the dice is all there would be for components, for simplicity and traveling sakes.

I was also thinking that with buffs/debuffs it would be called "Lucky" or "bad luck" since everything with fishing is luck anyways! ;) There could be a cost in cards or luck to increase your dice roll for the fish you're trying to catch. The gear is all part of your "luck", so everything would be in one draw pile, including your fish.

In fact how about this idea : EVERY card has a small fish icon on it with a number and the icon in the shape of its type (for meaning with fly type used). That number is what it takes to catch and its luck value for determining the winner. The fly your using also has an icon on it showing what type it works best for. IF it matches the fish you're going for, you get bonuses. If not, you get penalties or no modifier.

One thing that happens quite a bit on my fishing trips is fly borrowing! I think a great aspect to the game, would be the allowance of the players to trade cards or "Swap Flies". This would mean a greater variety of flies and fish types.

Types of Luck Cards : School of fish, Deep pool, Fly if its matched to fish (this could only be determined once fish is revealed), Rod if its matched to fish, Nice weather, Zen Mind, Tight Loop, Clean Fly Line, Dead Drift, Swing Drift, Slow Current, Perfect Angle, Guide Service, Drift Boat, etc

Luck Card Idea: Big Fish Sighting! (I love your idea of the fish/all player roll and I think there should be several cards like that, that get group participation. When this card is played, all fisherman with their existing cards in play, make a roll for this monster fish!) This means that players should consider their card setup in play, might be good for a lot of little fish, but will it be enough for the big fish coming around? And players with big fish rigs, might be ready for the big fish, but missing out on little guys...

Types of Bad Luck Cards : Bathroom break, Hillbilly nearby, Fall in the river, Hornets Nest, Snag!, Fish stole your fly, Lunch Time, Leaky Waders, Frozen Ferrules, Getting Dark, Bear Attack!, Muddy Water, Lightening Strikes!, Sirens Song, Swimmers in your spot!, Bad Knot, Bad Cast, Spooked Fish, Powerful fish, Educated Fish, Etc...

All of the above cards will impact your fishing roll either positively or negatively. The cards in play are the ones face up in front of you while rolling the dice for a fish. If a Bad Luck card is played by another player, it will be in front of them, but announced at time before the fisherman's roll. To play a bad luck card, the player must pay for it by discarding cards equal to its luck value.

Turn Sequence :
1: Draw: Player draws up to 5 cards. Each card has a luck value. To place them face up, pay the luck value on the card by discarding that many cards from your hand. You can play as many cards as you can afford.

2: Fly Swap : Players can trade flys if they want now. TO play the fly card, you still have to pay for it by discarding cards equal to its luck rating.

3: Cast : Announce your casting, fishing, or whatever you say when you offer fly to the fish gods. Your fly has a cost on it and you must pay that each time you cast by discarding cards from your hand.

4: Fisherman's Roll : Each fisherman has a set of cards face up in front of them that might include both good and bad luck cards. Before a fisherman can roll, they must have both a rod and a fly in play. The fisherman might only have a rod and fly in play at the time of their roll.
The player turns over the topmost card on the deck and looks at the fish icon/point value. This is what he needs to beat to catch the fish. **Players have a chance to play their bad luck cards on you now and before the dice are rolled.**
The Dice: Must use 6-sided. The most common dice and easy to find at most gas stations if you lose your set out in the wilds. I did entertain the idea of custom dice, with fish icon and fly icon, but that might make the game more complex with more rolling.
When a roll is made, the fisherman makes a roll for themselves with their modifiers in place. The player to their left makes a roll for the fish and subtracts this number from the fisherman's. IF the final result beats the fish value, the fish is caught!
IF the fish escapes, the fish moves on down to the next fisherman, who gets a +1 to the roll because the fish is tired, and so on... **Other players can use their bad luck cards on the next fisherman too, before they shake the dice.** This also means that every fisherman has a chance to fish each player turn if they have their cards ready to go and each player wants to fish!

5: Turn End. Play moves to the left.

So components would be: Draw deck of luck cards and dice for fishing.

***I'm also debating doing away with the rod altogether and just assuming the players have a rod. The fly might be the only thing they have to have in play and match with the fish. The fly and combination of luck cards, would be all the fisherman would have in play.***

Joined: 01/17/2012
TITLE : Watch Me Fish!

Oh, and it will be called "Watch Me Fish!" Because obviously the goal of the game is to keep the other fisherman on the sidelines while you catch all the fishes! :D

Joined: 01/17/2012
Thanks for the warm welcome!

I appreciate your feedback and just checked out your website and your games look solid and fun! I'll have to try them out! :D

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