Skip to Content

Is My Core Concept Unique?

11 replies [Last post]
Actionartist
Actionartist's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/12/2017

I’m in that beautiful stage in the design process where you second-guess everything about your game, you’re totally sick of playing it, and you wonder if you actually have anything unique to bring to the table at all. That’s how I know I’m in my third trimester, so to speak. This game’s getting close.

I gotta say, no matter what happens, I made this game because I wanted to play a game like this and there weren’t any out there … so I had to make one. And that’s been my motivation to carry on :)

So I’m just wondering if any of you have a practical tip for knowing whether you have a unique core concept. Does a game have to break new mechanical ground to be a success?

polyobsessive
polyobsessive's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/11/2015
It's fine!

Actionartist wrote:
So I’m just wondering if any of you have a practical tip for knowing whether you have a unique core concept.

Nope. The closest I come is in making a lot of games, and when an experienced gamer or game designer plays one of them and says, "Ooh, this is a bit different!" then I take that as a positive. It doesn't always happen.

Actionartist wrote:
Does a game have to break new mechanical ground to be a success?

Nope. There are plenty of successful games out there that are just refinements or retreads of other games.

Good luck!
I think there is far too much concern among new game designers (and I am one!) about making your game mechanically unique or groundbreaking. While having new mechanisms is a good point to talk about when pitching your game, it is not the be all and end all. There are lots of other ways your game can stand out, and as you design and develop more games, you should start to find out what you really bring to the table as a designer. For most of us it won't be the ability to create new mechanics.

I guess the tl;dr version is just don't worry, just make games that people enjoy playing. Let your players tell you if your game has merit, and it might not be for its mechanisms.

Jay103
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
It's not unique. Someone out

It's not unique.

Someone out there already came with something at least similar.

But they didn't build such a great game around it!

ddiaz28
Offline
Joined: 12/19/2017
Jay103 wrote:It's not

Jay103 wrote:
It's not unique.

Someone out there already came with something at least similar.

But they didn't build such a great game around it!

To me that's a perfect way to go. I've heard a bunch of designers give the advice to find a game that didn't quite hit for you, and find a way to make it better. If that's what you did then you might have something that will resonate with other gamers.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Take a break

Actionartist wrote:
I’m in that beautiful stage in the design process where you second-guess everything about your game, you’re totally sick of playing it, and you wonder if you actually have anything unique to bring to the table at all...

Well to be real honest, with my previous game ("TradeWorlds"), I never get bored playing the game. I actually very happy that we added so much extra content which makes me want to play every "aspect" of the game. We are in the process of finalizing the Beta Prototype, so the version that will eventually "go to production".

My only advice to you: if you are tired or bored with your WIP (Work-In-Progress), TAKE A BREAK. Work on a new design, something that's just an idea. This way when you come back to your WIP, you'll see things with a new perspective -- and who knows, you may see some originality or cleverness you had not noticed before...

Cheers and keep at it!

Note: I often cycle between design until something actually STICKS. And what I mean by that is that the design seems novel and could be something else that is unique to this design...

Every design is UNIQUE. But the difficult part is putting together something that is FUN. I know "FUN" is relative... But you'll know you have something special when "everything comes together". Like I said "keep at it!" Eventually you'll have something interesting that will help you continue working on the design.

Actionartist
Actionartist's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/12/2017
questccg wrote:Well to be

questccg wrote:
Well to be real honest, with my previous game ("TradeWorlds"), I never get bored playing the game. I actually very happy that we added so much extra content which makes me want to play every "aspect" of the game. We are in the process of finalizing the Beta Prototype, so the version that will eventually "go to production".

I guess I overstated when I said I was sick of playing it. I actually just recently played an entire game against myself and enjoyed every minute of it. What I guess I meant was that I’m sick of playtesting it. It’s a lot less fun internally playtesting a game than sitting down with friends and just playing the thing. I’m definitely not bored of it, though, I get really excited when I see it “working,” and I’ve had several people say they really enjoyed it.

Just seeing the big scary publishing world out there makes me feel insignificant sometimes, even though I really like this game and other people do too …

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Ask and yee shall receive!

Actionartist wrote:
...Just seeing the big scary publishing world out there makes me feel insignificant sometimes, even though I really like this game and other people do too...

Publishing ... is well ... difficult. There is a lot of competition. The best advice that I can give you is: "Don't give up."

Figure out what you'd rather do: design games or publish them.

Obviously if you are "self-publishing" ... then you are probably looking at a KS... You have options as a first time designer. You can negotiate a contract with "The Game Crafter" and use "Bulk Order Fulfillment". What this means is that you will "upload" to TGC all your customers and TGC will handle the rest. It also means you can probably have a lower Funding Goal.

If I could make a game using TGC "products" (game assets), I would. You can have a super low goal of 100 units and have a funding goal of $5,000 or less! It's really fantastic for starting your journey of becoming a published designer.

I tried using TGC "Crowdfunding" but that was less than stellar. Your best bet is with the KS contract. And I don't advocate things unless it is something I would do myself.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
And another thing...

The reason that I am "advocating" TGC as a first time, is because their BOF really allows you to aim at 100 to 200 units produced. China MOQ is 500 units and more complicated in that you will need to handle FOB from China, shipping to fulfillment locations (one or more) and then handle the whole shipping and fulfillment yourself (with the help of the fulfillment locations)...

If to you, that seems like something you are ready and willing to do ... well then by all means go ahead.

But just on MOQs of 100 or 200 game units, TGC BOF KS contracts are a pretty good way to put out a game with very low expectations. Who knows, you may even do better and get more backers.

So with a GOAL of about $6,000 and a MOQ of 150 units, that's a unit price of $40 USD. Something around there should be a good start. Just to get you into thinking about HOW to price a KS and how TGC can help.

Cheers!

Actionartist
Actionartist's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/12/2017
questccg wrote:Publishing ...

questccg wrote:
Publishing ... is well ... difficult. There is a lot of competition. The best advice that I can give you is: "Don't give up."

Figure out what you'd rather do: design games or publish them.

I know publishing is tough. Most of what I hear is how I can’t get published. But that doesn’t sway me, because publishing is tough on purpose, so that good games (like mine :P) stand out and get sold.

I want people who have wanted a board game like this as much as I do to enjoy playing it. So if that means publishing, then definitely.

I’m using TGC to prototype some of my components, but they don’t supply everything I need, so I’m not looking to publish with them. Neither am I able to self-publish at ALL. Don’t have that kind of money.

So if this game needs to get out there, I’m confident it will be published. And if not, heck, my family and friends can still enjoy playing it!

lewpuls
lewpuls's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/04/2009
Only snobs and jaded gamers

Only snobs and jaded gamers care if your game has a unique concept. Smart people care about the game, not the concept. Further, very few concepts are actually unique, even if you don't know of how they've been used before.

So don't worry about it.

cignox1
Offline
Joined: 11/22/2016
What I can tell you is that

What I can tell you is that last week I've discovered the review of a game with so many similitudes with the one I'm currently designing that nobody would ever believe that I was not aware of it: It was cooperative, would play on a map of europe, would have "suspicious points" as a measure of player performances, would have events and items cards, and would take place in the recent past, during a war but without being a war game.

I don't think that every game should be unique: it should be fun to play, and similar games can be different enough to be a completely new experience, or please a different kind of player.

lewpuls
lewpuls's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/04/2009
Parallel development happens,

Parallel development happens, including to such well-known designers as Tom Jolly and Reiner Knizia. People who don't understand that may think your game is a close copy/clone. Nothing you can do about it.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut