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How many designs at once?

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Juzek's picture
Joined: 06/19/2017

How many designs do you have going on at once?
What percentage of them do you think will become finished games?

How do you keep them?

Right now I have about 3 designs I would call active, and I have a literal toolbox that has pieces, and each prototype in a plastic baggie. I have another two or three that I want to work on.

Keep in mind that they are all super tiny games, so it's easy to keep track of them.

What about you?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
I have 2 primary games that I am currently focused on.

So my current priorities are:

1> TradeWorlds: Yes this game is currently waiting for a Manufacturer to be chosen and there are some details that need finalizing before the end of production. Those loose ends are now my concern since Mike passed away last December (2019).

2> Crystal Heroes: This game is in the Art-phase, I am waiting to finalize the "alpha" prototype which will go to a couple reviewers and have them share their impressions of the game.

Then I have a few designs that are in advanced stages of design like:

A> SpellMasters: Need to produce a more "final" prototype. The cards need to be designed. No rulebook as of yet. Notes and a couple prototypes to inspire me in the right direction.

B> Quest Adventure Cards(tm) — Second Edition: A dream project which is ATM not possible due to the nature of the game (CCG). The game design is in an advanced stage but is not final. Aside from all the cards that need to be designed, there are a couple mechanical issues to be ironed out.

C> Monster Keep: This game is currently being re-designed. It is in a revision between iterations that is "unstable". Lots of re-work needs to be done before this design is able to be made into a WORKING prototype.

Lastly I have a few designs here-and-there that I am not working on and are shelved ATM. How many? Maybe a couple more... That's my repertoire of games. I don't have hundreds of ideas ... maybe a half dozen or so...

Can't imagine having 100s of ideas. I already have enough difficulties with the ones that I have. It takes a lot of effort to resolve an IDEA into something that is ORIGINAL and playable. And of course, each game I design and develop must be DIFFERENT from the other (other mechanics, different aspects, original flavor, etc.) No two games will seem or feel alike. Another important criteria for each of my designs.

Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009
Too many and I just can't

Too many and I just can't stop.

Maybe around 3 active ones since i started with board games again.

And then about a dozen shelved ones.

Sometimes it happens that a old design is rediscovered and then work on it continues.

Joined: 09/10/2020
That's why I'm here

This is literally why I joined this community. I have 5 games on the go

1 playable prototype in early testing (small tile game fits in a plastic sandwich bag), which I now need to take to the next stages. This is my first game that I feel has a good mix of theme, mechanics, and an interested market. Enough for me to want to see if I can get it to publication.

1 unplayable imbalanced prototype (Large tile game, fits in 200 poker chip case) It has large flaws so it may never be a game, but it was my first one with a working(ish) ruleset so it's near to my heart. It'll remain shelved until I figure out how to fix the rules.

3 in ideation and what I call paper prototyping, which is where I doodle game states and rules on grid paper when I should be paying attention to something else (which is many things, since I'm doing an unrelated master's degree). One has a board, the other has a robust theme and story, but they aren't games yet. I guess we'll see if I can get one published first, and worry about these three in the future.

The working prototyped one sits in a beautiful hand-sewn cloth bag on my coffee table, or travels with me, so that when someone asks about it, I can con them into test playing it.

I'm the type that procrastinates projects with bigger projects, like procrastinating education with design, or one game with another. I consider it my workflow and I somehow manage to get everything done eventually. It's good to see that I'm not alone.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Just 1

With an over used title: Projectile.

I have a card variant. That doesn't work.
A text based video game. That is long gone.
A hobby variant. That takes hours to complete just a few rounds.
An unfinished "public"(not) version. That still contains to much detail.

But I have no time to work on it anymore.

Sometimes, I had some idea's. But to flesh them out... no, I don't have the time.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
30 minutes a day is all it takes...

X3M wrote:
...Sometimes, I had some idea's. But to flesh them out... no, I don't have the time.

Aww... that sounds really "unfortunate". Maybe you can make a sort of schedule ... That like 30 minutes before bed, you are going to take notes down in a notebook and revise them. And do that each day (okay maybe take the weekends off...) That's like 2.5 hours a week but FOCUSED effort. It has been my experience that sometimes doing some "reading" about what I am working on "relaxes" me (sometimes it even puts me to sleep -- LOL).

This way you get to do some "designing", "reading" and "relaxation" ... And will open your mind to some creative juices that may (or may not) occur during REM (or deep sleep). It's about focusing the mind on something important to you, but something you cannot afford to spend too much time thinking about.

Like I said, it works for me... I don't have 100s of game ideas only about a 1/2 dozen or so. I don't do it every night. But I do spend more time than 30 minutes per day on Game Design. More like 3 to 4 hours a day... And same goes for the weekends. COVID-19 hasn't stopped me... It's pretty compatible with my previous schedule. I spend a lot of time online... I'd much rather spend time discussing matters with like-minded people than try to go to bars (to drink and have a "good time").

Bars are closed now because of COVID-19... So it doesn't much matter. My lifestyle is very relaxed. I've worked very hard in my younger years. Sometimes doing 60+ hour weeks...

Anyhow ... Where I was going with this ... is that it MAY help you think about your challenges in "Projectile" or think about ASPECTS of the game you can refine, refactor or remove. That's the thing about a design: sometimes it's got TOO MUCH going for it.

Cheer and I hope you do find some time to explore your "creative" side.

Joined: 02/11/2015
I have a lot

So I have:
1 PnP/Playtesting
-Forgotten Empires - It's a crappy little memory/bluffing game. It actually came about as a personal challenge to do something minimalist from a design challenge on this site (18 cards only) a couple years back. I failed at keeping it 18 cards, but it was a good challenge for me to learn the art of cutting stuff rather than adding.

3 Prototypes (currently in play-test and/or edits)
-Haunt - So this one still needs a little work, but basically my wife and I tried to design a "horror movie tropes" game. Our ideas diverged a little bit, and I came up with a 4 to 5 player card game where the players are stereotype high school kids who get sucked into the horror movies that they were marathoning one night. It's a deck of 60 cards that get dealt out evenly among all players. Each player gets a secret like and hate card. Scoring depends on if you get yourself for either (or both) your own like or hate card. Then in turn order, players build a scene that involves multiple elements. Once each of the elements of the scene are played, then that dictates if and who takes damage. Generally you'll want to keep yourself and your like in good health and get the person you dislike killed.
-Channel - This is the one I am most excited for, because this one is the one that caught the eye of other players. Basically, there are two decks. One deck is the Rune deck that players use to Channel their attacks. The other is the Void deck where the monsters come from. I still have a lot of work to get the balance right for the first void deck. I have plans for several different void decks (of varying complexity, difficulty and size). It's a cooperative game with simultaneous play. I plan to add a minor competitive element using victory points. I really need to find more play testers though.
-Nut Job - A simple collecting game for kids. It's on a hex grid, so it makes the movement a little more complex. I need to shrink the board a bit and make it more color-blind friendly, but it has been through a couple of play tests. It got a lot of love from moms who thought the prototype pieces and board were super cute.

I keep most of the components in my backpack in bags and a "bead" storage container (I got from Hobby Lobby).

I have several other games in various stages of development (about 20). I wish it was less expensive to get custom dice of various polyhedral. I also have some component ideas I would like to see made to make some of my games easier to create.

I also have two video game designs that I would like to see made, but don't have the skills to do it myself and can't afford development, yet.

Joined: 07/23/2010
Active designs

I currently have 11 active designs. 9 of them are games that are ready to pitch to publishers or very close. (All the conventions disappearing really set me back, I expected to pitch and sign at least 3 this year)

2 of these games are co-designs so I'm not doing all the work.

I also have two signed games coming out next year that I'm still doing some development on.

(And I have about a dozen games in my abandoned projects folder and and a few in my future projects folder)

I Will Never Gr...
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming's picture
Joined: 04/23/2015
As I've just published (PoD) a couple of my recent games ..

I'm down to just 6 active (6 published (3 retail, 3 PoD), 1 finished awaiting artwork and 1 seeking funding for publication).

And a few other concepts in very rough stages but not really 'active' as such.

That, in addition to doing a ton of 3D modelling and 3D printing for my webstore (and barely keeping up with the demand for that) is keeping me pretty busy as I seek a new day job..

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Too much, and that is

Too much, and that is actually a problem. I have more than 100 shelved projects.

I recommend if possible working on at most 2 or 3 projects at different stage. So that when you switch you would be able to do different tasks.

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