Having gone over my initial idea of Doorways, I have made some improvements to the game mechanics and have settled on the majority of the rules of the game. First, I cut down the initial five worlds to four so that the game wouldn’t go for a ridiculous amount of time. I have also changed the movement mechanic from the initial dice roll to a card system where each player has five number cards from which they can choose their roll. Each time they choose their roll, they must discard and pick up from the roll card pile so there still remains an element of chance.
When it comes to quests, there are four different types which focus on certain actions. These are called the Collector (must collect a certain set of items), the Warrior (must defeat a number of monsters), the Rogue (must successfully sabotage another player) and the Jack of all Trades (must do a little bit of everything). At the beginning of each world, players pick up three quests and must discard two. This is because each character has certain strengths and weaknesses that allow them to have an easier time doing certain quests. In the final world, the player who first completes their quest receives a golden key which they can use on their next turn to transport to the end square – giving others the opportunity to sabotage and stop them from winning.
There are quite a few parts to the game at this point, but to make it easier for players to remember the different bits and pieces, the character profiles will include short-cuts which are essentially shortened version of the rules so they don’t have to check the rulebook every time they forget. Also, because of all the game mechanics within Doorways, the target audience will be for ages 12+ and any board game enthusiast who enjoys a fantasy-based plot line.
In my experience playing board games, actually trying the game first (whether at a convention or a friend’s house) and hearing about it through word of mouth is the best way to get people to purchase it. There have been a number of times where a few of my friends have bought the same game to show to their friends ans so on. Following this idea, sending out copies to places like The Nerd Cave – which have regular board game nights – can broaden your audience reach. You’ll initially lose a small amount having given out a number of copies for free, but the potential customers you have gained if they enjoy playing the board game can offset this initial loss. Also, making a Let’s Play video can help spread the word and is a free way to share your game with others.
To minimize the production cost of Doorways, I would make use of cards for collectable items, monsters, quests and event cards. Each game would consist of two die (one numerical and another with pictures of items which is rolled for loot when a player has defeated a monster), four tokens for the players and four character profiles which provides their strengths, weaknesses and super power as well as the game board itself.
Printing in bulk would allow the price of building each unit decrease, but the more you make the more you have to sell and this involves a bit of risk as you won’t know if consumers will bite. After that, the price of shipping comes into action which, again, is discounted in bulk but can definitely put a dent in your budget. As Doorways involves a physical board and some extra tidbits, the price would be higher compared to a regular card game. Also, the design in terms of aesthetics can make a huge impact on the consumers thoughts on the game – I know that I am always impressed by the beautiful artwork that I see in some board games (Takenoko and Splendor have wonderful attention to detail). This means that I have to allow for design costs whether it follows a royalty system or is a one-off payment.
A potential option that will help with the initial costs and release of the game is to use a site such as Kickstarter to help fund the project. However, there is the potential that my game wouldn’t be funded and some of the money earned would be taken by Kickstarter themselves in the end either way. With all things considered, it is important to note that with board games, you have to spend money to make money and it is better to overestimate the cost of creating the game then getting to the point where you have a brilliant game, just no money to share it with the world.