Rebooting Dystopia, re-mixing Fallout and associated costs with creating my game

So, I have decided to try and make my card game more closely related to Fallout, and make a sort of ‘remix’, and taking elements from Fallout and sort of making them my own. This came about due to the realisation that I had not really given too much thought to what the art style or theme of my game is.Perhaps I would explore the robots and Super Mutants of the Fallout universe and use them to inspire my own ‘races’.

FO3_super_mutant
A Super Mutant from Fallout 3, a human who has been subjected to a special virus. (http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Super_mutant)

 

Protectron
A type of robot, referred to as a Protectron, that fires lasers. (http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Protectron)

I also figured out that I want to incorporate more of the themes of radioactive meltdown and survival into my game, be it through cards that give army members radioactive poisoning or irritated food, I am not totally sure yet.

I play tested my game that I had written about previously (Dystopia) and figured out what does work and what does not. Since the game has to have at least two players, I had a friend play with me and the general consensus was that the game needed ‘more’. ‘More’ of what we are still not exactly sure, but the current game mechanics do not give the players many options as to what they can do during their turn, so I will need to explore more mechanics that can fix this. Currently, the idea is that players pick up a card per turn and can play soldiers on the battlefield or discard them, and there are action (or ‘ration’ cards involved, powering up battle points). We discovered that there seems to really be no motivation to place soldiers on the battlefield, so perhaps the aim of the game needs to be changed. Perhaps controlling or stealing locations with your army is an idea, and being able to place alike allies together to strengthen your battle points is something worth looking into too! My play tester did ask the question “Are you opposed to having a board, to expand the game play?” No, I am not, and will use one if deemed necessary. We did plot out some loose ideas about what could work, but I would need to test these out too. We both agreed that the base mechanic of a battle based card game is sound, so I will be keeping this idea. More about this when I have implemented the changes.

Now to the research for the week:

In the creation of a game of any sort, there are several factors that come into play. Sure, you have a great idea for a game. So, get creating and selling…right? Err…no. One has to consider how the game will be created, marketed, distributed and who will buy your game. It is not enough to simply have a great idea.

There is cost involved with manufacturing, sourcing artwork and marketing any game!

  • Drive Thru Cards is a site that we were told about in class, that would be ideal for my situation, because it allows you to print on demand and order only small amounts of decks, for play testing purposes or if you are not sure if your cards will sell. The cost really depends on how many cards you have in a deck, how many decks you are ordering as well as the ‘grade’ of card you want. The service charges on a per card basis, with an extra per deck fee. The site is American, so costs will be in American Dollars and your shipment could take a little while to get here. https://onebookshelfpublisherservice.zendesk.com/entries/94088648-Printed-Card-Formats-Costs
  • PrintNinja is another online service that is basically the same idea as DriveThruCardshttp://www.printninja.com/printing-products/card-game-printing

 

  • http://beach.silcom.com/~tomjolly/design.htm. I also found this page from someone who had designed and created his own game. They answer the question of ‘how do I make and get my game published?’. He talks about taking a well-tested prototype to game conventions and talking to game manufacturers, or even emailing a manufacturer a professional query letter. He also talks about Non-Disclosure Agreements (so playtesters and so on do not steal your game), as well as the newer way of getting a game made, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. He also provided a list of board and card game publishers. https://www.boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgamepublisher

 

  • I also read an article outlining how more and more creators are turning to Kickstarter. It had an interview with a card game creator who had successfully had a project backed and now sells his game. He mentions that ‘knowing your audience’ is important and said that he posted on card game and battle card game forums with his idea, asking for feedback, to see what people who enjoy games like his would want in a game. http://www.crowdcrux.com/card-games-thrive-on-kickstarter/

 

  • I went on the search for card creating tools or people who would create art for you, and many sites seem to go for the model of providing temples, so you can make cards for yourself.
  1. http://www.godeckyourself.com/home.seam This site is free
  2. http://www.nand.it/nandeck/ This site is free
  3. http://www.ccgmaker.com/ This resource is free
  4. http://manifestationccs.com/ Provides card temples, but you have to pay a fee.

 

  • http://ask.metafilter.com/174685/Hiring-custom-artist-for-a-card-game This website has a forum where someone asks where they can source an artist for a card game. They are told that many people take the route of searching through Deviantart and offering artists they like a flat rate per card design, so it can get very expensive, and professional artists would cost even more! Some concerns with art for card games is the consistency of the style of the cards, as well as how good the art will look when on a little card. Also, you would have to consider the design for things like posters and the box art. When looking for the answer to the question of designing art, I considered that I could have a try at doing the art myself, but I am not sure how high the quality would be!

 

  • http://beach.silcom.com/~tomjolly/design2.htm This page has a list of artists and pages you can try to get to make your game art. Costs associated with this are not clear cut. It seems to be on a ‘per card’ basis.
  • During my research, I stumbled upon a forum where someone was asking how to protect their creation and seek copyright. This is something I hadn’t really considered when creating my game. As it turns out, this is a difficult process and copyright can be full of holes, especially for small time games and creators. http://ask.metafilter.com/132021/How-do-I-protect-a-card-game-invention
  • The marketing of a game is another factor. I found this topic a frustrating one because in my search there did not seem to be a clear cut answer to this. The general ideas that were ‘kicked around’ was that you either get a store to sell your game, you create posters and promo material and get them to deal with the problem, or you use Kickstarter, get the idea backed and then you have a little audience there already. Also posting on board and card game forums spreading the word about your game seems to be the way to go too. DriveThruCards as well as being a card game manufacturer, have an online store, where they will sell your cards.

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Rebooting Dystopia, re-mixing Fallout and associated costs with creating my game

  1. I had no idea that there were so many factors and resources to take into consideration when designing a card game. Ya learn something new everyday. Kickstarter sounds like a great idea, getting funding AND exposure at the same time- it’s as if people pay you to hear about the game which is a win-win.
    I love the possibility of the Fallout aesthetic and using Super Mutants and Robots. An atompunk look could really make it pop.
    Are you familiar with the Walking Dead board game? There are heaps of elements to that too- rations, allies, weapons and events. There’s also the battle round but after a while it feels a little repetitive.
    The idea of taking and controlling locations seems like it could work really well, adding an end goal could make the game even more interesting. Perhaps the armies could be racing (or trying to eliminate all threats) towards one location, a location with a lifetime of supplies or an oasis where people safe from nuclear fallout.

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  2. If you are looking for some designs for your game you can try https://www.hitrecord.org/. It’s an open community where everyone can post their design and thoughts and maybe turned into a project. It’s free and you are allowed to download the picture (or so the video tells me). You can also post your story and if people like it they might help design it. I myself am not too sure how the whole system works but it may help! Also the mechanics of your game does sound a bit like Magic: The Gathering. Have you tried looking at that and see what aspects you can use to adopt it to your game? If its stealing locations which does make it more interesting try looking at Small World board game. It might help and give you some ideas on who it can play out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A card game based off a distopia sounds cool. It’s something that I think hasn’t been done before and just another game if your after more examples one you could look at would be Bioshock, you play as a character that ends up not being who we expected and Rapture the setting for the original two games is a complete distopia, it’s run down, you have water flooding entire rooms, splicers that hunt little girls to get a substance called ADAM which is caused by a sea slug only found on the deep ocean floors.

    Looking at some screenshots of games such as Fallout, Bioshock and those levels might give you an idea for the artwork that goes on the back of each card.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It might be worthwhile looking in to games like RISK to invoke more of a need to have soldiers on the field. However there is probably already fallout version of the Risk game, using your current strategy of just picking and choosing game mechanics viable in your game may be of some help. other than that I love the concept, great job bud 🙂

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  5. For some reason the idea of this game sort of reminds me the board game mansion of madness. I really appreciate that fact that you take in the development cost etc into account, and also the card creating tool would definitely be handy for most of our peers, so thanks for sharing. Overall I really like the idea of your game, but I can sort of see that might lead to some form of trading card games, so more tactics will be able to add on into the game.

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  6. Thanks for the shout out! Yes, knowing your audience is HUGE is you want to launch a good Kickstarter or crowdfunding campaign. For games, there is a healthy marketplace on Kickstarter of strangers who will back projects, but there still needs to be a good pre-launch effort with an emphasis on building that email list and teasing the game.

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