After putting further thought into my game concept I have begun to flesh out specific game mechanics. My previous post detailed the layout of the board, the card types, and the win condition. In this post I delve into the individual elements of a turn, show some examples of potential cards, and the business side of creating a Besieged.
At the beginning of the game, each player draws ten cards and places them either behind the castle walls as defenders, or outside on the battlefield as attackers. From there players take it in turns drawing one reinforcement card and spending ten action points moving units, building, activating abilities, or in the event of a battle, attacking the opposition.
The cost of production, as well as the cost required for consumers to get the full experience, is a make or break aspect of Besieged’s success. As it is not just a board game, but also a trading card game, it is not realistic for one purchase to include every facet of the game. That would greatly limit the potential for card variety and therefore strategic variability.
Contrarily, approaching Besieged as a TCG in the vein of games like Magic: The Gathering and Yu Gi Oh will require considerably more work and a great deal of commitment from the audience. After much thought I decided that the solution to this would be to offer themed decks as expansions to the game. The barebones purchase will include two basic starter decks, the playmat, a dice (for some abilities), and a coin (for some abilities). Beyond this there will be 5 or 6 themed expansion decks which can be used out of the box or mixed with cards from other decks for more personalised strategies and approaches. Therefore the cost of production is not astronomical and is entirely achievable considering the lack of expensive materials. The most problematic aspect of production is creating the artwork for each individual card and the mat itself.
Distribution of the game and the expansions is very feasible. Trading cards are designed to be mass produced, and the original product is not cumbersome or complicated. Australia is lucky enough to have some specialist stores dedicated to supporting board and card games and the community involved with them. The priority means of distribution would be through Good Games.
As a connoisseur of trading card games–a connoisseur who has spent a scary amount of money on small paper rectangles–I know that for me the key to successfully selling a TCG is by firstly, creating an intriguing game with unique thought-provoking mechanics, and secondly by having an art style that awes and stimulates imagination. The most important way to market Besieged is by catching the eye of the audience with the concept art.
Another way to market my product in a realistic plausible way is by word of mouth. Especially via people with influence over the board and card gaming community, like the staff at game retailers who come into contact with many potential consumers.
Finally, I decided that my target audience would be as broad as possible. The game will be suitable for all ages as most fantasy trading card games are. This will allow the community of players to grow as large as possible for any individuals who want to pick up and play. As the game has such a heavy emphasis on customising your own winning strategy, there will hopefully be very few barriers for young players. This decision will definitely play a part in the complexity of the game when it is completely fleshed out.