I created an extremely basic prototype of Punters Paradise and engaged in the game with three roommates. The game flow was surprisingly fluent throughout, while a few glaring issues surfaced that required fine-tuning.
First tests of the game ended prematurely as one player took advantage of a fault and considerable luck to win the game. There was no maximum bet on first play and each player began with $300 in a bid to reach $500. The player won a number of early races and easily reached the winning total.
As per most issues, this issue had a simple resolution. The starting amount was reduced from $300 to $100, while the maximum bet was limited to $100 per race.
Similar to the prior issue, the winner’s prerace bet was multiplied by two. This made for significantly slow game pace, as when combined with the altered maximum bet of $100, it made it difficult to progress towards the $500 target.
The multiplier for the winner became x4 instead of x2 to speed up gameplay.
The most detrimental issue of the initial game was the magnitude to which Mystery cards impacted the outcome. The balance between cards was off, with too many ‘multiplier cards’ and not enough ‘regular win’ cards. This had a profound impact on the risk v reward mechanic of the game as it became more about luck than the choice to ‘Play safe or go for glory?’
Another simple resolution was available for the issue, with a far greater amount of ‘regular win’ cards added to the pack to create a balance in the deck.
Audience, market, cost and product
Punters Paradise targets ages 10+ and can be played between family and friends with no concerning segments of the population being excluded.
- Product size: 20” x 20”
- Four panel – quarter fold
- Square box
- 3D printed horse tokens for cost efficiency
In assessing similar makes of games within the market such as Camel Up and Long Shot, while taking into account production and marketing costs, Punters Paradise would be sold for approximately $70-80 per unit. This is subject to a decrease pending confirmed overall costs.
Marketing and media
The racing industry would be targeted for marketing efforts. This includes platforms such as TAB and Sky Racing via television, print and digital advertisement.
Gaming networks such as BoardGameGeek would be approached for reviews in order to gain both feedback and far more cost efficient marketing opportunities.
Punters Paradise would also have a website to ensure interested parties had a platform to access information regarding the game.
Furthermore, social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook would be used as a cost free method of advertising. While expectations for these platforms would be minimal, the potential to reach an online audience for free is too opportune to ignore.
Retailers and distribution
Distributors: 55-60% off retail price + free shipping to warehouse.
Retailers: 40% off retail price to cover expenses.
Fullerton, T, 2004, ‘Game Design Workshop,’ Elsevier, academic book. https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=61LbUE2K3zoC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=board+game+design&ots=cdN4sSN1BJ&sig=GnwHN9OiyYG8mEN5Ser-FXeBwhI#v=onepage&q=board%20game%20design&f=false
Hunicke, LeBlanc, Zubek, 2004, ‘A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research,’ academic book. http://www.aaai.org/Papers/Workshops/2004/WS-04-04/WS04-04-001.pdf
Print Ninja, ‘Size of Boards,’ online, viewed 20/05/17. http://www.printninja.com/printing-resource-center/printing-options/custom-game-printing/game-boards/size
BoardGameGeek, ‘Board Game Design’, forum, viewed 20/05/17. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/322382/game-design-self-publishing-resource-game-designer