Friday, January 25, 2008

What does development means?

Sometimes I am asked how the ideas for a boardgame comes in my mind.
My answer is that the idea is not the most important thing in order to design a boardgame.
The most difficult and time consuming activity to goal a good boardgame is the playtesting phase.

It requires a lot of time and tuning of the initial "idea".
I call this phase the development of the idea.
This term is sometimes used for person who is working inside a publisher company and who is responsable of the final release of the game. Probably the most known developer is Stefan Bruek from Alea. I think the german term is "Redaktion".

There are 2 different meaning for development:
- the development of the playing of the game, that is the development of the idea, the mechanism, the theme;
- the phisic development of the boardgame in order to have a published product, that means the decision on the artwork, on the components, on the package, on the rules.

Stefan Bruek job is doing both activities: he first evalute the prototypes, then try to develop with the author the mechanics, the flow of the game. Then when the game concept is ok, he manages the production aspect.

When I design a game for Mind the Move, I did the same job (helped by my wife Barbara) with the difference that I am the author too!

As several players already have noticed my games are a good mix of mechanism already seen in other games. So I can answer to the initial question "where comes ideas comes in mind?" with a more precise answers: "playing other games!".

But after that the development phase starts... And that's the hardest part of this nice hobby!


Mike said...

Do you feel that as the designer you can also be the developer?

Andrea C. said...

Hi Emanuele... so true! "Playing (many) other games"! I totally agree :)

Nice blog btw.

Coming to mike question, I don't know you, Emanuele, but myself sometimes believe it's better if designer and developer are two different individuals, just to share more views on the project.