Creating special bonds
I am a big fan of long-term engagement and love coming up with ways to create special bonds with my community members.
In 2018 I wrote a guide on how to design your own scenario for The City of Kings, it came with a template kit and a lot of details to enable players to make more content.
It was a great success, and some wonderful scenarios were shared with me over the years. Each of which seemed to have a personal meaning to the designer and created a bond with the game. Some of the scenarios were even shared publicly which provided more ways of playing the game for other players and offered the designer a taste of game design as they received feedback and could refine their ideas.
If your game has some sort of scenario system, I highly recommend trying to create some simple step-by-step instructions for your players to be able to make their own.
Competitive games without scenarios are a little trickier so for The Isle of Cats I had to explore the ways people were connecting with the game. The most common connection was through sharing photos of their pets in the special box lid.
While I can’t just take any photo someone posts on the internet, I could create a form that allowed people to give me permission to use their images. I created a permanent gallery on this website to store the submissions and it gets regular updates.
This doesn’t provide extra game content, but it does provide a connection for the individual and gives other visitors something wonderful to browse (you can see the submissions here).
It’s always worth exploring options and seeing how you can create fun things for your community that help form special bonds.
Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!