Have you ever wanted to make a game?
Update (23 December 2021): This week I released a new blog series on The City of Games website called Publisher Lessons and while this article was not written to be one of those lessons, I believe it gives an interesting insight to my experiences of being a publisher that can be learned from and wanted to include it.
Making a game is hard work, it’s like a roller coaster of emotions and sometimes you are going to want to give up. Yet other times you are going to have highs, like when you see the first group of players laughing and having fun all because of something you made.
The last 2 years of my life have been incredible and I wanted to share some of my progress, and to remind you that all that work will be worth it.
For me it all started on an aeroplane, a single moment in time where I decided the thoughts in my head would be better on paper. I started writing notes and then purchased some basic supplies as soon as I got home.
After playing the game many times with Sara (my partner) I took the plunge and asked others to try the game. The first group played in August 2015 and since then there have been countless people playing the game, the final photo is from last weekend (March 2017).
There have been countless iterations but it all started with my simple drawings (I’m still proud of my horse) and slowly became something beautiful.
Words became art and dreams became a reality.
The important thing to remember when you’re struggling is iteration is normal, you’ll rip things up and try over and over, these are just some of the countless variations of character sheets I created.
This all started with a man and a woman sitting on a bed, in a room in a shared house, playing with pieces of paper. We had little space but we found a way to make it happen.
Over the last 2 years we’ve both changed jobs, moved to our own place and never lost sight of the goal, even when things got tough. There were times we couldn’t focus as much as we would like but over time we got there.
Now the game is finished and both Sara and I are amazed by where we are, yet there is still more to do.
In 2 weeks’ time we launch our Kickstarter and hope we will be able to take this prototype and get it manufactured into a game that everyone can play.
Wherever you are with your project, whatever you want to achieve, never give up, always keep the goal in mind and one day your dreams will become reality too.
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!