You never really know when it’s going to strike you.
We are working on a number of titles here at Randover Games, and each one is unique in its own way. From play mechanics, to theme, to intended audience, the only real constant is that we enjoy the ideas on some level. This same diversity is also found in where the original spark for any particular game originated from; like snowflakes, no two are the same.
The game we’ve been working on the longest, Proelium, slowly formed over many months, with it’s current incarnation having little in resemblance to it’s original concept. The one thing that has remained constant is the inspiration that started it all: we wanted to make a game where players had to dismantle a massive target, one piece at a time.
We love the Monster Hunter video game series, and you can see echos of this throughout Proelium. When we started playing this game back on the Playstation 2 we were instantly engaged in the experience of fighting against a massive monster that was practically impossible to defeat on your own. Teamwork and perseverance was key to success and it struck a cord with us.
It is telling that, while Proelium morphed and grew from one design to another, the core concept, that initial inspiration, kept us locked tight on the objective at hand. It gave us focused parameters to keep our wilder ideas in check while supplying a solid core to let the good ones flourish.
Other games, such as the card game we are currently calling Cast & Capture, were inspired not by things from our adult lives, but rather our childhoods. The games we played with our families an friends nearly 30 years ago still influence what we enjoy to this day. When we look back on those experiences, it is easy to find nostalgic roads to travel to new ideas.
While still undergoing a delicate and strenuous refinement, the current version of C&C is remarkably similar to the very first ideas. While some of this is due to the relative simplicity of the game, compared to a game like Proelium, a large portions is also due to concept’s genesis. When you have decades worth of foundation to build on, it is fairly easy to stay on target.
Finally, some inspiration strikes you out of the blue, with seemingly no rhyme or reason. This is exactly what happened to us earlier today. While this is not the first time something like this has happened during our time working on games, it never fails to be just as exciting and exhilarating.
During a mundane shopping trip, I challenged a few of us to come up with a new idea, off the cuff, with no preparation. Within an hour, we had the framework for a simple, but interesting party game that we thought sounded pretty fun. Within two hours, we had a rule set verbally lined out. And just about an hour ago, we had a full 54 rough draft card set prepared in Photoshop for a quick print tomorrow, a fun rule set, and a lot of anticipation.
Will the game be any good? Will anyone ever see it besides us? Will this end up being an entire day of wasted effort? I can safely say that I have no idea. All I know is inspiration hit us like a ton of bricks, and the smile on our faces make it all worth it.