National Game Design Month

I am fairly certain that most of you have heard about NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, by now. If not, go Google it, then come back here so you’ll have some context for what I’m about to blather on about.

For those that aren’t dedicated writers (like me, this blog has 15 posts in over 2 years… yeah) but still like the idea of the challenge of completing something in 1 month time there is now NaGaDeMon or National Game Design Month.

While game design has never been a huge interest for me personally, it is something I’ve been doing a lot more reading and researching for lately, as J eventually wants to become part of the gaming industry and I like being a helpful resource. So when I saw the blog post by Nathan Russel (linked above) describing NaGaDeMon, my first thought was “I should totally get J to do this, or we could do this together!”

Funny thing is, I’m way more excited about the idea than he is. This might be due to the fact that as a housewife with no children my free time is somewhat legendary and he’s currently in school full time. So I’m running with it.

I knew that I wanted to make a board or card game for sure. I know next to nothing about programming, so a video game was out. Flash animation is foreign to me as well currently, so no games there either. While I really LOVE RPGs, a month wouldn’t be enough time for me to feel OK about running a game with actual people.

At first I wanted to make a game that requires players to cooperate rather than compete with each other to win. Much like Arkham Horror, Last Night on Earth, or the Battlestar Galactica game. (Ok, BSG has some competition due to the Cylons, but still it requires a lot of team work to win.) But I couldn’t think of a setting/story to put into it to make the required team work make sense. While out for dinner last week I asked J what sort of geeky topic hasn’t been included in a game recently. I rambled on how ninjas, Cthulhu, zombies, pirates, and vampires all have games, and what else am I familiar enough with that I can make a game for? He looked up at me and said one word.


“Yes!” I rather loudly exclaimed, and started bouncing in my chair with potential ideas for this piece of Brony madness.

Progress wise I don’t feel like I have too much accomplished, but it is only 1 week into November, so I don’t feel too bad. My Little Brony: Fandom Is Magic (working title) is a classic styled board game. Gameplay will consist of rolling a six sided die, moving forward that number of squares and then based on the color square you landed on, drawing a card to either answer a question or perform an activity to determine if you get to stay put or move back 1 to 2 spaces.

The board will be set up with a colorful track of spaces leading you through Equestria from Ponyville to Canterlot. There are six different card categories, one for each of the Mane 6 ponies. When you land on your color another player will read your card. If you attempt the card and get it wrong, move back 1 space, but if you refuse (like if it is a potentially embarrassing activity card and you just don’t want to try) move back 2 spaces. First player to make it to Canterlot wins.

The card content is going to be the hardest task for the game. Actual construction of the board and pieces will be less of a challenge, but that is because I really like being crafty. But making enough cards to get through the game is going to be tedious, very very tedious. I might have to change how many categories there are, just to make things easier, but then it won’t have the nice symmetry with the Pony content like the 6 does. I know Twilight Sparkle’s cards will be all trivia. Rarity’s cards I’d like to be artistic challenges drawing, singing and the like. Rainbow Dash’s cards will be speed and competitive challenges. Applejack’s cards will be more physical challenges, but silly stuff like balancing on one foot, holding your breath or patting your head while rubbing your belly. Pinkie Pie’s cards will be all over the place, just like Pinkie Pie! There will even be some Brony specific trivia in there, since Pinkie likes to break the 4th wall. I’m having trouble with Fluttershy though. I was thinking more trivia, but flora and fauna focused.

That is currently where I stand with NaGaDeMon. Once I start game construction I’ll be sure to post photos to continue to share my progress.


3 thoughts on “National Game Design Month

  1. Pinkie Pie cards should have say something about Cupcakes….>_>

    That or make it a negative spot on the board. “CUPCAKES!” in blood red lettering on black… mwahahahhaa


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