With a couple of games moving through the pipeline, I took a detour with a brand new idea that came to me in a dream! This is a family-friendly game that I think will work well for ages 8 and up, but won't bore adults. The working title is “Monster Garden,” and I’ve gotten it whipped into pretty playable shape in about two weeks by skipping physical prototyping and taking all the assets straight to Tabletop Simulator. You play a fantasy character (a Princess, Hero, Wizard or Ogre) trying to collect sets of monster plants for their magical garden. Characters ride a Merry-Go-Round from activity to activity in order to collect seeds, grow seeds into monster plants, draw Magic cards, and trade plants with other players. One of the fun hooks is that in the physical board game, you’ll feed seed cards into a machine, turn the crank, and out will come a monster plant! I’m working with my dad, a retired engineer, to help me design the machine, which I’ll 3D print at home for prototyping. I was thrilled to find art in a stock image library to represent my monster plants, at least for the prototype. I hope everyone likes the theme!
I've now created a real life tabletop version of this game and the video above to enter into Board Game Design Lab's "Design Challenge 2020" contest! Playtests with actual human kids (and grownups, too) have led me to believe I'm onto something here. Stay tuned for more developments as we continue to work on the machine portion of the game, and also continue to PLAYTEST, PLAYTEST, PLAYTEST!