I try to design new board games and I have had varying degrees of success. I started this game design journey over 15 years ago by taking a game workshop at Gen Con. Lately, I have many unfinished board game designs. I started a lot of designs in 2020, but I couldn’t get to a completed design. I keep getting stuck. I have been questioning my followthrough and whether or not I have the right stuff to get something out there that people will love playing. I think a lot of other board game designers took advantage of the crazy year and furthered this hobby along with innovative ideas. I, on the other hand, have been buying more dice.
In my latest board game design, I want to use dice as both a way to resolve combat and to enhance abilities on a player card. The random dice I have sitting around my desk were quite large and helped me get my idea across.
I wanted to fit more dice on the player card, so I started looking for smaller dice. This lead to a few hours of research one late night and I found some options on The Game Crafter. I bought 8mm dice in different colors… and some Arkham Horror-inspired dice… and a t-shirt.
I placed my order and it only took a few days to get my bounty. What I am concerned about is that I didn’t move the design forward at all while the order was in process. Yikes. I wasted a lot of time thinking about some new dice, visiting a bunch of sites, and finding a vendor. I wasn’t game designing. I might in fact enjoy collecting dice more than designing games. And, in some cases, I might enjoy collecting dice more than playing some of the games that I have.
The new dice arrived. 8mm is really small – probably too small for practical purposes. They don’t feel like “real” dice in terms of size and weight, but they are functional. I played around with them for a few hours, and eventually, I came back to my game design work that prompted my purchase.
So, how small are 8mm dice? I took some dice out of my component bins and found a few that represented different sizes. 16mm is considered the standard size. You are probably the most familiar with the 16mm size.
I can’t vouch for my board game design process. If I had better results, I would be advocating for everyone to take a break and look around for dice or some specialized component. Board game design is hard and it does require some discipline. You (I) probably have everything you (I) need to prototype a new game sitting around you (me). Hours are hard to come by in my schedule and I would have been better served to just move forward without the little dice. I am now trying to salvage this faux pas by sharing my experience with you. Maybe one day I will create a hit board game and then I can claim that my lack of disciple was the key to success.
How do you stay disciplined?