After playing about with editing an existing board game, with my take on Monopoly, and then designing a Scotland map for my extension to Ticket to Ride, I turned my creativity to something entirely new, and decided to build my own board game. You know, this pandemic sometimes gives us silly ideas…
I went with a wedding theme (because there doesn’t seem to be any of those) and over the course of a few weeks I fleshed out the concept, drew out a few trial runs, and spent more time in the crafting section of shops than I would like to admit. In fact, when I went to buy coloured paper the proprietor asked if it was just for my kids to play about with… I decided it was best for all concerned if I just said yes.
Anyway, it’s called Get Me to the Church, and it’s a (fairly simple) affair where the object of the game is to, well… get to the church. We tried it out for the first time this afternoon, and – with the exception of a few teething issues that should be easily ironed out with another draft – I think it went down quite well.
I was hoping to get back into my writing in August, but it seems that I’ll be polishing up this game first, and then trying to find someone who may be interested in taking it further…
Anyone know Hasbro’s number?
So, a couple of days ago, my email to the producers of Ticket to Ride resulted in a response, asking me to send along a link so that they can add details to their fan page.
I checked it out, and it seems there are many other players who have had similar ideas – although (crucially) there are no maps there for Scotland, and very few of the ones listed are available in a physical form. As good as a lot of them seem to be, most of them appear to have been built on a laptop.
Well my iteration is certainly physical. At 33 inches by 47 inches, the game board is probably a little too big to be considered mobile, but secured and backed by some lengths of 2×4 it is very stable and will easily stand in the corner of a room or garage when not in use. And because it has been built on foam card, it is extremely light as well, so there is that.
I used a lot of primary school effects such as glitter, colouring pencils, and gold stars (the kind your teacher used to stick on the wall if you were good, or – in my case – used to scratch off if you had been naughty). I even bought a couple of sets of Scottish playing cards so that I could use the design as the backing for the train colours that I required… it’s all about the little details.
The game has been played half a dozen times, and while everyone else in the house has claimed victory at least once, I have yet to win a game, so that is a bit annoying. Of course, none of this will make any sense to you if you have never played the game, but thanks for indulging me.
So my new localised (albeit, crudely put together) version of Monopoly, and my (rather oversized) Ticket to Ride – Scotland map, have both been completed and tested. They have taken a lot of my recent furlough time, but the good thing is that they both work, and they are both enjoyable in the same way that the base games are.
I made several changes to the basic rule set of Monopoly, including writing a complete set of new Community Chest and Chance cards, and adding a couple of casino spaces to the board, along with their own set of cards. These changes were a concerted effort to shorten the length of the game whie also injecting a little freshness into the mix. While these changes didn’t seem to have much effect on the duration, the consensus was that they did make the game more involved and interesting.
Ticket to Ride – Scotland was a much more school project kind of creation, because I didn’t have a base game to begin with, just the basic rule set, which is a little different for each version released. I bought some foam boards, used Lego for the tracks (and the playing pieces), and developed 72 routes – which is more than most other iterations of the game. I also had to make my own colour-coded train cards (over 100 of those) which anyone who has played the game will be familiar with.
In fact, I was so impressed with my effort that I sent off an email to the guys who produce the Ticket to Ride franchise, hoping for a little feedback!
The imposed lockdown that most of us have had to endure has been a curious part of 2020. It has encouraged people (and sometimes forced them) to leave their comfort zones and to think outside the box for a while. I mentioned before that I have sat down in front of many a jigsaw over the last few months, but as a family we have also been playing more games during our extended time at home.
Recently I have been playing a lot of the strategy board game Ticket to Ride (although the version I am playing is on the Playstation 4). It’s a game I didn’t even know about until The Fianceé© introduced me to it earlier this year. It’s all about trains and connecting destinations across the country (or, in some cases, continent)… but it’s really much more fun and involving than I have made it sound there.
The original version uses the USA template, but the guys over at Days of Wonder soon realised the potential and have since spewed out a bunch of different expansions and stand-alone sets – from France to Japan and a lot of places in between. There’s a UK edition, but there’s no Scotland specific map…
…so I got it into my head that I should make my own.
And just because I was in that frame of mind, a couple of days ago I decided that I could reinvigorate the classic game of Monopoly a little by renaming the properties on the board, and writing my own (better) ‘Chance’ and ‘Community Chest’ cards, so that the whole experience feels more personal.
Both of these are currently works-in-progress, so I’d better get back to it before my furlough finishes.