Saturday, June 28, 2014

Making my own Star Wars!

Welcome to my developer's diary chronicling the creation of my board game prototype Rayguns and Rocketships. I hope my ramblings are inspirational (or at least interesting) to other board game creators who are curious about the creative process can happen.

In 2006, my day job was making video games. However, no one was making the game I really wanted to play - a third person shooter where the player could start inside a spaceship, exit out into space, blast some bad guys in space and board their ship to fight against them in hand-to-hand combat. As a fan of such pulp comics as Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, I wanted my heroes to have a laser pistol in one hand and a fencing sword in the other.

The idea had been brewing in my mind even longer than I realized. The imagery I was dreaming of was inspired by the cover of a 70's Marvel Star Wars comic, where Han Solo has shoot-out with pirates in outer-space. This is the game I always wanted to play.

The other moment of inspiration was from my friend, Hardy, who when I told him I always wanted to work on a Star Wars video game said "Why don't you make your own Star Wars?" I decided that this was good advice worth following.
The first indication of anything pertaining to Rayguns and Rocketships was a small diagram from my 2006 notebook. All it mentions is that a crew man needs to stay in a spot on the ship to get a benefit. Not much, but it was a start.
Speaking of notebooks, I assume I'm preaching to the converted, but I cannot over-emphasize the importance of keeping some sort of journal, notebook or sketchbook. I have lost too many good ideas to the ages (and crashed hard-drives) to not stick with good ol' fashioned paper.
In the same notebook (on a page dated 5/08/2007), I found a page filled with several character and planet names. The name of the Astro-Rangers captain - Jett Novastar - first appears (although he was almost "Jake Novestar") as well as his arch-enemy Count Ventura. Also appearing are the "Nova Rangers" (who will later become the Astro-Rangers) and a picture of their uniform.
Having piping on the pants was obviously very important! Next up, the Rayguns and Rocketship universe takes shape!
Stay tuned Planeteers! More adventure awaits!

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