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How to Make a Kickstarter Hit Game, Dev Blog 001

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

In this blog/vlog we discuss the first hand drawn prototype and scoring mechanics.

How we are developing the ideas of the game.

Hi folks, welcome to the SHG main office, or as I like to call it, my bedroom!

This is the first of a few blogs on how we came up with the idea, how it was developed to its current form and hopefully the form it will be in the future.

I am usually a firm believer that good ideas don't happen overnight--usually. But this case, I became a believer in overnight ideas. I had the idea of a cooking card game for a while, using cards as the ingredients. But hadn't put a lot of thought into it, i think it was bubbling away in the back of my head for a while. Then, one faithful evening, I was unable to get to sleep till the early early hours of the morning. I kept tossing and turning, writing down an idea, trying to get to sleep, then writing down another idea. Much like the greek goddess, Athena, the game sprung almost fully formed from head.

From there, we ramped the development of the idea to see if the thing would really work.

The first thing we did was create a prototype. In the video, we show the first prototype made on thin, horrible note paper. Trying to keep costs down, bought a note pad called "drawing paper" thinking it would be a bit thicker, but it wasn't the case. We started out with roughly 260 handwritten ingredient cards (with misspellings and hand drawn ingredient categories)-this was done very quickly as there were so many cards. Also we created the original order cards, like Pizza, Chow Mein or Carbonara with their required ingredients. When we started play testing, we had to use our imagination and overcome handwriting scrawl, using phone timers and another game dice.

Once that process was complete for our first play test with friends. Thankfully, the main mechanics of it worked really well. But there were a couple of issues. Calculating scores included doing too many maths, which could have made the game inaccessible. Another issue was that it was very methodical; one person would take their turn, the next person would go, plodding along nicely until someone had a good dish. Everyone would use their creativity to present their dish. Players would spend an age totting up their scores, then the next round began. It felt very slow and methodical. But for a first iteration, it was good. The proof of concept was special, but it needed refining to make it fun.

We will share more as time goes by.

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