The first board game I ever designed was in college…a cult classic called “Beer Run,” where you started in your dorm room with $1.83 (the amount of cash I had on me on the night I put the prototype together)–the game board was modeled after the game, “Life”–, and had to make your way to the gas station across the street, buy some alcohol, and return without getting caught. Along the way, you had to try to secure more money and a fake id (which improved your chances of success once you got to the station).
I like to think I’ve come a long way in terms of my design abilities, and in 2009, I had a chance to enter a local design competition with a title called “Here There Be Dragons.”
The hook here is that you play AS the dragon, trying to secure treasure and a lair site.
At game start, each player draws a card that defines a starting ability (all dragons have the basic flight, some magic, and breathing fire, but each player also gets a little something extra, as defined by the cards).
As you move around the board, you fight fantastical creatures, capture human towns, get hunted by angry humans, secure a lair site, stock it with guardians (monsters you control), and gain other powers, spells, and abilities.
The first dragon to secure ten gem stones for his horde, wins!
I took second, losing to a WWII tactical game, but I didn’t mind. All the judges got together every weekend to play exactly those kinds of games, so I was not surprised.
Still…second’s a pretty cozy place to be.
Ostensibly, the competition was the reason for designing the game, but if you’ve been following the little timeline, you’ll note that this was right in the middle of the “Dead Broke Cos of The Recession” period, so the main reason was…Christina had a thing for dragons.
Anyway, to my knowledge, only three copies of the game exist. Dave Sobotka has one (he did all the artwork), my ex wife has one (it was her birthday present that year), and I’ve got the third.
It’s not for sale, but this list would not be complete without giving it a mention.
Somewhere on my hard drive, one of the Candle’Bre volunteers (Dale!) made a little computer game version of it which is quite fun! (thanks Dale!)
Project completed, September 2009