Twenty years ago, Steve Wood first envisioned his board game creation, Gunship: First Strike! Throughout the years, Gunship went through many face-lifts and technical changes, but Wood’s dream to build a quality board game has stayed the same.
The game is actually a hybrid board, card, and dice game.
“You have a hand of cards which are also played onto boards at some points,” said Wood.
According to Wood’s blog post about the game, “Gunship offers a dynamic and (more importantly) FUN space battle experience” where the main objective is to destroy your opponent’s carrier.
Wood drew inspiration from several aspects of his childhood and decided to develop a game he would have loved to play.
“I played a lot of board and card games as a teenager and we found that we had a knack for inventing new rules and creating new boards. Eventually I decided to work on one of my own,” said Wood.
Developing games by hand is not an easy task. When Wood first began his quest, the game industry was closed to everyday people like him.
“There were few paths to get in,” said Wood. “Game companies didn’t accept ideas from ‘outsiders,’ and trying to find a company to produce it was difficult, as were the extremely high costs of getting your idea published.”
Through the process of developing Gunship, Wood created a production company, Escape Pod Games, with a few friends along the way.
“One of my goals for my company is to help others get published so that they do not have to travel the roads I did,” said Wood.
Due to the success of a campaign on crowd funding website Kickstarter, Wood has raised enough money to start producing his “tactical space combat” game.
“Without Kickstarter, this game would still be on hold for years. Even if you’re lucky like me and have people who are willing to put money into your idea, you need a lot more. Nobody is going to produce fewer than 2000 units of a quality game. Then there’s marketing and tons of other costs. If you have a good idea and a way to promote it, Kickstarter opens doors in an unbelievable way,” said Wood.
Wood has exceeded his monetary goal of $8,500 on Kickstarter.
“I did a lot of promotion on the board game circuit (mostly websites) and had a ton of positive feedback, so I knew we’d get funded. I did not know we would get funded as quickly as we did ($20,000 in the first two days) or that it would reach $50,000 two weeks later and still climbing. I have been very blessed to say the least,” said Wood.
The Kickstarter campaign closes at the end of the month and Wood is feeling a little overwhelmed.
“Right now, I am still in the ‘fun’ part. As soon as Kickstarter ends… the real work begins,” said Wood.
Together with a few friends, Wood has been play-testing his game throughout the years, ensuring the best possible product.
“We’ve been playing this game for a long time and we knew we were on to something. I knew that it had the potential to be a great success but there’s always that voice that reminds you what a long shot it is,” said Wood.
Although the obstacles were difficult, Wood hopes that others are inspired by his story enough to try creating their own board games.
“I think a lot of people would be surprised how many games are out there. So much more than Monopoly and Scrabble – there is a board or card game for just about any interest and age level. Board games are as big as ever right now,” said Wood.
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Category: Arts & Entertainment