What were we thinking?!
A game that incorporates all the best elements of our favorite games... Yes! That seemed like a great idea!
Now, we like playing board games a lot, but at that time in 2015/2016 we really hadn't played very many (compared to most of our board gamer friends!) Of the games we had played thus far, the elements we thought were the most fun and that we wanted to include in some way or another in our own game were:
It would be a spoof on our favorite SciFi movies and TV shows (Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, The Fifth Element, and Blade Runner to name a few). The players would be put into the roles of Han Solo types: somewhat shady wild-cat pilots eager to make a quick buck even if it wasn't exactly legal. Everyone would start out with crappy, small, barely-able-to-fly space ships called "Lightning Bugs" that they could trade-in or upgrade throughout the game. Our imaginations ran wild and we would become giddy as we talked it over. Then, one day out of the blue the name of our game came to me. We would call it Galaxy Runner! How silly and how fun! But did we ever think we might one day actually create it?
I didn't really give it much thought, but Jesse started to get serious about actually making this game and he soon began drawing up ideas in his notebook. I should have known he would, because he had been dabbling in creating board games ever since junior high school--way before we met! Almost all of his earlier games were never actually played, however, because they were never really completed. Jesse enjoyed simply creating the maps and components for them. That was enough of a creative outlet and it became a little hobby for him.
After we were married, he had two different games was tinkering with. He was working on the first of those games in August of 1995. He spent hours creating pieces by hand, drawing and painting chits on white canvas panel boards, only to have them become utterly destroyed when he tried sealing them with an aerosol spray. The second of those games he started working on sometime in 1999. This time he used the computer as his medium. By searching through stock photos and manipulating the digital images in those early days, Jesse began to teach himself graphic design and thus took his hobby to a whole other level.
Soon, Jesse was using his skills, still learning as he went, to flesh out our early ideas for Galaxy Runner. Here are some graphics from the components of our earliest tangible version of The Original Galaxy Runner Game:
The game had a lot of components, a lot of complexity, and the early play tests with our kids and their friends proved that the game had no end! It needed a lot of work and we put in many hours hashing out aspects of the game where there were obvious issues. Jesse and I loved talking about our game and brainstorming together on our living room couch. We soon came up with a term for those talks and started calling them "couch sessions". Another place that provided a great atmosphere for game design conversion was at our favorite local diner in Williamsburg, VA, where our favorite waitresses knew our orders by heart. We would get our creative minds revved up over a deliciously hearty breakfast (food for thought?!) and once or twice even brought copies of those early versions into the restaurant! We soon knew the direction we needed to go.
To be continued...