With every day that passes we are getting closer and closer to launching our very first board game, Cargo: Dead in the Water. It’s been about a year now since we first discussed creating our own game. It’s been quite a journey, and I’d like to share a bit of that journey with you.
Let’s travel back to February, 2014. Dave and I were hanging out when we started discussing KickStarter.com. We loved the model that KickStarter used, which is basically a risk free opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs to create innovative products. We came to the conclusion that we needed to give KickStarter a try for ourselves. As board game enthusiasts for many years, we often discussed our favorite games and ways that we would like to alter or improve them. Creating a board game seemed like the logical choice. But what kind of game?
The very next day I received an e-mail from David saying, “Ships. Let’s create a game that involves ships.” I had just recently finished reading a book about European settlement in the Caribbean, so my mind went immediately to the 17th Century, trade, and pirates.
Now we had a concept, but how would the game work? The next time David and I got together we discussed all kinds of ideas. We really seemed to be on the same page, and very quickly the foundation of our game came together. It would involve trade routes, shipping cargo, and naval battles. David was giving me a ride home and just as he was about to drop me off I shouted, “Dots. Let’s have our ships move across the map along dots instead of designated routes.” We both agreed, and that was really one of the key pieces to the puzzle.
After a week or two of doing some research on ports and cargo shipped throughout the 17th Century, I e-mailed David my findings. He very quickly printed out some cards and put together two different maps. Only about three weeks after our first discussion on the topic, there we were sitting down at the table playing our own board game. We used a bunch of different playing pieces from our board game collection to make our game work. Within the first hour of playing we had already made major changes. The first map we tried was already out, and we were on to the second. We got rid of the southern hemisphere and along with that a few resources, including the controversial ‘slaves’.
Over the course of the next few months many more changes were made. We played the game with different numbers of people, we adjusted the amount of movement ships could make, the number of cards we used, we went through a few more maps, and we even attempted playing our game with a roaming pirate ship. David came up with another important adjustment, the market adjustment, which allowed the value of the cargo to fluctuate throughout the game.
In the end, we came up with a game that both of us are very proud of, and a game that we know you will enjoy.