Wild Card Games MD Sean Byrne explains where the idea for his new skiing game came from, as well as how most ideas come to him at night.

HOW I MADE IT: Sean Byrne and Ski Run

We knew a game about skiing would be popular (as skiing is such a fun sport – such an adrenaline rush) and wanted to do something using a piste map as a board.

Almost all new ideas come at night just before I go to sleep and keep me awake. These ideas are then developed into fully formed games which usually end up being about 60 per cent of the final game, as we do loads of testing and research to tweak the idea.

The final 40 per cent is what makes a good game idea into a great game that you want to play again and again.

First, we test and adapt repeatedly with the following types of people:

  • The competitor: Master strategist and tactician who takes every rule literally and will use every rule to their competitive advantage (finds flaws in rules).
  • The rule breaker: Always finds creative ways to do something outside the existing rules (great for adapting and tweaking the game).
  • The truth teller/cynic: Tells it like it is. The litmus test (great for saying what is wrong with the game and what it needs).

We then play extensively with colleagues, friends, family and most importantly the public and give demo copies to people to test on their own.

It’s a process of continual research, problem solving, readjustment and improvement.

The key is to listen to feedback and think of ways to overcome problems with the product to make it as good as it can be. 

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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