Recent discussions on the Hound's Tooth page have lead me to conclude that there are a number of aspiring (or active) game designers amongst the X-wing Wikia community. If so, what are you working on? Got any good resources (YouTube channels, blogs, etc...) to share? Ever had anything take off? I'm curious.
I used to hang out with a lot of game developers and some producers, back when I had the time and will to try to make my own board games. I'm lazier/busier now. :( I know a lot of people running kickstarter campaigns, like Villages (who I knew personally even beforehand) and Word Domination & Burgle Bros (who I know more remotely), and I've met some local and not-so-local publishers. I was really sad when 5th Street Games went out of Business; it was awesome that they still managed to deliver Mob Town though, since it turned out to be a great game! My favorite pen & paper RPG is produced locally: Mayhem (they also made Goblin's Breakfast, and I really hope they continue to develop Mayhem).
Salt Con (the Salt Lake City board game convention) is a great resource, but I also used to attend the Board Game Developers Guild of Utah and there's some really knowledgeable people there. Playtesting games is a lot of work, and it helps to have some professionals and amateurs with experience in what to look for and how to fix problems.
I've got lots of my own games in the half-built state, but I haven't had the time and willpower to push them forward. Job and other responsibilities etc (and when I have free time I want to relax, these days)... though I really miss making games and hanging out with so many awesome people. :) I do occasionally attend a guild meeting and playtest someone's game to help them polish it out. Maybe some day I'll pick my games back up again. I honestly miss them. :( And at least one publisher really encouraged me to pursue the one he had seen. I've just got to find the time and will to pick it up again.
One of the things I've learned from talking to the people at the guild and Salt Con is to be wary of shipping a game that hasn't been playtested & refined enough -- this takes a lot of cycles, more than you would ever guess, to get right. Too many games get out the door with serious problems, and end up as stillborns despite a beautiful asthetic and compelling design. Other games are very expensive to produce but have no market. There was a Touring National Parks game at SaltCon that the pros were really sorry for -- the developer had produced the game at great expense before determining the market for it, and wasn't seeing a lot of interest in an expensive game with not many compelling mechanics. In a previous year there was a "chess but with more players and more rules" game that was not amazingly compelling, but it was incredibly expensive to print all the plastic pieces. We felt sorry for them, but they weren't open to feedback from experienced publishers, and eventually disappeared.
Other companies die because they get ambitious with components and don't know how to cut back, and it becomes unprofitable to produce & sell them. Plastic figurines kill, and I do mean KILL, a lot of games. It's so tempting to bling out your game, and price yourself out of the market. Plus people don't realize what it costs not just to produce a game, but then to get it out the door and still make a profit. Lots of kickstarter projects keel over due to naive planning.
So, lots of lessons that help me understand some of FFG's decisions. And maybe someday inform my own.
Hardly in development, but I've had an idea for a board game with kinda Back to the Future time travelling; I feel like one theme board games haven't really managed to capture adequately yet is time travel.
My idea is to have multiple boards showing an area in multiple segments of time and certain actions can shift and move things on another board depending on how you alter that path, like maybe an action in the past means a grandfather clock sitting in a different place.
This game would require a story to be written, but also some sort of mechanical design to ensure replayability, which may require even more stories to be written and more boards included in the price.
And I haven't gotten around to it yet, but it may just work best as a T.I.M.E Stories module.
Again, I only have the vaguest workings of a game here, but IMO I think it'd have a fun theme.