Esoteric Fulcrum is an examination of the start up process of a board game designer. See what it takes to develop an idea, intertwine theme and mechanic, and play test a prototype from pedestrian to professional. Explore the world of tabletop and card game design. Elegant. Efficient. Balanced.
The object of Esoteric Fulcrum is to come up with any number of original ideas that could be developed into tabletop games … and then develop them into tabletop games. A long process, and there is no set number of turns required to come up with the mechanics, develop the theme and play test the game to the point of readiness. It is a fully cooperative game, and any number of other players can be employed, cajoled, bribed, charmed or otherwise coerced into helping you complete each game. You do not need to complete your first game before you start your second, and you may work on any number of games during your turn.
Set Up – Recommended Cards for First Game
After an unspecified number of turns spent playing other games, and possibly developing expansions of existing games for your own personal use, you will feel a drive to create something original, that you can call your own, and can share with the world. This is where the prologue ends, and the game proper begins.
It is very much recommended that the first game you develop be a simple affair, if possible based around nothing larger than a single deck of 54 cards. This will be the simplest and fastest route to learning the rules of Esoteric Fulcrum, and how the various production, marketing and crowd funding modules work, whilst meeting and forming partnerships with other players at the same time.
In this example you have been a big fan of Marvel Legendary by Upper Deck, and have spent some time developing your own expansion of DC characters from Gotham. Your son-in-law helps you play test and balance the cards, and after 6 months you have an okay add on for a game, but one that will only be seen by die hard fans at Board Game Geek, and played by only a handful of them. You will look back at the time you have spent on this personal project, and the very limited reach it has, and you will be unsatisfied. You will want something more. You will want something you can freely promote and share with all.
On your next turn, you will start developing your first card game. Buy a deck of cards, and write instructions on them so you can test its mechanics. Then rewrite, and test. Rewrite and test.
Start a log book, physical or digital, and keep notes on the various ideas that are running through your head. And start talking to others, getting as much feedback as you can, understanding that negative feedback is the best kind. Maybe, you could start a blog.
Scoring is a complicated logarithm, based in part on total game sales, number of games released, number of successful projects crowd funded, followers on Social Media and fun being had. See the tables in the appendix for a complete break down of the numbers.
S/he who plays, wins.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Thanks to all the people that have helped me get this game started. You can find them all via my social media.