It’s been said by some that only unlimited freedom can people have infinite creativity. I think this is bologna. Only if you are restrained by something will you create a truly unique and interesting solution to a problem.
March 19, 2019, The Game Crafter announced a new contest – create “a game simple in terms of rules, but interesting in terms of choices.” I don’t have a lot of spare time, so I typically can’t enter Game Crafter’s contests. But, after reading the requirements for this one, I thought to myself “here’s a contest I could possibly enter, but I don’t have a clue as to what kind of game to make.”
Then, March 21st, a few days later, I’m going up an escalator at the Great Homeschool Convention and it hits me. Make a game where the game pieces themselves are the dice, and moving them requires the dice to flip. Then, make players eliminate each other by comparing the face value. While it was loosely based off of an idea I saw once in a Playstation demo for Devil Dice (twenty years ago, yikes I feel old), the idea of eliminating each other’s pieces was borrowed from chess. After playing with a few different theme ideas, I settled on a 1999 LAN party. And the game HACK was born.
I’d originally thought to market the game to the strategic-minded gamer who likes intense competition. But I found that by giving myself a minor handicap, the game becomes equally fun with the younger crowd. Here, my 6-year-old son is playing a game of HACK with me. Because the game is fast (each round is about five minutes), he’s learned to cope with winning and losing. He knows that even if he loses one round, he could very well win the next, and that’s a major maturity bump he’s had. Additionally, his reasoning skills have improved tremendously since the beginning of our nightly routine playing, and that’s awesome to see.
Oh yeah, and I entered the game into the contest on TGC and it’s gone to the semi-finals! Hurray! Time will tell if it goes to the finals, but win or lose, I have a game that has been a real blessing to my family. And for that, I’m really grateful to God for the idea and to Game Crafter for their print-on-demand site.