Tulsa Oil

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I believe I mentioned in my first post that I’m collaborating on an oil-drilling game with a friend of mine (Dan Moran) from Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’ve stripped the game down to its essentials and have begun to focus more on artwork, theme, etc. While the oil-drilling theme fits the game fairly well, we somehow feel that after the gulf spill this summer, drilling for oil won’t be a very popular or marketable subject. Kind of like root canal surgery. O.o

So, instead, we’re thinking mining, hunting for treasure, farming / irrigation, squirrels hunting for nuts, homesteading, discovering islands, etc. Any of these would work, really, as the game is fairly abstract. The basic idea is that there is a grid of squares, and some of the squares are “special.” What players are trying to do, then, is find as many of the special squares as they can. Additionally, players are trying both to add squares to any orthogonally-connected group containing a special square and to connect these various groups together if they can.

It sounds extremely simple, and it is. It is also, however, reasonably deep. There are a lot of things to try to balance when deciding where to play: do you want to search for oil or expand an existing well? Do you want to claim a new well or try to connect two of your existing oil fields? Do you want to try to consolidate your own position or try to cut off your opponent? If I had to compare its weight to games that are currently on the market, I’d say it was reasonably close to Blokus, Ingenious, or maybe Pente.

We plan to release this game as a print-and-play here on boardgameforge, but we’re still deciding on the theme, figuring out the artwork, and trying to ensure that the printing-and-playing is both straightforward and enjoyable. We want the game to be easy for folks to make, in other words, but we also want the various components to be satisfying to handle.

We’ll keep you posted. =^..^=

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  1. November 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I think you’re overthinking the theme. Some of the craziest themes will work for board games, and current events probably won’t make people stay away. Not board gamers anyway.
    Mind you, I don’t like near the gulf, so what do I know?

    • November 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      You’re probably right. I don’t tend to care much about theme in other people’s games, so I’m not sure why I care about it in my own. Just fussy, I guess. Ó¿Ò

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