Heartland – A Board Game Design Project

Decades of drought have made life hard in America’s “Heartland.” Hard times can bring opportunity. Five once-depressed cities now search for a ray of hope.

With that sentence, I embark on a new project: designing my first board game. Several things inspired my new game idea. The place I grew up – America’s Heartland – gave me the lion’s share of that inspiration. The hard-working people and the beautiful countryside were my muses. Though I’m from the Missouri’s Bootheel, all the Heartland’s people see the world in a way that has always impressed me
My board game will be about survival after a time of difficulty has come upon the land.  Droughts have caused water to be scarce, so states must ration it, and sell it, to the highest bidder. The cities then decide how they will use their resources. Will they farm and feed their people? Will they gather and prepare for more hardship? Will they sell their goods to prosper? These are questions the player has to consider as they play the game. 
I’m currently playtesting the game, which I plan to write about later in the week. If playtesting goes well, I’d like to have a marketable product by the end of this year. After that, I’ll test the waters among available publishers. 
Publishing a board game has been a dream of mine for some time. I’ve been creating games since I was a boy, and this is an extension of that same spirit. To see this come to life, I’ll need the help of my friends from the Heartland. Would you like to see a game about the area you live? Do you know someone who would be into this? Tell them about it. Subscribe to my blog, and have others do it as well. I plan to give regular updates on the process along with my normal posts about gaming with your family.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas about this project. Please share in the comments section below.

9 thoughts on “Heartland – A Board Game Design Project”

  1. I’m really excited about this Mike. From what I’ve seen you are bringing together a unique set of mechanics that will appeal to board-gamers everywhere. I’m from the heartland so I’m totally into the theme, but its the combination of mechanics that you are working with that will make this game shine.

  2. This seems like an interesting idea. A few things worth thinking about…

    History vs game play. I know you probably know this already, but it sounds like you want to make the game a bit historical. Just keep in mind that at some point you will need to focus on one or the other. Probably good to know which one is most important and focus on that.

    Look into the name. I think there is already a game call Heartland. Not that that should stop you, but make sure the games are different.

    Once you get the game going let me know if you would like to have someone look over your rules. I am not a huge PnP but if you would like help with this game I would love to help out.


I'd love to hear your questions and comments!