Game Design with Family

I have not tried to design a game with my family. That isn’t to say I’m opposed to it. In fact, it is something that I plan to work on as a begin my new project, Lawn Mowers.

In an ideal world, designing a game with the family is a perfect storm. My family is my primary gaming group. They also know me more than anyone alive. It makes sense that they, the people closest to me, would make the best design team. We all have strengths that accent the strength of others. We help remove the influence of each other’s weaknesses as well. Again, in Eutopia, Chipman Family Design is a great thing.

We don’t live in Eutopia. What we might experience instead would be different than the ideal. There might be a clashing of personalities. Some of us are more interested in design than others. I might be the least motivated family member with the most passion for the subject. At the helm, I would make a bad captain. Anywhere else, I’d whine. Maybe Chipman Family Design Minus Dad would be a good thing? Though it’s something I’d like to do, I can see the possible pitfalls.

Geoff Engelstein has designed several successful games with his family. I decided to probe his brain on his success and what advice he might have for a family design team. Next week, I’ll feature my questions and his answers, along with my own commentary.

What questions would you like to ask a successful family design team?

2 thoughts on “Game Design with Family”

  1. My girlfriend (now Fiancee) designed a game together. It was a fun way to spend time together, and when it came together it was cool to say, “we made that,” even though we both agree that I did most of the heavy lifting.

    The problem that I had though, is that the game, though fun, is not good enough to hit market. I feel like the game would need some significant changes, and because it is “our game,” they are changes that I don’t really want to make. Something to consider. You might need to make changes your family doesn’t like if you want the game to hit market.

  2. Those types of interactions are good things! Creative differences can be the beginning of a great thing if handled properly.

I'd love to hear your questions and comments!