TORONTO – Tired of playing board games that were over before he had a chance to grow a beard or kill a plant through neglect, indie board game developer Patrick O’Gorman has created a revolutionary new game that not only takes days to play, it also takes days to construct before any playing can begin.
“I wanted to focus on the part of board games everyone loves and other designers always overlook: the setup,” O’Gorman explained. “It’s a history based game, so it was important to me to make it as accurate as possible. Yes, battles are fun, but who doesn’t want to experience the thrill and challenge of carefully positioning 24000 pieces of artillery first?”
O’Gorman’s game also takes a page from video games and allows (indeed, forces) players to customize their game pieces before starting. Weapons, costumes, physical attributes, psychological profiles, and faintly recalled childhood experiences all have to be carefully configured. Since everything from hair colour to the genetic effects of generational trauma will lead to different game play outcomes, players are encouraged to take a few days to really think about the decisions they’re making.
“It’s not just players’ characters that determine game play, the game also depends on the players carefully charting their own astrological signs and including the results of a battery of medical tests,” O’Gorman said. “It really contributes to a sense that you aren’t just playing the game, you’re a part of it. Literally, because there is a significant amount of wood whittling that goes into customizing the pieces and blood is usually spilled.”
O’Gorman is currently working on a travel version of the game, but even the hardier version is so intricate players have been known to destroy days of setup by breathing too hard.
Sales of the game, which has a name so complicated it can’t be rendered in any written language, have been slow to start, but several players have said that even though it can take weeks to play to completion, it’s still faster and less frustrating than Monopoly.