Needy Cat Games Turns Two!

It’s incredible to think that when we started this venture two years ago that we have achieved so much in just in such a short time!

Join us for a day of gaming at the Dice Cup and be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Hellboy The Board Game by signing up to our newsletter!

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Sophie Williams
An Introduction to Tabletop Game Design: Watch It Now!

When we set up Needy Cat we knew we were going to be designing tabletop games, but we really wanted to do more. One of the things we love about analogue game design is how accessible it is; if you like games, and you want to design one... well, there's not much stopping you. It's not like designing a computer game, where there's a minimum level of technical know-how required, or many other hobbies where you have to spend ages figuring out what you're doing before it starts to feel satisfying. Point is, all it takes to design a tabletop game is the will to do it and, as a minimum, a few scraps of paper.

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What a weekend!

We've just got back from a week off - and dear me, we needed it! That said, it was only sort of a week off because although we weren't doing any client work, we were busy putting the final touches on the first Introduction to Tabletop Game Design course, which happened on Saturday. And guess what? It was a roaring success!

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Finding Games Episode 1: Annie Norman, Bad Squiddo Games

Presented by Sophie and released once a month, Finding Games is a journey into the weird world of the tabletop games industry. Each month Sophie will interview someone involved in the tabletop games in some kind of professional capacity; we'll hear from game designers, illustrators, graphic designers, writers, manufacturers, distributors and all sorts of others. Each episode will feature a conversation about how that month's guest ended up making games for a living - and some of their journeys might surprise you!

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Hellboy: The Board Game Wave One Breakdown

It’s an exciting time here in Needy Catville. We’re working on some incredibly exciting things behind the scenes. We’ve got a couple of new games coming out soon that should be announced over the next couple of months. We’ve recently launched our three-part series, An Introduction to Game Design, where we’re inviting people to join us here in Nottingham and learn all about how to design their own board games. We’ve hit $50 a month on our Patreon, so it looks like we’re going to be launching a podcast! Oh, and here’s a big one - Hellboy: the Board Game has started shipping!

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Tip of the Day: Idea Boards

When I start designing a game, my first step is to scribble all my thoughts about it down into a notepad. What’s the theme? What’s the scope? Who’s it aimed at? What are the key mechanics? How do you win? How do players interact? What do I want the players to feel? All of this gets jotted down in no particular order, just to get it out of my head and clear some brainspace. I’ll invariably find that, as I’m doing it, fresh ideas pop up - so I write them down, too.

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Tip of the Day: First Steps

Starting a new design can be a daunting prospect, because in your mind you’re always going to compare it - however subconsciously - to all the finished games you know. One of the most common issues I see among new designers is the notion that they can’t start until they’ve thought of everything, or that they can’t try the game out until they’ve written all the rules down. This is rubbish, and it’s one of the best ways to run out of steam on a project before you’ve even really started.

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Design Diary: A Sense Of Closure

It’s safe to say that Hellboy took a bit longer than expected, once you factor in all the bells and whistles that got added in during the campaign! And our schedule wasn’t exactly sparse to begin with, so Sophie and I have basically transformed into stunted work-goblins over the past few months, only leaving our dank cave to eat food, go to meetings and gather raw materials to feed the ever-hungry prototyping table.

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Design Diary: Finishing Touches

Hellboy: The Board Game has been in solid development for around seven months now, and it feels like even longer than that. It's lasted over half of Needy Cat Games' lifespan! (Oh, we had our first birthday last week - I meant to do a blog post about it, but we've been too busy...) There's still loads more Hellboy in the pipeline, but I'm proud to say that the rulebook for the main game is about to go into layout…

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Podcasts and Self-Confidence

When I’m in the car by myself, I listen to podcasts. I’ve got a few favourites (I’ll chuck some links below for anyone who’s interested!) with the Adam Buxton podcast hanging around somewhere near the top of the list. I love a bit of Buckles; he always seems to have genuinely interesting conversations with his guests, and he tends to get a lot of people on the show who you don’t hear anywhere else.

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Design Diary: More Than Punching

One of the things that's been most hotly discussed is narrative - some people are concerned that the game just doesn't have enough story poking through the mechanics. I absolutely understand why they're concerned - after all, it's Hellboy! If the narrative isn't front and centre, we're wasting our opportunity. The stories are about as far from generic dungeon-crawling as you can get… 

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