How to successfully translate a favorite video game IP into a tabletop game

By Javan Frazier, Founder / CEO, Middle master.

The gaming industry has never been more popular than it is today. In 2021 alone, it is estimated to have generated $ 180 billion in revenue. Not only are video games at an all-time high, but board games have seen a massive resurgence in popularity as tabletop gaming space is expected to grow by more than 13% to an estimated $ 13 billion by 2026. Not only are video games and tabletop games experiencing a resurgence, but tablet adaptations of video games in particular are beginning to emerge and begin to steam up like never before.

I am proud to say that I have been a part of this rise, working successfully with Edmund Macmillan to translate one of the most popular hits of indie gaming, Isaac’s binding, One of the most funded tabletop games of all time on Kickstarter. It was far from an easy task, but despite the obstacles, working with creators and fans to create a physical product based on digital games was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. Here are some lessons I learned in the process.

Why create a tablet version?

Tabletop adaptation gives IP a second life outside the digital world. Bringing the game from the screen and to the tabletop creates a sense of community, and in the end, you’re bringing a favorite IP to a new audience. Just because a digital game is so popular doesn’t mean that everyone knows about it Millions did not know Cuphead Until it became a Netflix animated series. But before that, Cuphead Got a tabletop adaptation that helped expand the brand’s reach.

Tabletop games are a great way to expand the reach of your already established IP, which is always a great thing. In addition, creating a tabletop version could introduce new mechanics that are not necessarily easily incorporated into the digital version. For Isaac’s Binding: The Four Souls, We’ve added a kind of multiplayer element that’s not available in the digital version, not even logically possible.

Before you start

I need to provide an air of caution as a make Authentic Tabletop adaptation is not an easy feat. You can always go to the route where you have connected your IP with the already established game ExclusiveBut what value does that bring Yours Brand? Of course, Super Mario Bros. Monopoly A fun game, but at the end of the day it’s not one Mario Game, it Exclusive.

To improve your IP, without relying on a risky version of an already established board game, you’ll need to create a new game from the ground up, involving finding creative ways to transform digital game mechanics into physical space. I’d like to use one of the characters Isaac’s binding, Fly Duke, As an example of how digital mechanics can be effectively translated for tabletop. In the video game version, a fly (hence his name) from The Duke of Flies surrounds him, protecting him from player attacks. To defeat him, you must shoot the Duke directly while somehow defending the flies and avoiding him. While this is a great idea for digital, it’s not something that can be taken directly to the tabletop version, so the makers have come up with a creative solution to mimic this type of battle abstractly. We finally land at a dice mechanic, where whenever you try to attack Duke in a tabletop game, you turn the dice to see if you hit him or one of his flies, completely denying the damage.

That sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But then you have to think All Other monsters Isaac’s binding They have their own unique attacks and abilities, and multiply by 500+ what you did with a monster, making sure that each face is as authentic and memorable as the original digital version. This is a difficult but rewarding job.

Seek feedback from loyal fans

If you want to create a tabletop adaptation of videogames, or vice versa, my best advice would be to work with fans to make it happen, and crowdfunding is 100% your best option. For Isaac’s binding Campaigning, the team realized that we could not do this properly without working with the established fans of the franchise. We created a “spoiler site” where fans helped create and edit our cards so we could deliver the game on time and they Loved it It was helpful to balance their reaction game. For a game with an almost unlimited combination of cards, it is impossible for us to ensure the quality of the game without them.

This same fanbase is now helping us develop a game based on a very successful mobile app. It’s a completely different game, but our fans have embraced it because they know they’re being listened to. Feedback is helping us streamline the gameplay and make it more accessible to viewers.

I can’t tell you how valuable your own fanbase is. Reward those who have helped you get to where you are today, so allow them to be involved with some of the power and they will participate with interest. This is a testament to the community you have created, and they will continue to reward you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.