This explains the development process that I used to create ZORP. I hope it can serve as a reference for anyone else who is interested in creating their own board game.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack

Get excited about your idea!

Like most people, I have a ton of ideas for video games and board games, some are just a part of a pile of ideas, while others are ideas I can really see becoming a reality. This was one of those ideas that I could tell would be fun, easy to play and feasible for a one-man team to accomplish/afford.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack

Start prototyping!

I began by cutting up printer paper and scribbling down the necessary information on each piece. I also had a handy Indiebox set that I got from Humble Bundle, which I used for generic game pieces.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack

Get playtesting!

Right away, this gave me a sense of whether or not the fundamental concept could work or not-obviously, the game was broken from the get-go, but people were reacting positively to the potential the game had.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack

Prepare to make changes!

The game started off as a never-ending stalemate of overpowered humans killing wave after wave of zombies, then it became a never-ending game of strategy that didn't fit the original intentions for the game. Each time the game made a significant change I kept track of which version I was currently testing. It's important to remember that no matter what, you'll have to spend over 100 hours testing your game anyways, so it's ok to try out different things-lots of times they will help make it better.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack

Start that art!

I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted the game to look like as soon as I thought about it, so it wasn't too difficult to start sketching out ideas and bringing them into Illustrator. I specifically wanted a visual style that wasn't TOO common within the genre to try to help it stick out.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack

Print your pieces on the cheap!

I just used the printers I had access to. Although I feel like I have a good eye for design and a good awareness of the printing process, it took several printed iterations to help me figure out what the best way to design the cards was. I had to consider legibility of art/words as well as the costs/hassle of a large board. Printing and testing forced me to change my card layouts.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack

Semi-officially write the rules!

Obviously, I had notes on the game rules and I could easily regurgitate the rules to people when they sat down to play, but writing the rules in an actual rule book is a whole new monster to tackle. I had to get people who had not been exposed to the rules or game at all to look over the rules and tell me if they made sense. I also had to focus a lot on not intimidating new players with a huge rule book. The first time I made a rule book, the rules weren't 100% finished, but I was able to keep up with tweaking the rule book as the rules were changed. Of course, when this happened, I still needed to find new proofreaders to keep my words under control.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack


Each time I started something new, I had to continue to do everything I'd done before. I kept playtesting, which meant that I kept making minor rule changes, which oftentimes led to new prototypes, which led to new prints, which usually led to new art.

Zombie Oblivion Response Pack

Order your first print!

After enough of the previous steps, I was finally ready to order a first official prototype-one that I felt comfortable taking to trade shows, or sending to reviewers!

That's all... for now!

This is as far as I decided to take this blog update for ZORP. But I might write a similar, and more complete entry for future game projects.