Designing a . . . board game?

Growing up I played cards. After moving to Arkansas I began to learn board games since that is what my friends played. Some of the titles we challenged each other with include Empire Builder, Acquire, Settlers of Catan, Power Grid and Robo Rally — for starters. Puerto Rico is a more recent favorite. Monopoly is not one that we play.

However, a year or so ago when a new online version of Monopoly was released I gave it a whirl. It had potential the simplistic and random tabletop version lacked. Unfortunately it didn’t deliver, and I ended up trying to fix the game’s problems in my head.

And then on paper. I got the bright idea to create my own game as a way to rectify online Monopoloy’s issues. I started with the same general premise, a game focused on real estate, but took a more literary approach, so-to-speak. I infused a story.

The story of a railroad town. I grew up in railroad towns on the American prairie, grids laid out perpendicular and parallel to the life-giving steel rails that stretched quietly from horizon to horizon. Instead of a community anchored by a town square, the railway station served as the visual nexus for many of these places.

While visiting the in-laws for Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law provided some invaluable help working through some more of this idea. I’d really like to finish the game some day, although it still needs quite a bit of work at this point — cleaning up game-play and then actually designing the many pieces. Creating a strategy game employs a different kind of thought process than playing in some regards, at least for me, and I enjoy it. It’s a different kind of design.

If and when this project gets to a point of completion, I’ll be sure to let you know.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: