“Nuke your friends, that’s what they’re here for.”
So proclaims the tagline for Security Council, a board game created by Ferris State’s Daniel Chou. In the game, feelings are hurt, alliances are built and broken and nuclear war is launched.
Creating board games has long been a hobby for Chou, hall director at East Campus Suites. He’s toyed around with the idea before, but there was something about Security Council that seemed just right.
“For some reason, from the very first trial we ever did of general rules, it was instantly like everyone was very interested,” Chou said. “That’s when I knew I should invest more time in this one as opposed to any other game I’ve ever done… There was something magical about it.”
As for why the game has taken off in comparison to his others, Chou has another theory.
“I think most of it has to do with the core idea that when people play board games, they’re not just playing the game, they’re playing with each other,” Chous said. “So when you’re playing with people you enjoy, whatever the activity is, you’re really just interacting with each other, and this is a medium to interact.”
Security Council is a tile-based, zone-control board game. Up to eight players can build up their forces, collect resources and battle each other for control. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the idea was born last spring while playing a similar game: Civilization, casino online a board game where you build an empire and create your dream civilization. However, the similar board games just weren’t quite right.
“[Other board games] didn’t really have any of the mechanics we were looking at, and any of the really good ones were also really complicated,” Chou said. “It was just an idea: couldn’t we have something like that? We seemed to really enjoy nuclear missiling each other in the Civilization game – could we do something like that in a board game?”
So Chou began to tinker with different ideas. Friends and students, largely from his hall, helped work out the kinks by playing the game this school year. The game was initially on a Risk board before moving to a tile-based layout for more variety and flexibility.
“That allowed us not only to create a game every time that’s different, but also scale the game depending on how many people are playing to make the game last as long as you want,” Chou said.
Chou has also relied on friends and students to build word-of-mouth publicity. Now he’s aiming bigger. With help from his publisher, TheGameCrafter.com, Chou has been working on a Kickstarter campaign he will launch soon. Kickstarter is the self-proclaimed “world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.” The first priority: garnering some critical backing.
“I have a set of boxes coming in right now, seven, in the mail. Once those arrive, I’ll package those materials and send them out to the game reviewers who’ve already signed on to see them,” Chou said. “They’ll make a YouTube video, podcasts about them, websites, whatever they think about that. We’ll take that, put it back into the Kickstarter. [The Game Crafter advisers] said that will multiply the success.”
Should the Kickstarter be funded and the game find some success, Chou’s plans are modest. He has the knowledge of experience, having run a Green Bay-based screenprinting company, CHOU! LLC, before moving here when his wife got a job at Ferris.
“As long as I stay within a certain profit margin, it’s a hobby. If it goes over that, I’ll have to look into how am I going to incorporate it, because it will probably have to be run by someone else;I just don’t have the time,” Chou said. “In no way at this time am I going back to businessing. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Probably the most exciting thing, but there’s no way I can do that full-time.”
Chou hopes to launch the Kickstarter in early summer. Rewards will include shirts, stickers, the game itself and hopefully a $5 printable e-version of the game for the curious-yet-cash-strapped funder.
For more information on Security Council, visit choustore.com/Games/index.shtml or the group’s Facebook page.