A Game of Many Days

"It's all about what goes on the outside of the box." But they don't have a box yet. "World Dominion" is stretched out across my dining room table. This is day three. It started at Steve's parent's house, on Thanksgiving, was disassembled, and moved 30 miles up Ute Pass with us, as we traveled back home.

The game was invented by Isaac, and his production team -- Steve, Isaac & Lucas, and a whole host of people who happened to stop by and ended up helping paint the map on its 3ft by 5 ft. board (Christian Outlaw helped paint Africa).

What is 'World Dominion'?
Isaac says, "It's a combination of the 3 longest games there are -- Risk, Monopoly, and Settlers of Catan." The objective is to wipe out the other players empires. Through the roll of dice, and small movement compasses, armies and ships, each player amasses resources, cities, and ultimately world empires. The resources are piled up in the middle of the board (the dining room table) like the spillage from a junk drawer; hundreds of seemingly unrelated little pieces of beans, rocks, wood, leather, stone, and tiny ships in one big mound. Over the course of the game, the pile gets doled out and becomes orderly little piles on each country and continent. Each day civilization takes place -- then war begins. Day One took 6 hours; Day Two, 3. And today, who knows?
This is the first time the game will actually be played to the end. It's only been through a couple of unfinished test runs.

Because of the time it takes, "World Dominion" is turning out to be a vacation or tournament game. It is day after day of conquest and acquisition. It looks like Lucas is in the lead at the moment, with an entire empire and huge resources gathering in South America. But, Ty is making progress in North America and a lot can happen in a day.
As Production Administrator, Steve has been infinitely patient and faithful helping Isaac see this concept from idea to playable reality. It started over the summer and has meant hours and days of planning out the board, painting pieces, hunting down pieces, writing out the rules, and tweaking the procedures. Ty has had a lot to say about how trade and conquest would work. This morning, Isaac is designing cards that "make you feel more like you're 'living' the game, than just 'playing' the game."

What has been the hardest thing about designing a game? "Working it so that it actually does work -- getting all the kinks out of it and making it flow better." He would like to get the game to a company that would buy and mass-produce it. "But it needs a cool box, because that would attract people's attention. It's all about what goes on the outside of the box."

The best thing about the game? Isaac says, "The board and the compasses. The compasses are the movement. It's different from any other game. " Steve says, "The ships and the sea trade. Because it feels real."

Isaac also graphically designed and printed out currency for 3 different international banks. And every player starts with a bag full of colored pieces that represent their villages, cities, barracks, shipyards and ports. All of which, are acquired and placed on the board, throughout the game.

Currently, he is drawing and generating new maps on his desk in his room. He'd like to redesign this game with a different map of fantasy lands, and original resources. So, maybe "World Dominion" is just a prototype for the next 'better' board game. And, maybe that board game with go to Parker Brothers ... there's no knowing.
One thing is certain, as the snow is falling, and the fire is cracking in the fireplace, on this last weekend of Thanksgiving break, all of the 'world dominators' will be battling it out here at our house, for hours.


Thankful Paul said...


Laura Parker said...

oh man!! how awesome!! talk about using your creativity and giving your kids space to create and dream and devlop and work together and play. i love it! yall are great parents . . . and have great boys.