About a month ago I uploaded a video asking for an awesome job, just to see what I could get from that. People loved it, said it was hilarious. And after 86 views...I never heard from anyone wanting to give me an awesome job that I spoke of.
So I decided I was going to prove myself. And that's what I did, by spending the last month of my time creating the board game Super Smash Bros. Board! It was a grueling month, filled with having to see how much I could actually spend on the project and attempting to find ways to reduce costs. Luckily, with a freelance project helping me pay for this, I was able to complete it. Check it out a little bit below in the video.
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What I Did
There was a lot of work to do in order to make this come to life. First thing I did was figure out how the game plays, and how I could relate the video game into a board game. It turned out to be incredibly easier than I thought.
The whole idea of fighting is to get your opponent to the edge based on the roll of a die. With your 4 special moves, you move back and forth in a battle of who moves where. Once you make it to the last tile (the 5th one) you get a safety roll and try to save yourself. Otherwise you just lost the battle. It gets more complicated when you start adding in items, which force players to use them strategically if at all.
With that in place, I had to research materials and how to make the game. I found some tutorials on building your own game, spoke with a few shop owners, and admittedly even attempted to work with some companies that never got back to me (and I didn't really think they would). In the end I used the entirety of a Monopoly game (minus cards, money and the metal figures), a lot of printing at Kinko's, an oversized poster for the board, and tons of cutting. I spent more than I am willing to admit on this project, just to make it see the light of day. And the light of day it sees for you all to now take on the challenge of making it better than I can.
Smash to the Core
The game is Smash Bros. at it's core. It is fun, crazy, zany and can change in the blink of an eye. It also crams more Nintendo history than the games ever have. I use references to pop culture and memes- as well as jokes Nintendo fans know about. This is the kind of stuff Nintendo fans love, but Nintendo is afraid to use usually (exception: Super Paper Mario).
It's also meant to be more fun with more people. The player cap is at 4, only because of materials needed. If you really wanted you could probably have all 12 players on the field at once. Think of how crazy that would be.
One thing fans of Super Smash love arguing about more than what should be legal in tournaments (or how tournament players are ruining the game) is easy: characters. But the best thing about this game? You can add anyone, and anything. And it's easy to keep balance, because everyone has the exact same stats.
Brings you to the Core of Playing
Sure, you can change it so this game is more strategic and much less about chance. But what this is meant to do is get rid of a lot of the worries some fans have- and instead just focus on fun. There's no need for tier systems, hacking, or watching videos of your dice roll (I really hope no one does that). This is board gaming at it's finest: fun, easy, and pisses a lot of people off at some point. And honestly, that's what the original Smash was all about.
The entirety of this actually came from a Kotaku Photoshop Contest. I had won the week before for a video entry, and was going to take it to the next level the next week- as the challenge was to photoshop a board game based on a video game. This made me think of how Smash Bros. would work- and a month later, we have Board!
If you look at our photos on Facebook you should see inspiration from a lot of places for design. The back of Item cards is based on the menu from the original Smash, as the back of Challenger! cards throw it to the Melee Challenger Approaches screens. Even the back of the Character cards you should recognize from Melee.
The player pieces are the original 12, in their original art form, colored in with colored pencil. This design is meant to bring more of the puppet-like feel the original game gave off- compared to the trophies in the later versions.
And you'll see a ton of the Smash logo, the circle with the lines through it. It's all over the box, manual, and is the design of the battle coins.
If you look at the board, you'll also notice something. Each of the background pieces as it is going around are big moments in Nintendo's history- in chronological order. You actually are traveling through Nintendo History.
You should also look right behind the tiles. Notice something? It's Final Destination. And if you look at it right, you'll notice that the 5th tile is off the stage, so you would fall just like in the game.
I think my favorite thing about design has to be the "Only for" on the front- harking back to the days when Nintendo put that on all of their boxes (it's designed after the Gamecube of course...I hope that doesn't mean this game will fail for some reason...)
My Only Warning
I have one warning and really it's this: don't spend too much money on this. I spent a buttload more than I would had Nintendo actually made this- and it still isn't as beautiful. I think it looks fantastic, as I am in no way an artist of this kind, but you do not want to spend the kind of money I have for this if you do plan to make it.
Oh, also- if you go to Kinko's realize that they shrink a lot of file sizes when they print. I'm not sure why, my guess is the fact I was working with an 8.5X11 photo and they have cut offs automatically. It did change some things because the proportions were off, but it still looked good.
And Yes, I am for Hire
Just remember Nintendo/Hasbro/Any Other Impressed Company I am Likely Willing to Work for, I am available for your awesome job. So don't hesitate to email me. I'd love to come make some more board games or video games.
Or if you need someone to be your official fan spokesperson, Nintendo. I could totally do that.
Check out the Project SSBB (double S, double B) tab to download, and find pictures galore.