Slay Your Friends: Levi Franklin on Game Design
We, at Fourtato Games, have been working extremely diligently on our board game designs. Though, it has been tough, but the journey was and is a blast. Through the brainstorming, coming up with the art, marketing, playtesting, and going to conventions, we’ve learned so much and have experienced just as much. But that’s just our story, our journey.
That got us thinking, how are other board game designer’s journeys to the promiseland? It would be great to learn more from someone else’s point of view. We got Levi Franklin from Slay Your Friends to speak to us about his experiences with designing his game.
Slay Your Friends
Launch Date: May, 2019
Slay your Friends is a fast paced and cutthroat card game that pits you against your friends for ultimate bragging rights (until the next round of course). This game will have you playing over and over and just when you thought your best friend would never betray you, BOOM! You get slashed from behind, the game will truly leave you questioning where your allegiances lie. Slay your Enemies is the official expansion to Slay your Friends, this adds new weapons, spells, heroes and more! In this mode, you and your friends are now taking up the roles of heroes and use teamwork to battle against a seemingly endless horde of enemies and bosses for a chance to claim legendary items to aid you in progressing through the horde. Trust your friends and you just might make it through to the final boss!
What inspired you to come up with this game concept?
Slay Your Friends actually came to be during a fit of creativity block, I was working on another game titled “Chibi Champions LCG” which I had been working on for about two years prior to Slay Your Friends. During the creativity block, I gave myself a challenge to make a simple game with a print and play version within a 24-hour time period. I started with the color play mechanic found in UNO as the game’s spine and built around it. After adding new mechanics, rules, and a few playable characters, I had a game that was ready for its first test-run! After just a few playtests among friends, I decided I needed to make this my main focus. After countless versions of the base game, I started drafting the expansion “Slay Your Enemies” which is a PvE/PvM version of the game where one player is chosen as the Raid Master who controls hordes of creatures that the remaining players team up to defeat!
How long have you been working on Slay Your Friends?
Slay Your Friends started development the first week of January 2018.
The art style is awesome. How did you find your artist for the game?
Oddly enough the art currently used in Slay Your Friends was originally going to be used as placeholder art, as they are game assets I purchased from a team of artists under the banner “Rexard”. After a year of playtesting with this artwork, it just stuck. None of the playtesters thought it was a good idea to change the art style because it fit the theme of the game so well and that’s when I decided to continue using it. One big benefit to this was with the art out of the way so early, it allowed me to focus on perfecting the game mechanics and making sure the game would remain entertaining even after multiple rounds in a single sitting!
What were your biggest lesson you had to learn the hard way?
I would say that would be how many types of playtesting there is and how important each type of playtest was. From casual players that just want to play a fun game, to veteran players who will try everything in their path to break the game, to blind playtests where you lets a group of players who have never played the game sit down with the rule book and learn to play the game with no outside help(you explaining it to them). I actually go more in depth with this topic in a blog post on SlayYourFriends.com so if it interests you go check it out!
Do you have a marketing strategy in place to get more customers before kickstarter?
Currently, I’m working on social media account, learning which content works best on Instagram vs Twitter and things of that nature. Really trying to build a solid email list as well. The marketing strategy I’m most excited for is putting up a bunch of displays throughout Lexington, Kentucky. I’m very lucky that there are around 15 relevant games shops around the area. Of course, this only reaches so far, but it’s exciting to me! As far as the Kickstarter goes, I plan on doing an aggressively priced “early bird special” where you can get the game much cheaper than the standard price throughout the first days of the Kickstarter.
Anything else you want to tell everybody reading?
I’ve had a lot of fun designing Slay Your Friends and I know it’s a game a lot of people will enjoy, it will be on Kickstarter in May. thank you for reaching out with these questions I had a lot of fun answering them! If anyone has any questions about taking the steps towards designing a game feel free to reach out to me personally at Levi@SlayYourFriends.com
Many thanks to Levi for sharing his experiences. One thing is for certain, the board game community is never short of exciting stories about board game design. We are all in this together!
Please check out Slay Your Friends, which is coming out on Kickstarter in May!
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Article published on www.fourtato.com.