Air Sloop Game Design Journal Entry 10 Game Theme Evolution

Game Theme Evolution is tackled by Designer Dave Eng, moving from water based sloops to a some type of ship in the air.

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After getting feedback on the game from three different publishers and then playtesting it with my local game group I began the re-themeing process. I knew that the game had left behind it’s original roots as a replication of sailing ships moving up and down the Hudson. I was also intrigued by including some sort of “air” theme. After all; I hadn’t seen that many games make use of hot air balloons in this manner before. So I figured, “why not?”

In addition, I decided that this was going to be the first version of the game that I would print “professionally” at The Game Crafter as a way to bring some ore of the more advanced elements of the game to life. I knew that I wanted to do something more with the ships storage; Dylan from Quality Beast convinced me of that. Moving from card to card was okay on it’s own… but what if I could make movement on the board even more exciting? That’ when I considered using each ship’s goods storage as a way to change how their actions affected the game state.

Air Sloop Design Journal Player Boards
I wanted to make it dependent on where players stored their goods they could make an additional move; score more points; move diagonally; or to the edges of the board. It was an interesting setup. Something that I tried for a few play tests. But something that ultimately didn’t pan out for the game in the long run because it didn’t make the game more “fun.” Instead, it just made it more complicated without adding anything interesting.
Tesseray Games Independent Publisher
Dr Dave Eng Independent Game Designer

About The Designer

Dave Eng EdD, Principal is an intellectual and creative educator, designer, and researcher who combines games, theory, and technology. Dave has played games for most of his life. As a result he studies game design, creates games, and teaches others how to use games for education and learning. Find out more at

Fun Fact: Dave has been seasick in every time zone.

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