Making a Biggles board game

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Making a Biggles board game

Postby SopwithCamel » 25 Jun 2014, 11:31

No, I actually was serious when I said I was thinking about making one. I've had some time to think about it and gather relevant information.

The current format I'm working on is based very very loosely on Biggles Defies the Swastika (loosely as Bertie will of course will be included into the game).

Number of players: 2-6

Items included: one (54) pack of situation cards (including 6 information cards), one (27) pack of character cards, one (27) pack of transport cards, one playing board (that contains a rough map of Norway), six game tokens, and one dice.

Game situation: "You and your friends have been sent to Norway to recover vital information. Unfortunately, during the entry into the country, your plane was shot down, and you are separated from your friends whilst escaping. Your goal is to collect the information needed, reunite with your friends, and get the necessary transport to get out of the country" (This is the gist of it, but I'm hoping it will sound more interesting after I've polished it :lol: )

Goal of the game is to collect 1 information card, four character cards (Biggles, Algy, Ginger, Bertie), and the transport card that allows you to leave from one of the four departure spots on the board.

The situation cards basically just throw in all sorts of random situations (like EVS showing up, or getting shot, or running out of fuel) to make the game more interesting. I'm working at the rules, and trying to think how I'd want the cards to look and stuff like that.

I've asked one of my board game gamer friends who makes his own board games and he has the contact info for a company that prints playing cards, so it could possibly be made.

I don't know if this is not okay from a copyright point of view (but possibly one could change the character cards to A. B. C. or D or something of the sort to avoid that?)

Any thoughts? I think it might be an interesting project.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby Fairblue » 25 Jun 2014, 11:38

This sounds as though it might be awesome, Soppy. And thank you for including Bertie. :love: and it seems as though you have some professional help behind you, which will help a great deal. Apart from giving my support I don't have anything to offer just now, but your plan certainly promises to be exciting and I will follow this with interest.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby Kismet » 25 Jun 2014, 11:41

Go for it! I think it will be entertaining and I'd enjoy regular updates on its progress.

I'd make a rough version first, though, to check it plays OK before spending money on printing nice cards.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby tiffinata » 25 Jun 2014, 12:06

Sounds wonderful!
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 25 Jun 2014, 12:21

What a great idea! [And I'm sure as much fun as 6 player '3D chess' invented by Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory, hehe].
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby kylie_koyote » 25 Jun 2014, 13:43

Sounds great! I used to make little board games for my students when I was teaching ESL to illustrate grammar or vocabulary points, and it's important to test it several times to make sure you don't get stuck in a loop.

If you do get it printed, I'd like a copy!
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby SopwithCamel » 25 Jun 2014, 15:47

I'm wondering if anyone could supply me with photographs of model planes and maybe photos of motorbikes and cars and bicycles for the transport cards. Also drawings of the characters for the character cards. (I suppose I could "steal" character drawings from the books, but I'd rather have original artwork, if you know what I mean)

Also, for the board, if anyone has pictures of Norway? (I think KK has been there? Not sure if I remember right)

The situation cards might need some rough drawings as well, but I'd have to work out what goes on them before I can know what drawings I would need.

The people who print the playing cards are sending me a price list, but from what I understand, prices go down as the order goes up (and I believe the printing price for one (that's just one) pack of cards is something like $6 USD). Game tokens I can get easily, ditto with dice. Still thinking about the game board but I think I can get in touch with a printer who can do them for fairly reasonable prices.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby kylie_koyote » 25 Jun 2014, 15:51

SopwithCamel wrote:
Also, for the board, if anyone has pictures of Norway? (I think KK has been there? Not sure if I remember right)


Indeed I do! I lived there from 1994-99. I would be delighted to send you some. I will try and bring some to work tomorrow to scan. Remind me if I forget.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby Spitfire666 » 25 Jun 2014, 18:38

All sounds great, Soppy. Maybe some of our model makers would let you use their beautiful pictures?
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 25 Jun 2014, 21:29

Sounds awesome, Soppy :claphappy: :yay: When it's published, put me on your customer list, please. I'd love to buy one :bounce:
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby Sizzling Sausages » 25 Jun 2014, 23:31

It sure sounds good, and given I've got the other games I'll definitely have to get this one to keep the collection complete! :D
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby SopwithCamel » 26 Jun 2014, 03:59

Would there still be interest if I changed the characters to J (James lol), A, G, and B? Given that I can't really license the Biggles name, we'd either have to fly (very) under the radar, or we'd have to improvise. :shock:
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby tiffinata » 26 Jun 2014, 05:10

Sounds feasible. And if we stick to real aircraft and locations should fly low.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby Spitfire666 » 26 Jun 2014, 06:42

This all sounds great, Soppy, and much better than anything else that is out there. :claphappy:
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 26 Jun 2014, 06:47

SopwithCamel wrote:Would there still be interest if I changed the characters to J (James lol), A, G, and B? Given that I can't really license the Biggles name, we'd either have to fly (very) under the radar, or we'd have to improvise. :shock:

Definitely interested, Soppy :bounce:
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby Fairblue » 26 Jun 2014, 07:49

Count me in, too, Soppy.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby SaintedAunt » 26 Jun 2014, 08:03

Very clever Soppy! Once you have a clear idea of what it would look like, it might be worth asking the Johns estate whether they would give permission for you to do this with the proper names. Then you could print it officially. It would be so much better.

In the past I have had some contact with Pat White, who is the person responsible for WEJ at the agents, Rogers, Coleridge and White and she seemed a nice person. Annoyingly, I can't find her email address! But see the relevant webpage: http://www.rcwlitagency.com/agents/pat-white/

If they said no, you could still print 'under the radar' using pseudo names?

Maybe not a good idea, just a thought… Good luck with it anyway. Great idea.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby tiffinata » 26 Jun 2014, 11:43

Hope its a goer.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby kylie_koyote » 26 Jun 2014, 13:31

Soppy I just emailed you a bunch of scans from my albums. It was a challenge to find pictures without assorted friends and relatives but I think I chose some good ones. Pls let me know if any if them will work.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby SopwithCamel » 26 Jun 2014, 13:47

Thanks, KK! Can't see them at the moment as I'm on my phone, but I am eager to see them when I get back. I did think of asking the wej estate about this, but it does depend on how many games I'm actually planning to make, I think. I'd originally thought I would be lucky to get ten games out, but it sounds as though there's more interest than I expected.

Could I just ask, for those of you who have the games, how are they played? I see binoculars and fuel gauges included in the game kit, but could never find out what they were for.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby kylie_koyote » 26 Jun 2014, 13:56

SopwithCamel wrote:Thanks, KK! Can't see them at the moment as I'm on my phone, but I am eager to see them when I get back. I did think of asking the wej estate about this, but it does depend on how many games I'm actually planning to make, I think. I'd originally thought I would be luck to get ten games outm but it sounds as though there's more interest than I expected.

Could I just ask, for those of you who have the games, how are they played? I see binoculars and fuel gauges included in the game kit, but could never find out what they were for.


Oh, P.S. - the picture of the castle is not in Norway. I am not sure what that one was on the same page as some of the others.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby SaintedAunt » 26 Jun 2014, 14:03

If you are just going to do a dozen or so for us, I agree it's not worth going through all the hassle of being 'official' especially if you had to pay royalties or similar. But if it is just a private thing for a few for us, and just kept within the forum, I would have thought you might use their names. After all, it is no worse than all the fan fics we write which are breaking copyright by using WEJ's characters. And you can make sure there is nothing on the game that can lead back to you, personally. It is probably important that you be seen not to be making profit. You could sell at cost and just charge over the odds for postage and packing!
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby kylie_koyote » 26 Jun 2014, 14:39

Soppy, I recommend going to Google Image and putting in "WW2 in Norway" and you'll get some really good images - some are probably in the public domain.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby SopwithCamel » 26 Jun 2014, 15:35

Thanks KK! I've seen the photos and am downloading them to my hard drive to look over and see which ones I'd like in jpg format. Just out of interest, how "scattered" are the locations? Did you go all over Norway or are these concentrated in one area?
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby kylie_koyote » 26 Jun 2014, 15:39

SopwithCamel wrote:Thanks KK! I've seen the photos and am downloading them to my hard drive to look over and see which ones I'd like in jpg format. Just out of interest, how "scattered" are the locations? Did you go all over Norway or are these concentrated in one area?


These are all on the west coast, between Stavanger and Bergen, or slightly inland of those cities. I did go to Oslo too, but just once on vacation, and I can't find those images - and the city itself is now very modern, having been heavily damaged during WW2, so it would be unrecognizable to Biggles & Co.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby SaintedAunt » 26 Jun 2014, 22:22

Why not use the internet to find pics of how things were in those days? There is lots of historical stuff out there and it won't all be copyright.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby Sizzling Sausages » 26 Jun 2014, 23:31

SopwithCamel wrote:Could I just ask, for those of you who have the games, how are they played? I see binoculars and fuel gauges included in the game kit, but could never find out what they were for.

I'll see if I can scan some of the instructions over the weekend and send them to you.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 27 Jun 2014, 00:08

This is definitely sounding wonderful, Soppy. Maybe you could also develop the game so we could play it on-line amongst ourselves on the forum? Once we had the game itself, we could have lots of fun playing together. (Of course the time zone differences might give some people an advantage - and disadvantage others - but I'm sure we could work around that. You could create "time zone rules" for on-line playing.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby tiffinata » 27 Jun 2014, 01:26

Looking forward to it.
I have a friend who was in Norway in the last couple of years. Among other things she's a travel writer. Its through her I get to 'visit' places Biggles etc visited. She might have some pics she's willing to share.
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Re: Making a Biggles board game

Postby SaintedAunt » 27 Jun 2014, 07:56

And it wouldn't really matter if places have changed a lot since Biggles was in Norway because none of us will know what it used to look like unless we have been googling pre-war Norway :)
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