A new board game campaign is arriving on Kickstarter. It's not about catching fish or slaying monsters however, it's about walking dogs in a park.
The name of the game is Dog Park. It is a competitive experience where you and up to three other players earn points by walking the neighborhood dogs. As your reputation increases you'll add more dogs to your kennel, and discover that each type of dog has their own specific needs. Some like treats, some like to play fetch, the list goes on. By managing each dog's special needs and keeping them happy, you get victory points. Whoever has the most wins. A single game of Dog Park will take about 40-80 minutes and is appropriate for ages 10 and up.
We managed to reach out to Birdwood Games' Co-Founder and Lead Designer on the project, Lottie Hazell for some additional information on Dog Park. Hazell mentioned that she got the idea for this game from walking her own dog, a Springer Spaniel named Rupert, every single day. She would challenge herself to correctly identify other dog breeds she would see along the way during this ritual. Combine that with a love of board games and the project was born. There is more overlap in those communities than one would think.
One of the unique selling points of Dog Park is that it would include all breeds of dog officially recognized by the UK Kennel Club. By Hazell's own admission that is 221 dogs. Keep in mind, each of these dogs needs to maintain their own unique wants and needs to keep each game interesting. It is a major design challenge, one that Hazell seemed to relish more than dread. "Whilst there are hundreds of dogs in Dog Park, they are all organised into seven breed categories depending on the dog's original purpose. This made the top-level game design more manageable. However, I still spent several very enjoyable hours tailoring each dog's ability and preferences to its character. So it wasn't a challenge - it was a pleasure!" Although she did give credit to the artist, Holly Exley, who did the artwork for each of those canines' portraits.
As for the Kickstarter project, Hazell did give out a few details. There will be stretch goals available for higher tiers, and she even mentioned that an expansion is already in the works to include more dog breeds. She even included a spot where you can formally request a breed to be added.
The campaign for Dog Park will go live Tuesday, September 14th at 11 AM PST.