When designing a game, sometimes the designer has a clear theme in mind which helps guide design decisions. This was not the case for Bullfrogs. I designed this game entirely without a theme.
After I got it to a good spot design-wise and was happy with the mechanics, I quickly started trying to figure out what the theme should be. After each playtest, I asked testers what they “felt” like when they were playing it. Testers used words like "pop" and "jump" and "attack" when referring to cards and cubes moving around on a table. I listened closely and started brainstorming.
My requirements: Family friendly, something fairly unique, nothing that screams "kid's game", and something that meshes well with the mechanics of the game.
So, I started tracked all the ideas that I had come up with and testers had provided. I also solicited the opinions of the design community over at BGG here.
I got some great suggestions. From hipsters changing fashions to pirate traffic jams. In the end, my wife's idea of frogs fighting over lily pads on a pond was the obvious choice. I think it's a fun theme and I hope players find it entertaining as well.
Try out the Print and Play version of Bullfrogs under the "Games" tab, and imagine one of the other themes on the tracking list linked above. What would you have picked?
Till next time.