My initial thoughts were to create a roll and write version of an existing game - Daniel Newman had just done this with Rolled West.
Mason had introduced me to Kapitan Wackelpudding at BGG - a crazy dexterity based roll and move game where you stack pieces and push them around a map, when something falls it impacts the game.
kapitan wackelpudding bgg
I tired to come up with a game with stacking dice but I was able to stack 6,7,8 dice and push them around my map quite easily without dice falling. I then started looking a something that started to feel like a roll and move with spaces and finally gave up.
I switched over to Terraforming Mars. I created a version with a basic concept of rolling two dice and picking one for the player and one for the dummy player. I received some feedback that there was no tension and no engine building.
I looked retooled it to include cards. I sorted through all the cards and came up with a selection of cards for each die roll. I also added some tension by adding the generations track - every time you rolled doubles you marked off a generation that would speed up one of the end game conditions. This also was a response to a "too many dice rolls" comments. I tried to balance the card costs with making things hard to buy with out making you need too many dice rolls to get something.
The early version of the cards were actual photos of the cards. Since the rules required no copyrighted material I decided to make the cards more generic boxes with text. This also gave me a opportunity to rewrite the cards with puns and other silliness. One of the card rows was city cards - I created a city card based on the home location of each of the judges.
Jr is from Dallas, Mandy is from Ottowa, Nicole from Toronto, Edo from Mt. View, and Mason from Oklahoma City. Cupola City became Couple of Cities.
I also created some specific cards - like Nicole always calls dogs pics on twitters "pupper" and there is a pets card in the inspiration game.
This one is just silly...
The original has a card called Lake Mariners. My buddy Nick Mariner has a twitter account called I call Yellow so I made this as a homage to him.
I actually kind of gave up on it. I didn't get many more play testers and wasn't finding the time to do much of my own as Origins approached. Then after Origins I got really sick and ended up in the hospital. My son brought me my laptop after I started feeling better but was still waiting to get released so I decided to at least wrap up what I had done and get it submitted. It definitely needs some balancing and revisions but overall I guess as my first attempt at a game at all it isn't so bad.
The final submitted version of the game can be found here.