The world of board games, like many things, is a bit of a rabbit hole. The deeper you go the more complex it gets.
Most people's experience of board games will be the annual family fallout over Monopoly, Risk, probably Chess, definitely Scrabble.
I don't like Monopoly. I don't like Risk. They go on too long. They both have the same lazy end game of - play until no one else is left playing. There is nothing fun about a 5 hour game that you're only in for 2.
Over the last few years I have become obsessed with boardgames. It upsets me that people would choose to play Monopoly over Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne or Settlers of Catan. These are infinitely better games. Fundamentally they are more fun to play.
But as I've burrowed deeper into the rabbit hole of boardgames I've found that much of the hobby game world is made of games with seemingly purposefully uninteresting themes. How about a game where you're a medieval farmer, and your job is to get the most yeild out of your land, whilst fending it off from attack by dragons and orcs. Because, I don't know why! Heck that sounds too interesting, how about a game about wine making! That exists! It's meant to be good!
But really, your average person is going to take one look at this and just say no. The plethora of medieval fantasy games just turns a lot of people off. And yes, these games aren't made for everyone. And yes, there are good games made for mass market.
What I'm trying to get at is there a lot of games that sell a lot but aren't necessarily that good. These are like Nickleback songs. You can't escape them even if you tried. You have one in your cupboard. It came with the house. It will be there when you leave.
There are those games that get made that are like a Radiohead album. Everyone wants to make Kid A. Not everyone is capable of making Kid A.
I want to be Taylor Swift. I want to make games that appeal to me, that come from a personal place, but can be understood and appeal to a wide audience. That's ambitious I know, but I don't mean be like Taylor Swift and make all the money. I want to make games that don't rely on fantasy themes to sell.
This isn't a new idea, taking a theme that people are more familiar with and gaming it up. Or taking a real world thing and making it into something fun. Just look at games like Pandemic, Tomorrow or Burger Up.
I hope that Nothing to Declare will be my first forary into this world and a valid contribution. It's about finding balance and ultimately what is fun for people to play.