The development and testing of the Komodo game took approximately nine months. The early testing was done with fairly primitive components and a lot of changes were made after each session. By the time we had worked our way up to inviting strangers to test sessions our PhotoShop skills had improved considerably.
Evolution of the Komodo Terrain Tiles
The original concept was for a zoo game with a revolving board of 4 quarters and magnetic strips as movable fences. We did prototype a magnetic version but it soon proved unwieldy.
Then one day Mil suggested cutting up the board into tiles. As the animals and their point values were changed quite a lot, we kept track of the Terrain required for each animal type in an Excel file.
There are 50 tiles for a precise reason, as you will find out when you play the Collaborative game. Terrain combinations vary and some have beneficial padlocks to protect their inhabitants.
Development of the Animal Cards
We’ve made extensive use of animal photography in Komodo and this in itself proved a mission.
Take our New Zealand Kiwi for example. In their natural forest habitat, Kiwis are rather shy and invariably nocturnal. In captivity, such as zoos, one enters their exhibit to find a darkened room where flash photography is not permitted and very often, no sign at all that the Kiwi concerned is in residence!
We can honestly say that without the help of a good number of many generous photo contributors worldwide, our mission would have failed at this point.
Having obtained the photography required, we then proceeded to develop the cards. The game now has 32 Animal cards featuring 24 species. The Redback spider was removed after a couple of testers thought that it was too spooky!
Development of the box cover
We think our illustrator, Aaron Barron, did a fine job on the Komodo box top. After looking in vain for a photograph of a Komodo dragon in exactly the right posture, he illustrated it freehand from his original pencil sketches. Mil created the remainder of the box artwork with some help from Schil.