The history of Robots on the Line
Robots on the Line started out, literally, as a dream. The funny thing is it had nothing to do with robots at all. Rather, the dream was about a game called Dr. Frankenstien’s Labratory where you collected parts and built silly creatures. Some had scales, some had fur, some were more like jelly. It was a fairly detailed dream and very vivid. I woke up from the dream and realized I needed to see if there was a game that actually made sense outside of a dream. The first problem was drawing creatures. I’m way too lazy to draw creatures so instead I elected to creative robot parts. Much easier to draw because they’re simple shapes and easy to create and attach to other parts. Thus, Robots on the line was born.
I consider myself a pretty creative person but I’m not a full time game designer. I like games, and I play them, but I never thought I’d be working on a board game and have it so close to being ready to publish. I can tell you though that this has been an adventure with lots of ups and downs and about 50 version of the game. I would also consider myself a perfectionist and that’s why I’ve been through so many revisions.
The game started like other games have started. I woke up one morning with this vivid recollection of a dream I had that night. The dream was about Dr. Frankenstein’s Laboratory and robot parts were being put together by players of the game. I just knew this was something I had to create. The problem was that I wasn’t prepared to draw monster parts. Instead I elected to create robot parts using simple shapes and colors and thought I could see if the idea was even feasible. It was crude. It was simple but I could tell something was there. You can see where I was on the right with version 7 of my first prototypes.
The game got a little more sophisticated in version 18. The shape of the robots changed from rectangles to hexagons. This simple change opened up a lot more possibilities. Bonus symbols were added to the heads and bases and buyers were added. You’ll notice a “Line modifier tile” that was placed near the draw pile that would change the way to production line operated. I tested this a lot but ended up removing it in version 27 or 28.
A lot of versions had simple changes. All the changes that were made had one purpose. Simplify and make the game better. Ultimately we ended in a good place with a solid game. I hope that you’ll agree.