Now, how did I get into Game Design and Publishing!? (Part 1)

Congratulations! You've made it to this page. First and foremost, thank you so much for checking this out.
I am Sidhant Chand - the founder of Zenwood Games. It is my immense pleasure to introduce you to my world - the world of board games.
On a seemingly unrelated note, I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs. (and until recently, I thought everybody else is, as well). Till date, Jurassic Park remains my only true favorite franchise... of which I own in my collection - The book (by Michael Chrichton), all the movies (thanks to internet, and no, not the new ones. The OG movies) as well as the PC games (Both old and new, although Jurassic Park Operation Genesis had a huge impact in my life, which I will perhaps bore y'all about later)
I recently also bought a Jurassic Park T-Shirt.
Hmm, now that I think of it, I think it comes very close in competition to the Adventures of Tintin, for which I am a compleaaete sucker.
When I was a kid, I used to take a pencil and scribble caricatured versions of T-Rex on old newspapers.
While scribbling dinosaurs, one day
I noticed - I had drawn over a part of what was the "Jumbled words" game that featured in the Sunday issue, back then. Immediately, I started to solve those puzzles, and got pretty good at it.
I am pretty good even now, but only if the words are at most 7 letters.
I guess, in a way, that event is vivid in my memory, since it was the first dopamine hit for me as a "player" playing a game, or solving a "puzzle" of sorts. And there was no stopping then! From paper games I graduated to video games like the quintessential 90s kid, with my own desi nintendo console. From TV console I shifted to PC games, and from PC games I finally found my deepest, truest love for games, which are Board Games.
Now, it's not entirely true that I discovered board games so late. Of course, I got introduced to the Indian basics - Ludo, Chess and Carrom (I guess we can agree to call it a dexterity team game) at a very early age. But it was not until I was a teenager when I started my hunt for more elaborate games - quickly discovering the menu of staple games that existed everywhere in the millennium India - UNO, Monopoly, Risk, Scotland Yard, Cluedo, Mastermind, The Game of Life.
I must have collected each and every one of these throughout my prime years, and treasured them like anything. (Also noticing the Funskool branding on almost every game, and wondering if it would be fun to work there)
I was fascinated by the "realness" of it - you play a game dealing with physical components - plastic figures, cards, dice, tokens - it felt so real, as if you were transported back to the very world that you are playing in. Of course, you could say the same for any form of game - but this very form of game felt too real. It was a small world in which you would exist for a brief period of time, following the rules of the game diligently, as if almost forced to by some mysterious power.
The big difference in board games was that the constructed world could actually be felt.
Clearly, I grew hungry for more games, but back then there was neither the convenient access to the world wide web, nor I had any foreign friends who could educate me about other board games. I scouted almost all 'toys and games' shops at my hometown, pestering the shopkeeper every now and then if they had any new board games. Sure, I discovered few rip-off games like Batman (which had a Batman Action Figure in it - oh, the game was just a roll and move stone-paper-scissor battle) and numerous Cricket related board games, but none of them worth playing more than a couple of times. As I started to decline from my failing crusade, my interest started to slowly shift to a whole new wave of PC games which had just arrived. Here I could quench my subconscious thirst of board games via a novel "Real Time Strategy Game" concept introduced by the PC Game, Microsoft's Age of Empires.
I am sure all the players who have played RTS game series like Age of Empires and Age of Mythology can totally relate to this rush - the rise in popularity of this genre that hit everywhere in the 2000s. It was too influential; all my cousins and most of my friends back then were busy playing AoE (and later, AoE II) almost on a daily basis; the afternoons would be spent discussing strategies, victories and defeats. Ah, the satisfaction of getting to do all the macro and micro management - wars, economy, city building, deleting innocent villagers, making freakishly funny maps in scenario editors etc.
That was for the first time, we players got to understood the depth of strategy games.
Few years pass by and truth be told, I kept trying each and every RTS game that was being released - we had truly arrived at the golden era of PC Strategy gaming.
And then, one fine day, when the internet had become more accessible, I must have been googling about Age of Mythology Myth Units.. and must have accidentally stumbled upon a search entry -
Age of Mythology - The Board Game.
Intrigued, I clicked on the link - opening a treasure chest only waiting to be discovered -
And that is when, my long lost crusade years ago suddenly got blessed with a new purpose.
To be continued...
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