One thing that has fascinated me in board games is the concept of taking a standard game and blowing the whole thing out to a larger size. These “super-sized” or “Giant/Mega” versions of games are usually seen at game conventions or public spaces. I suspect this is mostly due to the cost involved in creating giant versions of the game and the space needed to play/store it but it also creates a spectacle and attracts a lot of attention.
It’s the spectacle that drives us to make giant versions of these games. It’s this unique aspect of play that engages the players and the audience in a way that takes something very familiar and maybe even boring and makes it into a memorable experience. For me, playing a giant version of the game brings me back to a child-like state where the pieces barely fit in my hands. My movements are awkward and clumsy and I become fully immersed in the game itself. It occupies a wide field of my vision and I am in the game as completely as I can ever be.
Giant games are also more engaging for an audience since the playing pieces and board components are large enough to see the game progress from a comfortable distance away. The audience almost becomes the parent, watching their children at play. The event takes on amusement as the audience watches these “children” play, even when that “child” might be your own father or an old friend.
All these thoughts were going through my head when I decided to try to make my own giant version of a game. I had a dream to make a giant version of Fantasy Flight’s X-wing miniatures game but the cost to acquire large versions of the models prevented it from going anywhere. I still would like to try it some day as I’ve seen WizKids’ Star Trek Attack Wing in giant form and it looks great.
I was able to buy an old copy of Milton Bradley’s Broadsides and Boarding Parties from a friend and soon after, Ares Games released an Age of Sail miniatures game, Sails of Glory. This game utilized a lot of the movement rules of their famous World War I bi-plane dogfighting game, Wings of Glory. I’d known that system well and with the Broadsides game in hand knew I had a good opportunity to make my own giant game.
I’ll feature the full giant-sizing process for Sails of Glory in a Showcase but the experiences playing and seeing giant versions of games at conventions inspired me to strike out and make my own giant game.