I've been playing a lot of tile-swapping puzzle games like Bejeweled, Tetris Attack and ShapeShift HD. As is often the case when I play digital games, my mind wanders to how I can make an analog conversion, with new mechanics unique to a tabletop game.
Then I started thinking about the success of Angry Birds. Now, there have been tons of missile-launching video games, but one of the big things Angry Birds had going for it was the personality in each bird and pig. (It's important to note the WORMS franchise was doing the "cute animals as avatars in a missile game" thing for a long time in the 90s.)
And then I stumbled on a weird title. Swap Clops. It was going to be a Pitch Tag for Fred, but I couldn't give it up. I wanted to make something with it. A game about swapping eyeballs among cyclopses? Nah. Maybe "Clop" is a new branded name for the "floating ball with a giant eye" monster archetype. (I heard somewhere WotC has a trademark on the term "Beholder.")
So, Swap Clops is my take on the tile-swapping puzzle genre, adding characters with personality to the mix. Above, you see Kari Fry's concept drawings for the clops. Look for more game notes to come!