'Lightbulb moment': Higham Ferrers designer invents board game after flash of inspiration

Neil Barrie's idea was a lightbulb moment. (Picture courtesy of Go Dotty via YouTube)
Neil Barrie's idea was a lightbulb moment. (Picture courtesy of Go Dotty via YouTube)

A game designer from Higham Ferrers says his debut invention came to him in a 'lightbulb moment'.

Neil Barrie has created a board game called Go Dotty, which he describes as a combination of dominoes and noughts and crosses.

If Go Dotty gets the funding on Kickstarter it could be released in September

If Go Dotty gets the funding on Kickstarter it could be released in September

Since the flash of inspiration in May 2017, Neil carried around "an evolving copy" of his game with him, which helped shape its final design.

"I came up with the idea of Go Dotty in a proper lightbulb moment, wondering what dominoes and noughts and crosses would be like combined," said Neil.

"After a week of scribbling more thoughts and working out the maths and mechanics, I had a working mock-up of the game."

Neil went on a mission to get the game played with as many people as possible from all walks of life, taking it to board game nights but also playing it with anyone he could find.

"I’ve carried an evolving copy of Go Dotty around with me for nearly two years now," he said.

The two-player board game is easy to learn but takes strategy and tactics to master.

Its rules are simple: connect the dots to create the most lines of three to win.

"The game’s design is slick and sophisticated, but not over-complicated, meaning that it’s easy enough for ages of 8 to 80 to pick up and start playing," said Neil.

Go Dotty is available for backing on Kickstarter and the campaign aims to raise £9,000.

If the game is successful on Kickstarter, it will go immediately into production, to be ready by September 2019, and on the shelves of retailers in time for Christmas.

Game reviewers have already commented on Go Dotty, with Sam Illingworth from The Games Research Network writing: "Simple but with lots of strategy. Could pick up and play very quickly but also has lots of depth. I really enjoyed this."

A demo version of Go Dotty can be played online.