Lights Out And Away We Go – Design Diary #1

I thought for the first entry to the design diary that I should introduce you to Wheel to Wheel Racing with a brief overview of the game and then give some background into its origins. Wheel to Wheel Racing is a hand management game inspired by Formula 1. Before the race each player will pick from one of six drivers. Each driver has a unique hand of cards that control their cars movement around the track. The track is also made up of various tiles that can be rearranged into different tracks. However it didn’t exactly start off like this, over the next few design diaries I will take you from the very beginning to where we are today.

Last summer while watching GameNight! play Automobiles, I got the idea of creating a Formula 1 style racing game. As a fan of Formula 1 (due to the recent Netflix series) I never felt there was a F1 game out there that was what I was looking for. There was three particular things that I wanted this game to have. I wanted interesting racing lines through corners, a way to represent the tactical battle of tyre strategy and most importantly for me I wanted the board to be modular so you could easily make different tracks with a small amount of pieces.

The next day I messaged a friend with my idea with the hopes that he would help out mostly with the art side of the game as that isn’t really my skill point. (You can check out some of his art over here) He was immediately on board and we brainstormed all the different aspects of racing and how to implement them in a board game. By the end we came away with a direction of where to take the game. Firstly we wanted to nail down the basics and focused on the movement. This involved creating the deck of cards each player would have and also the track itself. That day I filled a note book with sketches of different corners while watching countless videos on Youtube trying to figure out how to best represent the racing line through a corner in a board game.

Corner Example
Racing Line Sketch

I wanted each driver to feel unique so the next step was to design the different drivers so they had a different ways to play. Some would be quick around corners and slow in the straights, some would be fast on the straights and slow in the corners and the others would fall somewhere in between. Within a week we made some cards and a race track and we started testing it out.

Our First Board Game

It was really basic but we felt that there was a strong enough foundation there that we could start refining and adding more aspects into the game. Over the next few diary entries I will take you through the journey of each aspect, from where it started to how it works in the current iteration.

Also a small note, with this post there will be a new update to the site where there will now be a specific page for each of the three main topics of the blog, including this design diary. Also don’t forget to keep an eye on Instagram as I will start posting more stuff over there soon.


  1. Hello! Just found your blog and I respect what you are doing! Just wanted to say keep up the good work! I’m also going to follow you on Instagram!


    1. Chris Heaney says:

      Thanks very much, we should be back to our regular schedule next week. Also congrats on getting Snack Time funded


      1. Thank you! Also, how did you connect me to snack time so fast? That was impressive 😂


      2. Chris Heaney says:

        Haha, well if I click on your name it takes me to the backfiregames site


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