The Houston Challenge Game was inspired by my
work at the time (1983) with the Northwest Houston Chamber of Commerce which brought me in
contact with officials from the City. It was further inspired by having a good friend
named Bob Palmer, who's "Robert Palmer Photographics" business was one of my
first sign customers. At the time, I had finished starting up "Just For Laughs"
and was looking for something new to try.
The concept was a monopoly type board game
based on the City of Houston using photographs of landmarks around Houston. Aside from
houses and hotels, players could also drill for oil on their properties. An additional row
of properties, the high rent district, gave players a way, although risky, of passing the
bank more frequently. The money contained portraits of famous Houston leaders. Players'
pieces were miniture cars...because that's the way most people get around Houston.
Over 900 photographs, including 100+ aerials
were taken. No less than 5 prototypes of the game were created before this final version
was submitted for the color seperations.
With presales of nearly 7,500 units,
the product in full production, and a scheduled presentation of the first game to the
Mayor of Houston, funding for the project was revolked and the project was canned. All
that remains is this prototype, a bunch of news clippings about the game, the copyright on
the board and the promise that you can only
fail . . . if you fail to try !