From pro footballer to board game professional, Christophe Leclercq has traded his crampons for pawns. This 64-year-old Nivernais, retired from Ligue 2, left the field in 1990. He became a coach and then, over time, he left the world of football to sink his old quiet days. Retired, and well installed in a pavilion, time is long and there is no shortage of it. At the dawn of confinement in 2020, he realizes that he will have a lot of it.
« The greatest reward is that people play it »
Recently passionate about biathlon, a sport he now admires in a different way than football, he embarked on the development of a board game. “There are no or very few sports games in the table games. I wanted my game, ”reports Christophe Leclercq, his eyes fixed on a tablet showing the final visuals of his game, Crystal Globe.
He is one of the few people to have seen the positive effects of the Covid. “I knew I was going to be locked up and left to be bored firmly. The idea of a game about sports that thrills me the most came to me. «
Former footballer Christophe Leclercq has created « a strategy game inspired by the real rules of biathlon »
Impulse, slide, concentrate, then shoot, it is all these sensations that Christophe Leclercq wanted to infuse into his game. “I wanted to convey my emotions in this game. Of course, that did not happen overnight. I thought about giving up. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I would wake up with new ideas and unblock the situation, ”recalls the retiree with a smirk.
Once finished, he doesn’t think he’ll ever see his game edited. “I was at the top, I had finished my game, it was perfect. But come to think of it… “People are gonna get pissed off actually.” So I eliminated, I simplified elements. The conception of the game that I had is not the same for all players, ”explains Christophe Leclercq, grabbing a homemade box. Inside it, dozens of rule papers, notes, a few pawns and a huge game board with impeccable finishes. « It’s the prototype, » retorts the designer.
What might have been a rough outline was in reality the element that immediately appealed to a game publisher.
We should be able to get nearly 2,000 sets off the production lines first.
Didier Jacobee, editor for Multiverse, saw a Facebook post from Nivernais presenting his game. “He contacted me, it was pure luck. We exchanged and he offered to edit me. Banco, I accepted, ”says Christophe Leclercq proudly.
“I decided to go last September to Chambéry where a biathlon festival was held. A sports equipment manufacturer spotted me and offered to sit in their tent. I was able to present the game to many athletes and it took. They were won over. I couldn’t believe it, ”says the former athlete.
The equipment manufacturer, Eko sport, has also decided to sponsor the game. “It helps us a lot. We should first be able to release nearly 2,000 games from the production lines ”, rejoices the creator, before specifying,“ what drives me is passion not money ”.
This passion is the same as that of the football stadiums he loved so much. “I was a coach at the end of my career. There is transmission. There it is the same. The best reward from now on is that people play it, ”Christophe Leclerc savors in advance.
A relationship of exchange that matches
The development of his game took a different turn during discussions with his publisher. The exchanges are going well, a situation appreciated by the creator. “In normal times, once the contract is signed, the author does not touch anything and the publisher is free to change everything if he wishes. I warned him straight away. “My name is Casse-couilles” and I can say that I have not let go, ”laughs the retiree. “We sometimes got confused, I’m stubborn, but I admitted my faults when I did. We really had a constructive relationship. For his part, he is open to everything. I think we are releasing a good game, ”he adds.
Crystal Globe for Christophe Leclercq is the consecration, the return to the spotlight: “I have always looked for adrenaline in my life. This game brought me to it. I see this project as something saving. At the end of my life, it keeps me going and allows me to continue to exist. I had lost the link with society. When you have 30 calls a day as a coach and overnight it’s nothing, it’s hard. It gave me back a taste for projects. I am being sought again. I play extra time. »
The Crystal Globe game is already available on the internet and will be on sale at the Cyprès bookstore in Nevers on December 7th.