Okay, so on the path to a Heroquestish game (which is quite a gooball, if I do say so myself), I don't want to just jump in and drown, so I decided to look into making an intermediate complexity game. Honeycomb=>Cowhead=>ChemHex=>No Mess=>Heroquest just didn't seem like a logical progression.
The intermediate step is Zombies!!!, a "board game" I have.
Interestingly enough, I once e-mailed the folks at Twilight Creations and asked if they were interesting in licensing out this game. I was told "not at this time, ask in a year." It has been six months since then.
Make game now. Get license later, or change name and theme of game. Besides, they have all of the rules posted on their website, so it's not like the game is secret.
So, I made Zombies.xml, which is the start of a rough description of some of the game components in xml. I started with the tiles and the cards. I have many of the "squares" attributes messed up (lesson: draw things out first). If you are taking a look, the squares attribute contains nine characters that appear to be hex digits. This is an encoding scheme for which directions a token is allowed to move. 1 represents north, 2 east, 4 south, 8 west, add together all of the directions needed. The layout attribute represents where the zombies, hearts, and bullets may be placed.
I've seen modifications of Zombies!!! rules for solo play, and I'll probably go for something like that, as I don't really want to make a multiplayer game.