How does a game go from neat idea to finished product? How long does it take? What's really involved?
While doubtless atypical, the story of the production of Chrononauts provides one set of answers. It took ten months to get from the idea (Jan 12th: "I'll invent a Time Travel card game!") to the finished product (Oct 17th: "The decks are here!"). You can follow along with me the whole way, from secret idea to beta release, in the back issues of the Wunderland Weekly News.
A shorter version of the story is told in the article Creating Chrononauts (or, How I Invented a Time Machine Disguised as a Deck of Playing Cards), By Andrew Looney
Here's a list of the WWN articles that really relate to the development of Chrononauts: