Writer’s block. You may heard of it. You may have lived it. The words alone might fill you with dread. You may wake up from nightmares about The Awful Writer’s Block of Overwhelming Pain with tears streaming down your face and panic lodged in your throat. Um… Maybe that one’s just me. I don’t have all the answers, […]
Hot Damn it’s time to talk about board games. What have I been playing? Scythe, we’ve played several games of it multiplayer, and it’s just as good solo as I remember it.
I’m writing rules for a solo variant of a game. So, I’ve been occupied with that as well. That’s still hush hush at this point, but I’ll let you know how it pans out when I can.
Parade has rocked our socks off. We just got Arboretum, and while it’s a fun game in it’s own right, it is nowhere near as fun as Parade.
My wife and I smashed GenCon 2015 we picked up just because we really liked the skill checks. It’s a game called “Space Movers.” I love the hell out of it, but I think I would be better off playing that solo, because the rest of my gaming group doesn’t enjoy it near as much.
Gencon this year was a great time. I got to meet Vlaada Chavtil at the CGE room. We learned T’zolkin and Space Alert, which we had previously learned, but never got stuck well in our heads.
We experienced the auction room for the first time this year. It’s was crazy and a whole lot of fun. I can’t wait to sit there for 8 hours don’t nothing but bidding on weird stuff. In one lot we purchased an XL shirt that read, “Clerics: The Life of the Party.” Yeah we’re dorks.
I’ve been getting back to work, although some things are taking more time than I they would. I’m working on three games and a variant. Somethings going to need to shutdown for a while and I have a feeling it’s my new game, which is a shame because I love it.
I take medieval European history and put it through my own unique filter. This was a time when our lands abutted. We fought continually for control of more lands, making alliances with the forces of other nobility. Alliances, Negotiation, Battles, Siege, Famine all in one game that plays in around 45-60 minutes. I’ve got some interestng ideas I want to implement, if I can get the base game running smoothly.
Any lessons for today? I don’t know. Maybe, take care of yourself first. Then take care of the world. Because if you aren’t taking care of yourself, how much can you help the world.
I love the breakdown in this song.
I’m on a crowdfunding panel this Wednesday at a St. Louis Publishers Association event (full details are at that link in case you’d like to attend). It’s a unique event because we…
Fantastic read, which was very topical. Our last release was the origin story of another Kickstarter campaign. The stories are so very different they make for great contrast reading.
Editor’s Note: I’d like to introduce our first ever guest writer this week. His name is Brandon Rollins. He is a designer, and fledgling publisher hailing out of Chattanooga, TN. If you’re ever in town, make sure to go check out the Aquariums.
You can bet that Brandon won’t be there right now, because the Kickstarter for War Co. has just five days left. Check out the Kickstarter page, check out the lore of the War Co. website, and, if you think it would be a good fit for your gamig group, back it. He’s created a world around this game that immerses you in its lore before you’ve even played it.
So, let’s start the show.
It all began with me hunched over my laptop, on the toilet Continue reading “Insecurity Theater Introduces: A Kickstarter Campaigner”
…and now we return to our regularly scheduled program.
Sorry about the noise in here, it’s just the TV’s been going off and on and… What? No TV. No noise. No Zombie invasion?!? Well that would seem to imply that I’m insane. Hmm…meh.
It was early September. We had come back from our very first GenCon enthused, despite my insecurities. I was adding new side effects to the game because that’s what people felt it needed. Then, for no apparent reason, I just stopped. My wife was confused about my feelings towards both games. I expected Kaiju to be the star of the show, but despite decent reviews it was a lot rougher than I thought. Side Effects was just a light side project but it had stolen the show. I felt embarrassed to have even made a party game.
I was corresponding with Dirk Knemeyer, host of the Game Design Round Table and owner of Artana, about publishing and questions I had for the show. I had mentioned that one of my games was really successful in playtesting at GenCon but I didn’t want to put it out because I didn’t want my first game to be a party game.
It wasn’t until I received his reply that I realized how pretentiously I was behaving. It wasn’t that he was trying to make me feel bad about being a snob, but I was too embarrassed to reply after reading his email. Was I too good for party games?
We have a bevy of party games which I love, but secretly I’ve always thought, These aren’t real games they’re just fun activities. I might as well enjoy myself. Playing party games always felt like eating ice cream and pop corn at 2:30 in the morning watching a Netflix marathon of Matlock.
I also had a reasonable excuse to abandon the project. Gil Hova from Formal Ferret was getting ready to run a Kickstarter for his game Bad Medicine. Which, when pitched to me, sounded like the exact same game I was going for. I backed it. It’s not the same game. The games aren’t even in the same damn sport.
It’s not likely that Side Effects May Include is going to end up a gamer’s party game. It does one thing really well; it makes people laugh. One playtester who played laughed so hard he couldn’t breathe. Another playtester thought she was going to pee herself. And one came back with her man the next playtest. We became friends and they’ve brought the game to GenCon ever year since. Why would anyone put that on a shelf?
Side Effects May Include focuses on what board gaming is about for a great many people, especially newer gamers and Pearites. It focuses completely on having a good time with your friends or potential friends. Players are scientists working for Big Pharama and they are trying to make a drug that works without rapid hair loss, loose stool, and death.
So the game plays on. I’ll revise the old cards to remove things which complicated the game. I have a few things to add to some of the cards as a suprise for my 2 dedicated Side Effects fans out there. Also, I have a list of about 300 cards and growing(my original offering of 148 was nowhere near enough), so I’m going to finish this project up and start trying to sell it to every publisher who might be into party games of this ilk.
Sometimes you have to step away from a project and see it from someone else’s eyes. Sometimes you have to look at it objectively. Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the ass to get motivated. Anyone else need one? I’ve been working on my drop kick.
I’ve feel like I’ve reached the limits of my knowledge. I sometimes doubt the wisdom I’ve inherited from my forefailures. It was fun for awhile—writing in such a self deprecating way—but I want to write about my design work in a living world, now, and not as party of some anonymous board game eulogy. It’s impossible to look forward when you’re always looking back. That said, we’re going to take a look back at two games that I refuse to give up on, and how I’m moving them forward.
I recently read a great blog post from Micheal over at Gravitas Board Games, in which they discuss rebooting their current project, Fusion. In particular, it was about killing their darlings. Michael is a really nice guy, and we had a brief discussion about the topic. The idea stirred something in me. Naturally, I did what any writer worth their salt would do, and stole the idea. I started to think about the darlings I’ve killed, and those which’ve yet to be killed.
My first Magic experience was in middle school. It was much like my first kiss: bumbling, awkward, painful, and yet somehow altogether pleasing. My friends all had decks they’d been working on since the game had come out 6 months prior.
I begged my mom to take me to this game store 3 burbs down the El Camino (yet another in a long line of redundant the’s in street names). They had Magic starter decks, booster packs, life stones, dice, pouches to keep the stones and dice. It reminded me of Dungeons & Dragons, something I’d discovered a few months earlier. But it was just cards and I thought that would be easier.
All I could afford was the starter deck. So I took it home and I poured over the cards. I read the rules five, maybe six times so that I thought I understood vaguely how to play this game of tapping and attacking and interrupting. Then I took it all to school.
I sat down to play in the library during lunch. Continue reading “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment – 4. Magic: The Gathering Part II. The Third World”
I’ve decided to split my last post into two parts after some revision. Sorry it was so long.
After only seven treatments, I’ve been released on my own recognizance, maybe upon my wife’s pleas, I’m not sure. It’s all been a bit cloudy up here in the noggin. Oh, I haven’t told you yet? I’ve just had shock treatment, which makes me more punk rock than Joey Ramone; and he’s dead. Although, I’m not entirely sure how long ago just is. Alice! Oh, Alice dear!
In any case, that’s the primary reason my posts have been, and will likely continue to be, quite spotty. Ramones songs and images of 1940’s asylums aside, the procedure itself wasn’t that bad. Everyone was quite friendly—perhaps they were former clients. I even got away with a song requests after my 3rd treatment. Naturally, my first was the Ramones.
Good gosh, jee willickers. I can’t believe anybody still comes to this place. There are dust bunnies dancing across the floor, and cobwebs everywhere, and bugs, lots of bugs…thus the cobwebs.
Well, I’ll get the broom out and I’ll put on some prince in loving memory. Okay, here we go:
Are you tired? Do you feel alone? Do you get upset whilst driving behind idiots who’ve clearly received their driver’s licenses from a Sears? I’ve got a feeling; let’s call it George.
George is a feeling I just can’t grasp. It’s like there’s something wrong with the universe and I’m pretty sure it’s me. I can distinguish George completely from sadness, depression, anxiety, self-pity, or self-loathing. It occupies it’s own emotional space on the spectrum, and all it really wants is a shower. Continue reading “Showers, Landfills, and Mixed Metaphors”