Month: August 2015

My first YouTube video … What’s up for next week

Hello and Welcome,

I started a YouTube channel and thought I might put it to some use. My first video is a preview of what’s coming up next week. I hinted at it a bit in my last article, but here’s a video so you can look at my beautiful face.

As a bit of housekeeping, I plan for my release schedule to be Tuesdays and Thursdays. There will be sporadic nonsense such as this thrown in every now and again but I wanted to let everyone know so that if they don’t like subscribing or doing rss feeds they can come and visit when they like.

Please do subscribe if you can, leave comments, like me on Facebook, and/or tweet to me. I’d love to hear that people are enjoying the content.


Thank you so much for reading,



Game Design #3: Code Mage VI – The Main Event

This is part 3 of a series. To start at the beginning follow the white rabbit.

The last thing I needed before my big playtest was more prototypes, a lot more.
Big Mistake #6: Spending hundreds of dollars on prototypes that were obsolete 2 days after they were printed

I would advise not wasting gallons of toner printing out cards like these:

Card Face Revisited BackgroundCode Mage Card Back

Make your prototypes cheap. Don’t print in color when you can print in black and white. Don’t reprint something when you can cross it out and write over it. Save your money for more important things like: food, rent, and the medication that prevents you from seizing up like the tin woodsman in a rain storm.

Working prototypes should: be functional, clearly convey all necessary information, and facilitate players enjoyment of your game. But if a game needs art and graphic design to make it enjoyable, it’s probably not a very good game to begin with.

Big Mistake #7: Not knowing why I was playtesting

That’s not entirely true. I knew why I was playtesting. It was to show off what I had created.

Big Mistake #8: Not being able to view my project objectively

I was too close. At this point every …

Big Mistake #9: Interrupting myself mid-sentence

At this point …

Big Mistake #10: Being overly critical of myself and my work1618588_10202745587748201_667083672_n

AT THIS POINT everyone should have a good understanding of how clueless I was. I made big mistakes and took unnecessary risks, but  I learned from those mistakes and the experience was invaluable. It’s time to start pointing out some things I got right.

Big Win #1: We have come here to chew bubble gum and playtest games. And we’re all out of bubblegum.

Most importantly, this is where I becomes we.. Since I started designing games my partner has been willing to play with whatever I put in front of her (phrasing). Now, she was taking an active role in the company

We scheduled our playtest event with our FLGS 30 days ahead. We set up table tents, posted and distributed flyers, and had a sign-up sheet near the register. Comic Quest gave us 6 tables on a Friday night. We worked together, the stars aligned, and more than 30 people showed up to playtest our game.1549327_10202745573147836_1717488875_n

There were 12 prototypes and we kept them running for 4 hours. We spent the entire time answering questions. How does flying work? What does this mean? Where do I put this? Is this supposed to be like this? Who ate all the pepperoni? Why’s my seat wet? 

We received 22 surveys back. The feedback was mostly quite positive. People rated the game highly. But watching them play I knew what they were writing down didn’t align with what they were actually thinking.

Some things were clunky and some were just broken. Parts of the game would need to be redesigned or removed. It would require another round of prototypes, playtesting, and pizza. I would again spend months spinning my wheels. So again I found myself having to let go because I lacked the experience to do more.

Oh why did I just spend the last hour of my life playing this stupid game?!?But what a send off. We rocked that event. Together my partner and I put together a playtesting party. We received more feedback then we could have at a year’s worth of game nights. My partner was the voice our company needed. She could speak about our games without fear of criticism.

The Post Game Wrap Up

This weeks recommendation is a bit of light reading. The Kobold Guid to Board Game Design, by Mike Selinker, is a series of essays written by influential game designers. It is well structured and offers keen insights into game design and the board game industry.

That’s it for Code Mage, at least for now. While working on it I learned a great deal about: business, working with artists, teamwork, graphic design, business, prototyping, and playtesting. Money well spent? Yeah, I suppose so. Unfortunately, I still had one more costly lesson to learn.

eyeStatus: Shelved
October 2013-March 2014

Next week, giant monsters devour the city and my savings

Isn't this dreadful.

Game Design #1 – Sphere of Influence

My Very First Game

I first logged onto Board Game Geek in June of 2012. I had been on a long hiatus from the hobby when my partner pulled out a copy of Settler’s of Catan one nightIt didn’t take long to reignite my passion for the hobby and our collection has now earned us silver collector status on BGG.

By February of 2013 I had come up with a fantastic idea for a living card game. I really thought it was going to be something. I started with some mechanics and tacked on a theme and the first iteration was titled: World Revolutions. It was meant to be a game where player’s took on the role of revolutionaries staging an uprising. It was a grid based card game that I would describe as Pixel Tactics meets Arkham Horror.