I’ve been getting ready for more playtesting by refining a variety of things, a mix of the mechanical and the aesthetic. On the mechanical front, things are tending towards action instead of espionage. The game started as a spaceship package transport game (with hidden information), and then went into espionage for most of its life, but what I’ve realized is that every design decision that makes the game more fun is one that pushes it into the action genre. So, I’ve just been embracing it as much as possible.
Here are some decisions I’ve made in the past few weeks that reflect it, mostly relating to speeding up the game and allowing players to do what they do naturally (rather than butt up against game rules they find arbitrary): Read more
After many years of keeping my Magic cards, I’m finally selling all that I can sell. I am selling 430 cards to Card Kingdom for $563. The Elder Dragon Highlander format has given life to cards that used to be worth nothing, so it’s a good time to sell.
For those that are thinking of selling their cards, here are some general categories I found to be moneymakers: Read more
Time for a quick update!
I’ve been working on bringing more players into the game. It was always intended to be a 2 to 4 player game, but up until recently I was focused only on the two-player mode because I want this game to be as good in two-player as it is in four-player. After some iteration and playtesting, three-player is working pretty well (will try four next). New dynamics come from adding additional players, like players helping others to stop the frontrunner from winning. This is typical for games with many players, and I’m glad to see it making an appearance here. There are a number of board designs I’m still testing out to see what works best for 3 to 4 players.
When I played with my designer friends during GDC, one main thing that bothered them was the lack of a cohesive game feel. Read more
Wow, it’s been a crazy two weeks. I’m back from GAMA (and GDC) with eyes wide open. I am now more familiar with the hobby game industry and the people who make it work.
The gist of GAMA is hobby game publishers and distributors coming together to market products to retailers (it’s hobby games as opposed to mainstream games, like Hasbro or Mattel board games). The publishers and distributors are also able to maintain their relationships with each other and establish new ones.
Each day had a mix of seminars, networking meals, and expo floor time. Some seminars were advertisements for publishers’ games. In these, the retailers got to see new products coming out that may make them money in the coming year. Other seminars were more educational for me, such as the New Publisher and New Retailer Track seminars. I saw an excellent talk by Byron of Collins Epic Wargames in which he explained the entire process of becoming a new game publisher. He mentioned tips, pitfalls, good uses of your time, and so on.
You know it’s early when you wake up before Google sends you your daily calendar. Today I’m flying down to Las Vegas for the GAMA Trade Show to meet new folks and talk shop. Before I go, I wanted to give an update.