Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Plans: Take 2

I believe I mentioned several Kickstarter campaigns that would be happening for my games this summer. As is the custom of the game industry, the timetables have been pushed back a bit. The new schedule is as follows:

Early-August: Fidelitas
Strangely enough, the game I thought would show up last will in fact be first. Fidelitas is the first game I've ever co-designed. Jason Kotarski sent me an early version of this game about a year ago, and I somehow got the crazy idea to propose co-designing it. Even crazier, he went along with it! From there we hit it off, turning this cards-only game into a game with a board and then back again.

Lately, Jason has gone off the deep end--forming his own game company and building up a swell of support for the game all in the blink of an eye. The game now has beautiful art and plays better than either of us first imagined. Also, we had our first in-depth review of the game from All Us Geeks podcast. They discuss our game from 0:30 to 0:50. I am super-excited to see where this one goes!

Late-August: Skyway Robbery
I got the word today that this one will be pushed back to after GenCon. I'm cool with that. Last week I made a few videos for the Kickstarter campaign, but it will be nice giving all the reviewers more time. Plus, we get another big con to show the game. Meanwhile, we are still tightening the design ever so slightly with some last minute tweaks and corrections.

Mid-September: Spirits of the Rice Paddy
Finally, my big euro game will be going up on Kickstarter in the fall. I'm promised a final prototype (that I don't have to make myself!) will be ready any day. From what I've seen, everything is coming together nicely. Someone even made a BGG microbadge for us today. :)

If you are interested in trying any (all?) of these games, I will have them all at GenCon Thursday through Saturday. I would love to show them to you! Just let me know. In the meantime, enjoy the summer!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Origins Recap

I just wanted to share a quick recap of our whirlwind Origins experience this year. Isabel and I got to attend on Saturday. We got to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones. Here's how it went:

7:15 - left Cincinnati for Origins.
9:15 - picked up badges and headed to the open board gaming area to kill time until 10:00 (when the exhibit hall opened).
9:30 - ran into Tom Vasel and a big group of his well-know buddies, so I got to show off my Skyway Robbery prototype to them. They seemed to be intrigued by it.
9:45 - happened by the AEG area and ended up showing off my one new design I brought and chatting with John Goodenough for a surprisingly long time.
11:00 - finally got to the exhibit hall
11:30 - met Jason Kotarski to see our new version of Fidelitas. We also got to do a bit of podcasting. This game should be on Kickstarter around August.
12:15 - picked up my copies of Family Vacation from the Jolly Roger Games booth. The final version looks pretty good, but there are a few minor printing/editing errors. Lugged the six copies back to the car.
1:00 - ate lunch at the North Market. I had a nice Reuben and a fantastic chocolate eclair.
2:00 - headed into the board room area (ribbon not really needed this year) to do demos of Skyway Robbery. We got one started with a nice couple. They seemed to enjoy it.
4:00 - got Dan Patriss and another friend to play Skyway Robbery. Another good demo session.
6:00 - stood around chatting and eating pizza, trying to get another demo in. The guys at the next table were doing the same thing, as was Ryan Metzler a few tables over. However, things really slowed down at this point.
8:00 - headed home. We would probably have gotten another demo in if we had waited until 9:00 or 10:00, but I didn't want to be out so late. It was nice getting home in time to unwind a bit.

All in all, a good day at Origins 2014! I almost bought several games, but ended up not pulling the trigger on anything. I am already getting excited about GenCon. This year, I'll be there Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It will be nice having all the extra time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Skyway Robbery Final Prototype


Just thought I'd share a few pictures of the final Skyway Robbery prototype. I got everything printed last week and finally got it all cut and glued together. I am incredibly pleased with how it all looks and how it plays!

This is going to be one big, heavy box. There are lots of nice components.

The board is a massive 33" x 22". And there are fairly large player boards too. You're going to need a very large table.

Giant-sized location boards fit right on the board. They are just oozing with fantastic art!

The action cards for each player are made to look like passports. Dann May at Game Salute is a genius!

Playing this game with such amazing art is just the most wonderful feeling. After all the years of hard work, my game has finally come to life. And it's so much better than I even dared to hope!

Here's a pic of our first game. Don't be fooled--it's more for the 13+ crowd, but when your dad is a game designer, you get roped into playing just about everything.

I am eagerly looking forward to Origins this week. Isabel and I will be there Saturday only. I will be demoing this game and a few others at the Unpub area that night (unless the Unpub folks are in the Board Room again--in which case, I'll be in open gaming). Look for the Blue Noodle!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Busy Summer

Time for my monthly blog post . . . just know that when I'm not sharing news and writing articles on this site, I'm working on really cool games that will be unveiled at a later date. Right now it's time to post a quick update about my INCREDIBLY BUSY SUMMER plans.

In June I'll be attending Origins again, but (just like last year) only on the Saturday. I'll also be bringing Isabel again. I only have a few new prototypes to show around. Otherwise, I'll have several soon-to-be-kickstarted games with me (see below for more details). Oh, and Family Vacation will be available for purchase at the con!

July will be jam-packed with, not one, but TWO Kickstarters! Isn't that a little crazy? Yes. But with five kids, I live in crazytown every day! Each Kickstarter will be with a different company, so that will help a bit. Plus, each game has a slightly different target audience.

Skyway Robbery, a steam-punk, card-driven heist game, just drips with awesome. The art is magnificent (you would not believe the $$$ that cost!), and I'm very happy with where the gameplay is. I'm very jazzed! Check out the BGG page to see more.

And then, Spirits of the Rice Paddy is probably the most complex game I've ever designed. Kevin Brusky and the APE Games team have done an amazing job fine-tuning this heavy-hitter into a sleek, elegant experience. The artwork and layout is currently underway, but things are happening quickly. I'm hoping the true eurogamers will end up loving this game as much as we do!

NOTE: Podcasters and Reviewers - we are currently scheduling media opportunities for both of these games for June and mid-July. Please contact me if you are interested in getting a copy to review and/or doing a short interview with me. Thanks!

August brings GenCon. I plan to attend Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this year. I'll be demoing for Game Salute (mostly the new Princess Bride games) Fri and Sat 10:00-1:00. I'll also be demoing SotRP and a few other games at various other times. Let me know if you are interested in trying out one of my games, and we'll work out a time!

August will also be bringing . . . yet another Kickstarter! This project is in conjunction with designer Jason Kotarski (of Heartland Hauling fame). More about this later . . .

Add to all this a few major church activities (a week of Bible School and a week of Junior Camp), and I'm in for a crazy busy time. Sorry to dump all that at one time, but, well, I've got to get back to work!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


With your help, we made our funding goal for Tiger Stripes! Woo-hoo! Thank you so much for all the support. Whether you shared, retweeted, backed or prayed, Isabel and I want to express our gratitude. We'll be making a little "Thanks" video tonight as part of the celebrations!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Final Hours

Thanks to everyone who has posted, shared, retweeted and backed Tiger Stripes! We are ridiculously close to making our goal. But we aren't there yet. Currently, we have 32 hours to raise another $525. You can help us during our final push to the finish line. Please continue to share our Kickstarter link throughout the day. Some of you might also be able to increase your pledge amount--Christmas is December 25th this year! Again, thanks so much for your help. Isabel really appreciates it!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tiger Stripes: Crunch Time

As I'm writing this, we have only 68 hours to fund Isabel's Tiger Stripes game on Kickstarter. We need just a handful of backers to make it over the top. Please consider backing this project or sharing the KS link in this final stage of our campaign. Thanks!