Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas!

My games are finished and await wrapping. Also, my website has a holding page in place to field initial responses: revolutionboardgame.com.

May you have a wonderful Christmas this year!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Almost Christmas!

I've been down at Santa's workshop a lot this week, finishing my 10 units for Christmas. If all goes as planned, they should be finished tomorrow!

In other news, my new website will soon be online (at least with a holding page until I hear back from the copyright folks).

Maybe I can start posting a few technical articles soon...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Quick Update

I am close to finishing the 10 units to be given as Christmas presents. Today I worked on covering boxes with the labels. The new and improved top labels fit *perfectly*. The bottom will need a few revisions for the next printing. Also, the copyright application has been sent, as of last Friday. I wonder how long that will take?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Box Bottom Printed

Despite being racked by illness (along with my whole family), I have finished the last piece of the puzzle: the box bottom. I printed these today, as well as some improved sheets for the box top. The image on the box bottom is a bit pixelated. Maybe I will get a chance to improve that and a few other spots of concern. Nevertheless, having a completely-assembled game in my hands is a huge milestone!

Tomorrow I will mail the copyright application. Once I hear back from them, I will begin to post lots more images and launch my main website.

My current goal is to produce 15 copies by the end of the year (10 of which will be given as Christmas presents). :) Still, I'm super-busy, so it won't be easy. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Printing!

We managed to print out everything (almost) necessary for a complete game, and enough of each to finish 25 copied by year's end. As you can see, the box turned great! I couldn't be happier! I still have to finish up the bottom of the box and file for my copyright. Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Construction Has Begun

Here are some pictures of my progress. Basically, I've made about 12 complete boxes (without the labels--coming soon...) and 4 boards. Things will pick up after tomorrow when I finally get some printing done. My wooden cubes are also in production.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Paper Is Here!

My paperboard actually arrived last week (I've been too busy to post till now). It came on a big truck on top of a pallet (300 lbs. total)! This cost me a big $400--so I guess I'm committed to making a least the first 50-100 copies. I've got it all in a secure location until construction begins. I've also done some tests to figure out a few other construction details. I meet with my printer next week, so things are moving along now! Pictures will be coming soon...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Slowly Moving Ahead

Right now I am mostly waiting for things to line up. Then the real work can begin. I seriously considered springing for an authentic bar code (UPC), but we finally decided just to wait a bit on that. It will be easy enough to add later. My paperboard order should be shipping out soon, and my printer has the special 13x19 paper I requested. The next step is to finalize all the designs and get the copyright.

A note on playtesting:

During our recent vacation to the beach, we got a chance to playtest the 5-6 version some more. Embarrassingly, I ran away with it, to the point of having to call it mid-game. It was felt that this happened, in part, because of the Pickpocket. It was proposed that I try changing the Pickpocket from 2 Gold per player to 2 Chips from any one player. This would add another way to keep the leader in check, while lowering the value of the space somewhat. Fortunately, I have already decided to remove the Pickpocket from the 3-4 (Standard) version. The 5-6 release date is well into next year, so I still have some time to get it ironed out. I still feel very confident about the standard version.

It is also apparent that more experienced players have a very clear advantage. This is perhaps an obvious statement, but it is important that new players have a chance to win (which I still think they do). This phenomenon occurs in many games (Puerto Rico comes to mind, and even Settlers of Catan), so it's not a game-breaker. I might just need to do less playing and more watching...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sample Arrives!

My sample of Kivar 6 arrived today. It was a little more "papery" than I was expecting, but after some testing, I feel that it will be a good fit. It's a very nice-looking, strong sort of paper (black) for the backing of the board. I will be finalizing my order soon...

It looks as though my business plan will be changing slightly. Due to minimums on the paper, I will end up with enough to make 100+ units. Also the cost of each unit will be between $10-12, instead of the $15 I had originally figured. My new plan actually shows some profitability! IF I can manage to sell any of them, that is...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

3-4 Test

Mom and Dad helped us run a test of the Apothecary/Pickpocket swap in the 3-4 (basic) version. This went very well! We got rid of some dead weight and added a bit more spice. This also helps to raise the value of Force slightly and makes it just a bit harder for a runaway leader to stay on top.

Also my new samples will be here soon. Then I can get things moving!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Another Playtest of 5-6

We had another opportunity to play the 5-6 expansion again last night. It went very well. One of my testers had a great idea: add the Apothecary to the basic game, replacing the Pickpocket. This make a lot of sense, as we have had several comments about the uselessness of the Pickpocket in the basic game (it has a nice level of value in the 5-6). Of course, this idea will have to be tested... I hope I can get everything finalized before the copyrighting and construction phase...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Samples On the Way

I finally heard back from my paper guy. He is sending me samples of everything so that I can finalize my purchase. Almost everything else concerning my order is lined up and ready (the right product, right quantities and the right price).

I also got the word that my domain name (www.revolutionboardgame.com) will take 60 days to transfer to its new home. This is not a huge problem as marketing doesn't even have to be online until next spring.

Once I confirm my paperboard order and printing capabilities, I will finalize the design (mostly a slight re-sizing) and file for copyright. Then things will really start to get fun!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekend Testing

Just a quick word about the 5-6 expansion testing this week. It went very well! I had to make a few slight adjustments, but otherwise it quite well. Also, I have decided to change the Major to the General. The 5-6 version has a Mayor, and I said the wrong name just about every time. I will also be adding a few more duplicate cards to the base deck. The 5-6 deck is the same except for the removal of two Remove Influence cards. The game went on forever without this change (6 people drawing 3 cards is 18 cards a round--high chance of a remove)! Still waiting for Mr. Utterson at the pressboard factory to give me that updated estimate...

Monday, September 17, 2007

The 5-6 Expansion!

Revolution has been a game for 3-4 players from the beginning (two can play it with slight modifications). However, that has all changed today. I have figured out the main concept and components for the 5-6 player expanded version. I am very excited to see how my current ideas play-test. I should get an opportunity this weekend at a family reunion. I'll be sure to post the results. The expansion will be sold separately, but it might get bundled depending on what deals I have going.

In other news, I am holding off on filing the copyright until I get a few more details finalized. The printing/paper size issue is all but worked out; however, I'm still waiting on the cardboard manufacturer to send me an updated quote. I had to rethink all the dimensions and cuts (see a previous post for the agonizing details)... Even so, things are progressing.

More Play-Testing

We finally showed the game to my in-laws last night. They seemed to like it very well. So that makes over a dozen or so family and friends who have played a more-or-less final version.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tricky Issues

Today I continued hashing out specifications on the pressboard needed to construct the board. It turns out that their pressboard comes in 26" x 38" sheets. This needs to be cut down to make a quad-fold board approximately 14" x 20". Adding to the complications is the fact the packaging cover art cannot exceed 13" x 19", the largest paper I currently have access to for printing. Allowing for the edges of the box and some wrap-around, the top of the box will be 4.5" smaller and the bottom box will be 0.25" smaller still. This allows for a maximum folded board size of 8" x 14". A folded size of 7" x 10" fits well into this space, but causes an unacceptable amount of scrap when cut from the sheet. Therefore, the board will have to be 6.25" x 9.25" when folded.

My contact at the paper company is also working on a quote for the necessary amount of Kivar6, a backing material. This will (I hope) take the board from mediocre to semi-professional. I also finished the box design work and am now working on the box bottom (I took a nice photo today). Things are progressing steadily forward.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Box Art

I did some work on the box art today. I chose dark blue as the base color, because I read somewhere that nearly everyone's favorite color in dark blue. In the next few days, I plan to secure a copyright to my game. Once that happens, I'll feel better about sharing some of my design work and tell a bit more about the game.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Revolution Has Begun!

This blog will be a diary/how-to manual/behind-the-scenes journal of the production of my new board game, Revolution. So far, I have a fairly refined prototype and the support of all my family and friends (who all seem to love it). Now I plan to bring my great new product to the unforgiving world of commercial board games without losing my shirt in the process! I hope you enjoy my adventure as much as I hope to!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

About Me

My name is Philip duBarry. I've always been into playing and designing games. When I was a kid I played endless games of Risk and Monopoly with my family. I also played lots of Chess. I designed several roll-and-move games. As I got older, I started coming up with slightly better games (and playing better games), but still nothing anyone else cared to play. Then one day a few years ago, I read a book about political intrigue and revolution in 1800s Peru and Chile. This needed to be a game. So I tried to make it. And got nowhere--until a few months later when the solution popped into my head.

Soon, I had a working prototype of Revolution! and got all my friends and family to play it over and over again. It turned out that they didn't mind so much--in fact, they all kind of liked it. This was certainly a new experience. I made a game other people like? That must be a sign. So I set about figuring out how to manufacture the game by hand and sell them on the Internet. After several months, I had sold about 50. One of these was purchased by Phil Reed of Steve Jackson Games (someone I had never heard of). He called me up and asked me if I had thought about getting Revolution! published. !!! Before long I was signing a contract.

Since then my brain has been overflowing with new game ideas, which I try to record in my notebook. In addition to Revolution!, I've also designed The Palace (an expansion for Revolution!), Kingdom of Solomon from Minion Games, Courtier and Canalis (both part of the Tempest series from AEG). More and more games are on the way!

My Games

Revolution!is the first board game I ever created that other people actually wanted to play with me. I sold the first handmade copies in 2008. The game was picked up by Steve Jackson Games and published in 2009. It features blind bidding and area control as players attempt to gain the most support for their political faction.

Pegasus Spiele, a German partner of Steve Jackson Games, agreed to publish the game in 2010 for the German market with all new artwork.

Revolution! - The Palace, the first expansion to Revolution!, was released in 2010. It allows up to six players to play the game.

Kingdom of Solomonwas published in 2011 through a successful Kickstarter campaign. It features worker placement and a unique biblical theme.

Courtierwas published by AEG in 2012, leading off their Tempest series of eurogames. This is a card-based game of influence and timing set in the fictional city of Tempest.

Canalisis the fourth big box game in the Tempest series. Published in 2013, it follows the citizens as they develop a nearby swamp into a thriving port. It features card-drafting and tile placement.

Chronicles of the King was a fan-inspired mini-expansion for Kingdom of Solomon. It was designed with Daniel McDairmant.

Family Vacation was published by Jolly Roger Games despite an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign. It is a family game about going on the best vacation and trying to make your family happy. It was released in 2014.

I co-designed Fidelitas with Jason Kotarski. After pitching the game to a few companies, he decided to take the plunge into the world of publishing himself with his newly-formed Green Couch Games. We had an amazing Kickstarter campaign, raising nearly $40K in support. This quick card game can now be pre-ordered on Amazon: Fidelitas .

Skyway Robbery had a successful Kickstarter campaign in Fall of 2014. This game has players take on the role of master thieves putting together a crew of skilled criminals to steal various artifacts. It's steampunk setting allowed for imaginative artwork. It will be available Fall 2015.

Revolution Anarchyis the second expansion to Revolution! It features two additional player colors, new bidding boards, and a new board overlay with buildings worth negative support. It was released Fall 2014.

Game Salute currently has The Princess Bride license. I designed Miracle Pill, one of a series of smaller games. This game features card-drafting as players try to make the most effective pill for the Man in Black. This game should be available in Q4 of 2015.

Spirits of the Rice Paddy had an amazing Kickstarter where it met and far surpassed its goal. It is a 90-120 minute game about growing rice on the island of Bali with a little help from the spirits world. It features card-drafting, worker allocation, and a unique water flow system. It should be available late 2015.

Game design seems to run in the family. Our oldest daughter, Isabel, designed Tiger Stripes back in 2010. I helped her refine the game components and ordering a small print run which she financed out of her savings. She sold enough copies to make a small profit. But the most exciting part was when Game Salute offered to produce the game with professional art and upgraded components. This was successfully funded with a Kickstarter campaign in March of 2014

This Kickstarter (along with another expansion for the game) hit $110K. This is a stand-alone customizable micro game released at Origins 2016.

This is my first co-op game. Players are involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler during WWII. This game was released in November 2016 after a short pre-order campaign. It has since had a successful Kickstarter for the second printing, delivered in 2018.

I did this expansion for AEG's Trains series a few years back. It was finally released during GenCon 2017. This expansion adds many interesting cards to allow players to experience the game in new ways.

This AEG game is not one of my designs. However, it represents the first game where I served as lead developer. This was quite a learning experience, but ultimately a positive one. It was released at Essen 2018.

Since Kingdom of Solomon went out of print, I had wanted to bring it back in a new and improved way. Funhill Games gave me the chance to do this in 2017, with a successful Kickstarter in 2018. I am quite pleased with the production quality and game play changes. The game was delivered toward the end of 2018.

This follow-up to Spirits of the Rice Paddy explores some of the same gameplay but with dice. The Kickstarter for this game ran during April 2018. Shipped in 2019.

I worked as lead developer for AEG's The Captain is Dead:Dangerous Planet, the third installment of J.T. Smith's epic space co-op game. I also did art direction for this title, released at GenCon 2019.

This TMG game re-implements some ideas from my first game, Revolution!, but heads in a different direction. Players assign crew to boats and sail to discover and colonize islands in a fantasy setting. This game exists in the universe of Harbour and Harvest. Released in 2019.

I was asked to do an expansion for the upcoming Stygian Society by Kevin Wilson. The Kickstarter went quick well (over $100K) and was delivered in 2020.

I ran my first solo Kickstarter in 2020 for Square Meal. I considered it a modest success, especially for being a 2020 project! Square Meal was delivered towards the end of the year.

My daughter and I designed a card game version of Tiger Stripes. This was released in 2021.

Purim is a cooperative game loosely based on the biblical story of Esther published by Funhill Games. The Kickstarter successfully funded in March 2023.


You can stay up to date with these and future games by following my Facebook page.

Design Services

Do you have a game design project that needs a little help? Whether you are a publisher needing to hit a deadline for your new expansion or a designer who's run into a wall, I am available to assist you. I have been involved in the board game industry since 2007 and have been designing since childhood. I can also help construct high-quality prototypes and graphic design needs.

Contact me today for a quote!