Friday, November 20, 2009


The BoardGameGeek convention is going on this week in Dallas. I just read this statement on the official Twitter feed (geekdo): "I thought Revolution! was going to suck, but it ended up being better than Loyang, Greed Inc, or Automobile." That's what I like to hear! Maybe the SJG folks will take some pictures . . .

Also, I received my twelve contractually obligated promo copies of Revolution! the other day. All the playtesters also got a copy. For future reference: help me playtest and maybe you'll get a nice game out of it someday.

Speaking of which, I head up to Xenia tomorrow for some playtesting with a high school gaming club. They really helped me out last year. I have three more prototypes for them this year. I have two more just at the brink of being ready for other people to test, but there just wasn't time to get them ready. There is a small chance that I will have them ready for the great Thanksgiving family week. Maybe I'll even get them to the table if I keep reminding everybody about the free playtester copy they got the last time!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meeting Yehuda

I meet board game designer and blogger Yehuda Berlinger tonight. We shared some interesting vegetarian Indian cuisine as well as much game-related discussion. We have a few acquaintances in common: David Miller (who helps him run Purple Pawn) and Jackson Pope (who publishes his game called It's Alive!). Check out his Jerusalem Gaming blog and account of our meeting.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Independent's Essen Article

UK's The Independent recently did an interesting story about board games and Essen. Definitely worth the read. I have such a burning desire to attend Spiel at Essen as soon as possible. I suppose I'll have to design more games to make that happen. So be it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Third Floor Gamers

I got to chat with the Third Floor Gamers via Skype today. It's a school-based group of nice kids just getting into gaming. Somehow, their fearless leader, Michael, stumbled onto my game and bought a stack of them for the club. He also did a cool video review on BGG. They seem to enjoy playing Revolution!--one of them had just scored over 350. Nice! Unfortunately, they couldn't hear me too well on their end, so I ended up having to do a lot of chat typing. I would have liked to say more but it was still fun. Some playtesting might be in their future . . . Thanks, guys!

BTW - I got my first royalty statement today! $$$ . . . well, maybe more like $ . . . still. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Revolution! At Essen

Unfortunately, the the Essen buzz for Revolution! is only an imperceptible whisper. This picture is the first documented evidence that it was even there. These nice Germans seem to be moderately amused. I understand that there is a lot of competition for people's attention there--lots of games everywhere. The ratings seem to be coming at a steady pace on BGG. Meanwhile, I've been working several other prototypes, getting them in front of publishers, testing others and making new ones. Once something breaks loose, I'll be sure to let you in on it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Welcome Google Image Searchers!

I checked my stats today and noticed that HUNDREDS of people visited my blog in the last few days because of a Google image search. The coveted image? Wil Wheaton of Star Trek. That's right--if you're looking for ONE picture of this fine actor, you've come to the right place!

While you're here, how about checking out Revolution!? You just searched for Wil Wheaton, so I know you're a geek--and geeks love my new board game (Wil sure does)! BTW, if you're not a geek, my sincerest apologies (just between us, Revolution! is really more for cool people anyway).

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and artificially inflating my blog hits!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wil Wheaton Mentions Revolution!

Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek fame, mentioned his upcoming trip to RinCon in Tucson, AZ, where he looks forward to playing Revolution!, among a few other games. I am currently experiencing a level of geekiness beyond all imagination. Now if I can just get Worf to try it out . . . I'm sure he would say something like, "MajQa'!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Revolution! Reviews

Just the other day I was thinking how nice it would be to have my game added to Bruno Faidutti's famed Ideal Game Library. Today, I found it there! He is mainly positive, preferring the "bid refunds" optional rule to moderate the widely perceived run-away leader problem. Once again, I am very glad I argued for the inclusion of this very rule, and I am thankful that SJG listened.

Revolution! also got a positive review from Sam Healey (sometimes co-host of The Dice Tower with Tom Vassel). He mentioned to me that Revolution will be featured on the podcast in an up-coming episode.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Revolution! in Madison, Wisconsin

Here's a picture of the booth from Phil Reed at ACD in Madison, Wisconsin. They flew direct from PAX at Seattle, Washington. These folks sure get around! Meanwhile, my "demo" at Sci-Fi City tonight consisted of one game between my eldest daughter (age 7), myself and Joe, the MIB guy (part of the SJG volunteer army). They did have one customer who bought a comic book. And a few guys in the back were playing D&D. It makes me very glad that I'm not still trying to sell my game on my own. Real professionals are doing real promotional work at real conventions--my hat goes off to you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

YottaQuest Demo

Tonight I ran a few demos of Revolution! at Yottaquest. The "regular" board game crew moseyed in about 7:00 for their weekly fix. I played in the first game of Revolution! and got absolutely CRUSHED by all of my opponents! They were shrewd players indeed. I'll have to get a rematch one of these days . . .

One big group played Parthenon most of the night. I got in on Battlestar Galactica (with Pegasus expansion) towards the end of the evening. The humans went down hard to the many Cylons. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this game yet. It was very complicated, but there is an interesting dynamic at work what with all the mistrust and treachery involved.

Overall, it was not the most effective promotional experience I've had. On the other hand, about 15-20 more people now know of my game's existence and may end up trying it out soon. Maybe my session at Sci-Fi City Thursday will be more productive.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Revolution in the Cincinnati Enquirer

I made the Cincinnati Enquirer today! This story turned out very well, as well as being accurate (always a plus). Now I'm off to buy copies of the paper for my friends and relatives . . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cincinnati Demo Dates

I just finished scheduling two Cincinnati demo opportunities:

September 8 (Tuesday) 6:00-10:00 at Yottaquest in Mt. Healthy.

September 10 (Thursday) 6:00-8:00 at Sci-Fi City in Northgate Mall.

I also just finished an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, so there might be a story in the paper this weekend. Maybe. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

French Review

Tric Trac recently featured an in-depth look at Revolution. The bottom line is that they seem to think it's not too bad (in French that means "it's awesome!") and they really like my French-sounding name. The comments were also favorable. Get Google Translator and check it out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Some Nice Pictures

I just stumbled onto a blog called Geek Game Night. I have added them to my blog roll. They have some amazing pictures over there as well as a nice, in-depth session report of Revolution. You should definitely check them out! Here is one more of their pictures:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Revolution in the Business Courier

Revolution made the online version of the Cincinnati Business Courier. The story is largely accurate, except for that $2/game part--it's really 2% (something like $0.80).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back from GenCon

I just got back from my one-day-only trip to GenCon in Indianapolis. Here I am taking a break with the official Munchkin mascot (Randy is inside). I spent most of the day helping Will run demos of Revolution. They only brought about 100 copies to the con and had already sold 40 by the time I arrived. Today they sold nearly as many--only a few left for the remaining couple of days! They should be in stores next week if you missed out.

I also got to sign a few autographs ('cause I'm famous now--at least about six people think so)! Anyway, I had a blast meeting lots of different people and explaining the game to them. Almost everyone who played really seemed to like it. GenCon was packed, though I haven't been in a few years. Parking is $25 now! Yikes! Fortunately, SJG graciously reimbursed me.

And I got to (finally) meet Mr. Phil Reed himself. He seems like quite a nice guy with a head for the business side of things. He spent most of the day thinking up bold new visions for the future and talking to important people--time well spent. All in all, a productive and fun day!

Here are a few more pics:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Revolution! Is Now Shipping

The wait is over! SJG confirms that Revolution! is now shipping! In related news, I'll be heading over to Gen Con tomorrow to hang out at booth #1321. The SJG folks have snagged some prime demo space in the exhibit hall this year--something they haven't done in a while. Revolution! will also be available at the show, so maybe we'll get an early feel on how sales are going. Check back in a couple of days for a full report and lots of pictures!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Revolution Reviews

Here are some reviews (or links to some reviews). Also, the pallets have arrived safely in the warehouse and distribution should start today. Things will be in full swing by GenCon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GenCon 2009

Just a reminder--I will be hanging out at the Steve Jackson Games booth most of Friday, August 14. You might want to pick up your copy of Revolution! earlier in the convention (before they sell out), but stop back by if you want yours signed or if you just want to play against the designer. Bring it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Revolution in Nashville

My parents caught up with Randy's SJG North-South Tour as he visited The Game Keep in Nashville. That's my Dad with the nifty old-school Revolution T-shirt (limited edition--kudos to Stephen). He's helping one of his co-workers and associated children with the game. There was some accidental taking of extra gold involved, but we won't go into that . . .

This was the first time my parents got to see the finished game, and I think they were impressed. So, Revolution has now made it from Minnesota to Louisiana. A few BGG threads also indicate that it has reached New York and San Francisco as well. Looks like the crack team of marketing gurus at SJG know their stuff. Or at least they know their crack . . .

One final note: It looks like I will be attending GenCon on August 14 (a Friday). Revolution should be available for purchase during the con. Come by the SJG booth to get a cool limited edition signature on your box or just come to challenge the master himself! See you there!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ted Cheatham's Origins 2009 Report

Ted Cheatham of BoardgameNews filed this video report on upcoming games at Origins 2009. Revolution made it into the first minute or so of the thirty-two minute report. You can hear Will explaining the game.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Demos At Yottaquest

Tonight, I met up with Randy from SJG during the Cincinnati leg of his great demo tour of the country. Who knows, he might be heading to your city pretty soon. I brought along my copy of Revolution, and we managed to keep several games going during the allotted time. Thanks to Matthew Fay, owner of Yottaquest, for letting us come. I am scheming about holding some sort of celebratory / promotional event at his store during one of the upcoming board game nights (Tuesdays and Saturdays).

Randy was sporting the new Revolution T-shirt (one of three). I wonder whose arm I have to twist to get one of those . . . Anyway, a good time was had by all. Everyone seems to like the game, even people who had come to play Magic, the Gathering, etc.

BTW - Revolution now has 29 ratings on BGG. Just one more will give it an official rank . . .

Friday, June 26, 2009

Origins Visit

I attended Origins today. I always try to go there because it's only two hours away and I get in free for being a teacher. Yay! This year I got to observe and participate in some demonstrations of Revolution! It seems to be getting a nice reception--people like it. Even the "munchkin people" seem to be willing to expand their gaming horizons just enough to discover that maybe they like real board games, er, other games, too.

Now all we have to do is get the "munchkin haters" on board--you know who you are. I met a particularly famous one today, Tom Vasal of The Dice Tower, and, with the help of David Miller of Purple Pawn, tried to convince him to give Revolution a try. He indicated that a review copy of the game would be most welcome (hint, hint, Will . . .). I played two games of Revolution today and came in second both times, mainly because Randy doesn't like losing without taking someone with him!

I also met a few more famous people. Peter Mayhew--Chewbacca was there, although I did not technically meet him. But I did see him from a fairly close distance. And I learned how to play Dominion with David and again later with my Axis & Allies buds. What a surprisingly fun game! Not at all the Magiced-up card game I mistook it for. All in all, it was a very good day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Here!

Yesterday, I received my very own copy of Revolution. What an amazing moment! I was overwhelmed by the high quality of the components. I thought it would be pretty good, but it's even better than I expected. Everything except the wooden cubes got a nice linen finish. The board has a wonderful level of detail--it looks much different close up. Here are a few more pictures, in case you didn't see them on Facebook:

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Official Rules

This picture accompanied a recent update from SJG--the advance copies have arrived. I'm told that I will be getting one this week! Here is a link to the post.

Also included in the update is a link to the official rules. I think they turned out very well! They broke the round into four phases: Espionage, Bidding, Resolution and Patronage. This does an excellent job of including all the necessary parts in an elegant way. My preferred rule about keeping losing and tied bids has indeed been included as an optional rule. And some of you may need to check the playtester section--they included quite a few of the names I submitted. All in all, I am feeling very upbeat and ready to see how things go from here.

FYI: I'm still planning to be at Origins on Friday and possibly some on Saturday. Feel free to look me up (you might try the SJG exhibitor area or the Axis & Allies play area).

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Sad Board Game Story

I'm glad I didn't go into debt to produce my game. This poor lady did. Rachel Lowe hit it big, first by developing a popular game and second by attracting the rights to a Harry Potter version of that game. But things do not always turn out well. Read about it here. (H/T: Purple Pawn)

Revolution update: I am NOT going bankrupt. The printer will soon be loading them onto the boat. The updated release date estimate is the end of July. Soon, soon . . .

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Update . . . Sort Of

It's been a while since I've posted anything, and the guilt is starting to build up. I don't exactly have much new information, but that's never stopped me before! For those who don't know, Revolution should still be out sometime in mid to late June, barring any more trouble with printing mistakes or shipping containers being delayed.

I recently took some interesting photos with my brother and some mean looking AR-15s. We are both wearing the Revolution shirts he made me for Christmas. There is some question has to the wisdom of posting them here, but you can see them on Facebook if you send me a friend request.

I also am currently working on a few more games, though more slowly than in previous months. I currently have two prototypes sitting on publishers' shelves waiting for glory. I wonder if they are waiting to see how Revolution does before they commit. I'm pretty curious about that, too.

Revolution currently has 25 ratings (30 are necessary for an official rank), and BGG now offers you the chance to become a "fan" of your favorite games. Revolution currently has zero. :( Maybe you can help turn that around. I'm hoping things will get stirred up a bit once the game is finally released.

For anyone whose interested, I'm planning to be at Origins (Columbus, OH) at least a day or two. Word has it that Phil Reed may be in attendance, and I would very much like to meet him. I suppose there is a chance that a few copies of Revolution will also be there. Fingers crossed!

Update on the update: Phil Reed is not coming. Also, they're going to send me a copy of Revolution next week!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back From London

My wife and I just returned from London where we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. I also managed to meet up with Jackson Pope and play a little Sumeria! I found him to be a kindred spirit, and I really enjoyed the game. Sumeria, like all great games, forces you to think in a number of directions all at once. The art is beautiful and the production values are excellent. Be on the lookout for this new Reiver Games title at your FLGS soon!

P.S. - I also highly recommend the steak & ale pie!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Gathering 2009

For those not in the know, Greg Smorey hosts an annual event for the Axis & Allies faithful. The Gathering is held in Cincinnati, but people come from all over to attend (one as far as Las Vegas). The new Anniversary Edition of A&A (known to cool people as AA50) got a lot of time at the table this year. Unfortunately, it looks like it might end up being too long of a game for regular tournament play (we'll see what the NEW new version looks like when it comes out this fall).

I had to come by myself this time, but my old buddy Tom J. volunteered to partner up. We faced off against veteran opponents Geoff and Steve. We gave them the Allies and five IPCs for the bid. Things went downhill for them from the start. The dice gods were not cooperative. Germany came at Russia with everything. The Allies chose to ignore Japan, to their ultimate peril. I was able to expand the co-prosperity sphere to a substantial size.

But things were not so easy. Five allied bombers reduced Germany to a crawl. Their invasion forces took up permanent residence in Paris. We lost the Luftwaffe in a successful, but ill-planned, naval operation. We were forced to retreat from Caucasus. Not good. Then . . . Germany and Italy held on. An Allied attack on Italy was just barely thwarted. Meanwhile, Japan started pushing massive numbers of tanks into Persia and India for the push north. After seven brutal hours, the Allies conceded their defeat.

Thanks for the game, guys! And props to Greg for another great SG event! Hope to see you all at Origins.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

SJG: Where We're Going

Revolution! figures prominently on the back of the spring newsletter from SJG. You might notice something interesting about the game there, but I'm not supposed to mention anything about it. *Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more.*

Saturday, March 28, 2009

To the Printer

I have been informed that Revolution! has been officially sent off to the printer! I have no idea how long this will end up taking, as I believe there will be a few proofs sent back and forth before the final job gets done. Then, they have to be shipped to various places. A June release seems possible. I also don't know how many will be printed for this initial run, but I did hear that the number has been increased based on positive reactions at the recent New York Toy Fair. Sounds like progress to me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Amazing Article: Monopoly Killer

This Wired article is about Settlers of Catan, but it is jam-packed with information about Euro-games. I knew something big was happening when I saw Catan at Toys-R-Us last December. This article confirms it--Euro-games are on the way up in America. There is a very high tide heading our way--just the sort of thing to lift some of the smaller boats (e.g., Revolution!) as well.

BTW - this article also justifies my family's long-standing Monopoly rule about properties going up for auction if a player chooses not to buy it. Apparently, it cuts the play time in half.

(H/T - Purple Pawn)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Revolution! At New York Toy Fair

I just happened to see this post over at Phil Reed's blog. It seems to indicate that Revolution! went to New York last month. I had no idea. You can see a little bit of my game in this picture. Phil also mentions that they are now planning a larger release based on the positive response there. The only thing people didn't like was the cover, so that's being tweaked. I happen to like the cover, but we'll see how it turns out. One bit of disappointing news is that it looks like all this will push the release date back just a bit. I can't get any confirmation on that (probably because they don't know for sure themselves). Making board games is a complicated business. Delay is the rule, not the exception.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Interview with Eric Martin

Well, over email, that is. But he did post our "discussion" on BGN today. Just one more month to go until Revolution! makes it out into the world. Thanks for the preview, Eric!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Candyland Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated our youngest daughter's second birthday with the help of this amazing Candyland cake (compliments of a friend). I wouldn't have thought to mention this on my game blog, but a recent post on BGN convinced me. I've never heard of anyone applying quantum mechanics to a discussion of this simple child's game before, but there's a first for everything! Here's a snippet:

The astute reader will see where this is headed. Candyland
is an entirely predetermined game from the onset. Assuming no extra shuffles are necessary, perhaps by using three decks in the initial shuffle, once you pull that first card there is nothing you can do to change things. Your fate is sealed – you just don’t know where it will lead. This set-up differs from a game in which one rolls dice or shuffles cards several times during play, effects which subject players to completely random effects as the game progresses.

So now we see the confusion: How can the most random game possible also be the least random game possible?

A potential answer, perhaps, lies in quantum mechanics, specifically in the infamous Schroedinger’s cat analogy. For the uninitiated, here is the analogy: A cat exists with a cyanide capsule inside a sealed box. Every second the cat remains in there, there is a certain probability (p) the capsule will open, killing the cat instantly. When you open the box, will you find a dead cat or an alive cat? Was the cat dead or alive before you opened the box? The obvious answer upon opening the box is that there is a certain probability (P) that the cat has died in the given time, and a certain probability (1 – P) that the cat is still alive. Once you open the safe, you know for certain one way or another, an action called “collapsing the wavefunction” (for reasons I won’t get into here).

The interesting part comes from the state of the cat before opening the box. While no observers are around, the cat is said to be both dead and alive at the same time. This is, of course, a silly result, and it is often refuted with an easy claim that the quantum universe does not apply to a macroscopic one. (Half of all quantum effects cancel out once you are dealing with just two particles; a single mole is composed of 10^23 atoms, hence the cat is never both dead and alive.) But at the quantum level, this sort of thing does happen, this situation does exist.

The question here: Can we consider a theoretical random color spectrum with a given probability of turning up each turn as not macroscopic in nature and therefore applicable to quantum effects? Or is each card a macroscopic entity, with the information imprinted upon it being dependent upon the card itself, thereby leading to a nullification of any and all quantum effects? Is any possible quantum effect here largely canceled due to the number of cards necessary to play a complete game?

Wow, wasn't that fun? Now for some real fun. Here are my house rules for making Candyland a truly enjoyable family (not just little kid) experience:

Instead of using the deck of cards to move, deal out five card to each player and play from this hand of cards. If you play a red, move to the next red and so on. You may also choose to skip your turn and play a card on someone else, causing them to move backwards to the indicated color (or character). Now you have more decisions to make, instead of just the one (should I waste my time by playing this silly game or not?). Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Links Added

I finally got around to adding more links. If you would like me to add a link to your site, just let me know.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

BGG Hot List

Revolution! made the BGG Hot List today! From the moment I started this project years ago, I have always had a burning desire to see my game make this list--even for a day. Now it's happened!

Wow, I'm not sure what to dream about next . . . maybe a firm release date and strong sales numbers . . . :)

Thanks, all you fellow board game geeks!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Getting Some Attention

Word is getting out. Very exciting! Revolution! has been mentioned on (and added to the Gone Cardboard section) and this French site I've never heard of before. Thanks, guys! Also, I've been doing a little shameless self-promoting over at BGG on the Designer Forum.

Update: Games Fanatic (Polish) and Deck & Board (Italian). Also CosimShop (German).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Release Announced!

The Steve Jackson Games version of Revolution! will be released in April 2009! It looks like they've done a superb job with the cover, and I'm sure the rest of the game will be great, too. Hats off to Phil Reed and all the guys at SJG.