Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Secrets . . .

As I mentioned on Twitter this morning, I am currently in possession of a number of cool secrets about upcoming games. I will now attempt to discuss these secrets without revealing them. :)

1. I recently worked on some new Wizkids projects, some of which made me very excited. Unfortunately, my designs were not selected. :( But it was still a positive experience and lots of fun. Also, the NDA agreement I signed with them would diminish my fortunes significantly (something approximating indentured servitude) if I spilled any of their beans.

2. I recently signed a new contract with AEG. It turns out that one of my games fits their upcoming product line. If you've ever played my game called Henry the Great, that will give you a good idea of what's coming. Except the theme has changed somewhat and the mechanics have been super-charged. If you don't recognize that game, you'll have to wait until the announcement and my series of articles on the subject! The final testing should be happening sometime in the near future on the secret AEG playtesting forums. Also, I might actually get paid for this one . . .

3. The art for Family Vacation is coming along very slowly. But what I've seen looks really good! Maybe I'll post some of these sketches in a few weeks . . . if more art gets finished. Jacob Walker is the artist for this project. We're currently aiming to have a finished (or nearly finished), fully-playable prototype on display at Origins. We will be launching the Kickstarter for this game around this time, if not sooner.

4. Yesterday I got some Revolution!-related news. I sent them a few new ideas and one is currently being explored. I think it could be very awesome! If you were at the Revolution! tournament the other night, you might have gotten a little sneak peek. So just pretend you didn't see that. :)

5. Finally, I'm currently in the final stages of development for a new game that's been cooking since the summer of 2010. It's really starting to take shape and come together. Rough edges are being smoothed and shine is being applied. To assist me with this crucial phase, I've been quietly recruiting a team of elite playtesters and set up my own super-secret forum. If you would like to be considered for this team (to work on this and future projects in exchange for glory and swag), sent me an email.

One last bit of non-secret news. The next big shipment of Kingdom of Solomon should be in transit and arrive sometime in March. We've had some really good reviews so far. This one by Ender on BGG is probably the best. Happy gaming!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The First Revolution! Tournament

Last Saturday evening, I was on hand for the first (to my knowledge) Revolution! tournament at Gateway Games on the Eastside of Cincinnati. There were eight participants fighting to snag the title of Most Notorious Revolutionary and a signed copy of my new Kingdom of Solomon. We randomly assigned teams (mixing up players for the second game) and took the best score from both. You also got 20 bonus points for winning. All the games were surprisingly close, but in the end, the guy in the brown shirt (below) (sorry, I don't recall his name) was the only person to win both games and become the champion. Well done!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Hardest Game

. . . is Time Management. Before you rush off to look that up on BGG, don't bother. I mean, it may be a game listed on there, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about actually figuring out how your day is going to be spent and then executing that plan. (That laughing sound you hear is my wife reading those words on this page.)

These past two weeks, I've been redesigning a game, organizing playtesters, thinking about this other game I need to redesign, contacting various people about various, non-related projects, answering rules questions about Kingdom of Solomon, finishing a proposal for another game, teaching a class, tutoring, taking an online class in math education, preparing lessons for church, reading, getting things packed up to move later this year (house needs to be ready by March), all while helping to babysit my very active nephew and my four daughters. I'm really glad my wife does 99% of the homeschooling. And I'm also glad I make enough money from all this to survive, because it would stink to have to WORK in addition to all this stuff!

I'm not terrible at this important skill, but I'm also easily distracted. I've noticed a correlation between my strong inclination to switch strategies halfway through a game and my knack for starting a new project at exactly the halfway point of the old project. This is a recipe for lots of projects. Which is good for a game designer, I think. Keeps us sharp.

This is that part of the post were I explain my secret technique for managing my time. Except . . . I don't really have one. I only started writing this entry because I was waiting for something to upload for a different project I'm supposed to be working on. !!! That's what I'm dealing with here! Again, I don't have a magic formula, but I can at least give you my (non-original, captain-obvious) steps:

1. Write stuff down. Before you go to bed or when you get up. What do you need to do tomorrow? What do you want to get done if you have extra time?
2. Spend a few minutes every month/two weeks to sit and think about what you want long-term. Write this down, too. Sometimes you have to break these up into smaller bites to get them to fit on your day-to-day list.
3. If you're not getting stuff done, re-evaluate. Do you really need/want to get it done? If so, then you may have to go to step 4.
4. Do that really hard/boring thing you wrote down for today. Ouch.

I guess that's how I juggle all my many responsibilities (occasionally dropping something) and still keep my head screwed on.

Oh, and I'm going to be attending a Revolution! tournament a week from Saturday. Should be a blast!