Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Skyway Robbery is now LIVE on Kickstarter!


As promised, our Skyway Robbery campaign has begun! CLICK HERE to see the project page. Thanks in advance for your help in sharing, tweeting, posting, thumbing, and plain old word-of-mouth!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Skyway Robbery Launches Tomorrow!

Lock up your jewels and hide your secret treasure maps, because Skyway Robbery will be hitting Kickstarter in the morning! We're running a lean, mean campaign offering an amazing game with fully-upgraded components for an awesome price. Help us spread the word for the next 30 days, thumb a few BGG pics, and join in the fun!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

GenCon 2014 Recap: Part 3

Now on to my final day at GenCon. It was really great being able to spent three whole days there.

This day began just a touch later, as I was still recovering from the late night before. Even so, I made it to the hall with enough time to grab a danish before my morning demo time with Game Salute. While waiting in the long line, I got to chatting with the guy behind me. He said he was from Ann Arbor, so like an idiot I said, "Oh, do you know Jason Kotarski?" because everyone from Michigan knows everyone else from there, right? He answered, "Jason who? Should I know him?" At this point I was feeling really dumb. I briefly explained our game Fidelitas and showed him my copy. He brought up the Kickstarter page and said, "I am now a backer!" Cool little moment.

As on Friday, I demoed Miracle Pill and Battle of Wits. Matthew was not with me. I thought maybe he was just sleeping in (he was up with us till 3:30 as well), but it turned out he was scheduled for a later time. After my first group came and went, no one else showed up (even though the event was sold out). I played in the game next door about managing boxing matches.

After this, I headed over for another demo of Spirits of the Rice Paddy. I did manage to find the right table this time, and we played a great 4-player game. One guy said it was the highlight of his con! After this, I headed into the exhibit hall one last time to make at least one purchase. On the advice of T.C. Petty, III, (and because a lot of the newer games were all gone) I decided to buy City of Iron by Ryan Laukat. I've been wanting to try one of his games for a while now, and this one seemed like a good place to start. I have since played a few times, and we really like the game!

My final game of the day was a demo of Skyway Robbery with Chris Kirkman, Stephanie Straw, Dan Patriss, Tiffany Bahnsen, and Dan Halstad. All these folks are podcasters. The game seemed to go well, but we only had time to play a few rounds as there were a lot of distractions and I had to leave by 5:30. Even so, the reactions seemed positive.

My wife brought the kids up to visit the Indianapolis Children's Museum that morning and swung by to pick me up that evening. This was complicated by the Colts game beginning close to that time. It is always funny to watch the facial expressions as the colts fans interact with the GenCon people! We grabbed some dinner and headed home. So ended my GenCon 2014!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

GenCon 2014 Recap: Part 2

And now the continuing story of my GenCon experience . . .

One more brief note about Thursday--I also got to show off some games to Joel Eddy of Drive Thru Reviews. You can see my weirdly-high-voiced explanation of Fidelitas and Spirits of the Rice Paddy.

After a good night's sleep, I went to breakfast with the APE Games crew. We went to this nice little place crammed with other industry people (the Steve Jackson crew was there, too!). Nevertheless, we only had to wait a short time. We then found ourselves seated with another party--all from Cincinnati! It was cool meeting them. We also got in a game of Coup while our food was being cooked.

The first order of business was to demo my Princess Bride game, Miracle Pill, for Game Salute. I was joined by Matthew O'Malley demoing his game, Battle of Wits. We would show a group my game and then switch to his game. This was easy, as each game only took about 10-15 minutes. Lots of fun!

As soon as this ended, I had to hustle over to my next appointment, demoing Spirits of the Rice Paddy. Unfortunately, due to miss-labeled tables, and/or confusion about the demo listing (and my lack of directions), I did not find anyone at the table. Later I found out that one person was waiting at a different table. So I ended up back at the APE Games booth, demoing to Dan Patriss of the Geek Jock Podcast. This was immediately followed by another demo.

At 5:00, I was scheduled to appear on the BGG with Seth Jaffe and Andy Van Zandt to talk about my upcoming Eminent Domain: Battlecruisers. This is a customizable mini-game. The video should be uploaded soon to the BGG page.

After this, I met David Miller of Purple Pawn to show off my games and eat a horrible hotdog/brat. We played Fidelitas, and he immediately became a fan!

Later that night, I got a chance to play some cool prototypes by other designers. TC Petty, III showed us a game based on a short story by Chekhov. Later upcoming designer David Short let us try his real-time zombie card-passing game. Both were pretty neat. In between, I broke out my newest design, a mini-euro area-control game. It BOMBED badly. I'll definitely have to put some more work into this one. Quite embarrassing, but that's how progress is made! The night ended at 3:30 a.m.

Coming next time . . .

Monday, August 18, 2014

GenCon 2014 Recap: Part 1

GenCon was a blast this year! It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I didn't get any games signed, but I did get a huge amount of demoing in. Here's how it all went down.

I got up super early to catch my 6:00 ride. However, at 5:28 I got a text saying my ride woke up with the flu and was not coming! Fortunately, I had a backup plan, named Corey Young (Gravwell). He and his buddy got me within about 1.5 miles of the convention center--close enough!

I got my badge and entered the exhibit hall just after 10:00. Within seconds, I was invited to lunch with John Goodenough of AEG. After talking to lots of folks and walking the hall, I attended said lunch, joined by Andrew Parks (Core Worlds), Chris Parks (Andrew's brother and co-pilot) and Chris Guild (Attack Wing). It was pretty awesome.

After lunch I headed to the APE Games booth to demo Spirits of the Rice Paddy. Soon after setting up, a vaguely familiar face was looking into the booth and requesting a demo. It was none other than Richard "Rahdo" Ham. I recognized him from his wildly popular Youtube series, Rahdo Runs Through, in which he recently reviewed Fidelitas.

We played nearly a whole game, and he seemed to really like it. He also wanted to try Skyway Robbery, so he returned to the booth at the close of the hall and we moved to the gaming halls. We played an entire game of SR, which he also seemed to enjoy. We then headed to the Nerd Night event at Union Station organized by JR Honeycutt, where I got to play in the first 20-player game of Space Cadets Dice Duel with Geoff Englestein and his kids (our ship was ordered to sacrifice itself for the greater good).

It was a long day, but hanging out with Rahdo for HOURS was definitely the highlight of the con. The next day, I discovered that he had recorded his sleep-deprived thoughts of the day and uploaded them. The last ten minutes are all about my games. I saw people watching this the next two days!

To be continued . . .

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

GenCon 2014

It's that time again! The massive gaming convention that is GenCon is about to begin--and I get to be there for it!

I'll be around, Thursday-Saturday, chatting with friends, making deals, taking names, etc. I'll also be demoing several of my upcoming games: Spirits of the Rice Paddy, Skyway Robbery, Fidelitas, Miracle Pill, Hitler Must Die, as well as Battlecruisers and a few yet-to-be-announced prototypes.

If you'd like to check out any of these games or just say Hi, here's my roughed-out schedule for the con:

6:00am - Hitching a ride with a buddy to Indy.
10:00am - 6:00pm - Roaming the Exhibit Hall.
8:00pm-12:00am - Nerd Night Charity Event.

10:00am-1:00pm - Demoing for Game Salute in Hall D (Princess Bride games).
1:00pm-3:30pm - Demoing Spirits of the Rice Paddy (Hall E, Red Table #14).
Evening - Demoing games in open gaming or maybe the games library. Drop me a line at BGG or on Twitter to set something up.

10:00am-1:00pm - Demoing for Game Salute in Hall D (Princess Bride games).
1:00pm-3:30pm - Demoing Spirits of the Rice Paddy (Hall E, Green Table #6).
 5:00pm - Heading home.

Also, in other news, we just passed the $22K mark for our Fidelitas campaign! So far backers have earned the Manu Forti expansion, the Castle & Harbor cards, and a wooden first player token. The next stretch goal is the Candlestick Maker:

Thanks for all the support! Hope to see you at GenCon!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fidelitas Stretch Goal #2

Our Fidelitas campaign continues to perform well! Yesterday we reached our first stretch goal, so Jason announced goal #2:

These two cards may not sound like much (hey, it's no 8-card expansion), but you can do something pretty nifty with them. Apart from more clearly marking the ends of the board, you will now be able to play a special variant.

In this variant, you begin the game by shuffling the five location cards and the harbor and castle together. You then place these randomly to form the board. A random board changes several of the cards. For example, the Dockmaster lets you move a card from each of the locations adjacent to the harbor. In this variant, that might be four different places. Anyway, hope that shakes things up for you! Thanks for all your support.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fidelitas is Funded!

After less than four days on Kickstarter, Fidelitas has reached and surpassed it's goal! Thanks to all the many backers for their continued support of the project. Jason has now revealed the first stretch goal of the campaign--the Manu Forte expansion:

We're both very excited to see just how far this ride will go!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fidelitas Kickstarter: Day One

As you can see to the right, the Fidelitas Kickstarter is now live. Co-designer and publisher Jason Kotarski pushed the button at 8:00 this morning. I was still asleep.

As I write this (about twelve hours later) the project has already reached about 40% of the $12K funding goal! I've always wanted to be a part of a hot Kickstarter project, and now I am!

Thanks to all of you who have already backed our project--the early support is huge for these things! We have some great stretch goals planned, so stay tuned for more once we get closer to our goal.

If you haven't heard about the game yet (75 cards, 2-4 players, 20-30 minutes), here's the short version from the BGG page:

"In Fidelitas, players take on the role of faithful citizens in a medieval city who are exerting influence in order to gain the credibility needed to lead the charge against the corrupt crown.

Players play character cards to various locations that make up the city in order to meet conditions of hidden objectives. Each type of character card is associated with a unique action that manipulates cards in the game: the Butcher bullies other characters to new locations, the Student gains more cards, the Soldier keeps the peasants from loitering too long, etc. In this game where keen maneuvering is key, attentiveness to the opposition may uncover hidden motives that seek to foil your bid for power.

The first player to gain a certain number points (depending on the number of players) is determined worthy to lead the revolt and also wins the game."

The project page has about 350 (something like that) links to reviews and walkthroughs. Jason sent out quite a few preview copies, and the initial impressions have been overwhelmingly positive. As with Courtier, I'm enjoying all the various pronunciations of "Fidelitas." fi-dil-EE-tas is just golden.

Anyway, it's been a cool day, and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the project plays out. I hope you'll consider joining the party before too long--thanks!