Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Kingdom of Solomon Revisited

Kingdom of Solomon was published by Minion Games back in 2011. It met with early Kickstarter success, great reviews, and a low number of sales. While the game play was engaging, the game suffered from poor presentation and less-than-stellar components (due mostly to some miscommunication with the manufacturer).

Recently, I decided to revisit this older design and try to breathe new life into it. I have included a number of changes, both mechanical and visual. Minion Games is not interested in pursuing this project, but James has returned all the rights to me (sans art) so that I can explore new options for the game. Before approaching a new publisher, I need to get some good playtesting done. That's where you come in!

If you are a fan of KoS and own a copy of the game, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my latest version. ***UPDATE: We will be running future playtesting on Tabletopia! Let me know if you'd like to participate.***

FYI, changes include:
  • upgraded board
  • overhauled all cards
  • a fourth bonus space (2 new ones)
  • a sixth resource: Exotic Goods
  • improved market
  • all pawns resolved immediately
  • supports up to 5 players
  • scales better for different player counts via non-produce tokens on random spaces each round

Monday, October 5, 2015

Spirits at Essen

If you are on your way to Essen this week, take a moment to check out Spirits of the Rice Paddy from APE Games. You can still pre-order the game for pickup at the show. Doing so will also allow you to snag a free copy of the solo expansion!

If you are already a backer, then thanks! Here is the latest Kickstarter update. I'm looking for a great response and some good ratings at Essen, so help us make a splash!

The game will be officially released in November.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

GenCon 2015

Before I get into the lowdown on my GenCon plans, here is a little infographic I made after reading Reality is Broken. The first few chapters are the most helpful, so don't feel bad if you end up quitting after about chapter three. Anyway, here is the money quote:

Now, on to GenCon. I will only be able to attend on Friday, but I'll be bringing along my daughter Isabel and my friend Tony Miller (budding game designer @beardedrogue). The largest portion of my time will be spent doing demos of Skyway Robbery in the Game Salute demo area. Sessions are as follows: 10:00-12:00, 12:00-2:00, 6:00-7:30. The finished games will not be delivered for a few more months. :(

However, they mentioned possibly having a production copy of Tiger Stripes for Isabel to show off. These games are a little closer to being delivered. And my Miracle Pill game should be available for purchase--along with the two other small Princess Bride games.

APE Games will be demoing Spirits of the Rice Paddy and a few of their newer games. Production is going well on these, but they will not be available until Essen. But they will be at Essen!

As for the remainder of my time, I will be stalking the Exhibit Hall from 2:00 to 6:00 and hanging out with designers, etc. in the demo hall from about 9:00 until . . .?

So let me know if you'd like a sneak peak of any of my new games including Hitler Must Die, Chief Inspector, Dwarves of Darkspring, Treasure Map, or a few yet to be unveiled.

Monday, June 8, 2015

After a long wait, the Battlecruisers Kickstarter is finally live! In fact, it's been up for almost a week. We have funded and are now busting through a number of stretch goals. You can also snag a copy of Eminent Domain: Exotica by Seth Jaffe (another EmDo expansion). Battlecruisers is a stand-alone customizable mini-game. Thanks to all the loyal TMG fans for supporting these games!

One of the main reasons it's taken so long to post about this was born less than a week ago:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yet Another Untimely Update

My absurdly-simple goal of posting at least once a month has again nearly given way to my serial distraction and neglect. But it is still March, so I'm in the ballpark. Here is a quick rundown of some game-related things happening at Phantasio Games HQ.

Isabel and I signed off on the print-ready files for Tiger Stripes earlier this month. That means it's actually being printed now and should be appearing in a few weeks. I'll try to mention it when the boat is on its way.

I also saw the final print-ready Skyway Robbery files. There were only the barest minimum of corrections to do on these. That puts us on track with that game, as well. GenCon should be very exciting this year!

I'm still waiting on the announcement of the Battlecruisers Kickstater. There are a few more moving parts involved on the TMG side before we get the green light. In the meantime, they sent me the files, which I have had printed by the good folks at Admagic (the smaller side of the company is Print and Play). I uploaded my files on Saturday and they shipped out yesterday (Monday)! That is AMAZING speed for just one small order. I ended up paying about $2 per sheet of 18 cards. Minimum order is $15. I'll post a few picks when they come in.

In design news, I've been working on a really neat game for the past 2-3 weeks. It's sort of a combination of Hearthstone and Agricola with dwarves mining and farming and battling various creatures. I'm almost ready to get some more serious playtesters involved, so if you are interested feel free to let me know. I got some high school Magic players to try it out at school the other day, and it went over quite well!

Today I'm speaking on game design at Northern Kentucky University. They have a new board game design class this year, and the teacher thought I'd be a good special guest. We'll see!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Successful Kickstarter!

As you can see from the chart, Spirits of the Rice Paddy did very well during its Kickstarter campaign! The campaign ended yesterday with 1,881 backers and over $87K. That makes this campaign more than double my previous best effort (Fidelitas at $39K)! I continue to be astounded by this game's acceptance in the board game community. I've always been a bit worried about the obscurity of the theme. However, I believe that has become an asset to the game.

Because of the high level of funding, we were able to add in many new bonus components and upgrade all the different bits. The backers had lots of opinions about how best to do this (many times these were diametrically opposed), so we had to make some judgment calls. Now begins the difficult work of preparing the final files for the printer and sourcing all the components. Most of this work will be done by Kevin, from APE Games (who continues to suffer from an illness caught at a local con). Even in his diminished state, Kevin did a great job managing the campaign.

Finally, let me just thank all the backers and others who supported me during this process. We would not have been so successful without these people caring about the project and telling others. I really appreciate your efforts, and I look forward to delivering an amazing, high-quality game!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Campaign Update

Well, things have been going well for the Spirits of the Rice Paddy Kickstarter campaign. We just passed $50K! This is over $10K more than any other KS I've been involved with--just amazing! I continue to be shocked by how well the game is being received. We still have about 1/3 of the campaign remaining.

Because of the high level of funding, we've been able to meet all our stretch goals and upgrade the components of the game, including a two-layer player board. Kevin is currently figuring out how to add a few more goals such as custom tokens for weeds and pests and possibly acrylic discs for water tokens. Stay tuned to see how the campaign progresses. At a base pledge of $40, don't let this one pass you by! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Spirits of the Rice Paddy now on Kickstarter

It's finally here! Spirits of the Rice Paddy just went live on Kickstarter! Here's your chance to build some paddies, pull some weeds, eat some pests, and harvest loads of rice. Check out or page for all the info, on visit BGG for even more. We also have an especially good endorsement from Rahdo himself. Thanks for helping us fund this exciting game.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A New Year and a New Kickstarter

Welcome to 2015! Thanks for checking in despite the abysmally low frequency of new posts. Here are a few projects I have coming up in the new year:

Spirits of the Rice Paddy - This game launches on Kickstater tomorrow!

Eminent Domain: Battlecruisers - This customizable mini-game will be set in Tasty Minstrel's EmDo universe. It should be launching on Kickstater in another month or so.

Unnamed Zombie Game - In a weird twist of fate, I'm designing a zombie-themed kid's game for a California-based publisher. More about this in the coming months.

Hitler Must Die - This Game Salute title should be hitting Kickstarter later this year if all goes well. We will see how it goes.

I'm also working on some expansions for AEG. I can't really go into detail about those, either.

Treasure Map - Finally, I've been slogging away on a 16-24 card game about pirates fighting over a treasure map (it was originally about A Mid-Summer Night's Eve, but that just wasn't clicking). It's been a long and difficult process, but I've learned quite a bit as well. Once I get it over the next hump I'll be asking for help from more playtesters.

In other news, we've been playing quite a bit of Splendor (a Christmas gift). The Interwebs have recently been on fire with this topic as people struggled to discover what all the fuss is about. All I know is that my dad and brother each immediately bought a copy of the game after playing it with me a few times. Clearly, the Space Cowboy folks know a little something about how to make a fun, accessible game.