Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Monday, May 26, 2014

East India Company returns to the shipyard

Last February I mentioned that I'd submitted a prototype of "East India Company" to a publisher at UnPub 4 to evaluate for publication.  I just heard back from them, and they
do not find it to be a good fit for our upcoming releases. At the end of the day, the play time and complexity does not create a conducive product for a broad success, as the trends are leading away from complex play and longer play times.
I can certainly accept that evaluation.  Game length has been a challenge with "EIC" since its inception, and it certainly is complex.  Given the nature of today's game market, I agree that its appeal as it currently stands would probably be somewhat narrow.

So what's next for "EIC"?  I think I might need to put away the nail clippers and bring out the pruning shears.  I have to revisit some of the playtest comments I've received about things that could be cut out of the game.  I have some ideas of my own as well, and I think I need to look really hard at which parts of the game contribute to its core essence and which parts are really more chrome than structure.  For example, Ben Rossett suggested at UnPub 3 that the Dividend Bonus Track is an unnecessary element that a player could safely ignore and still win the game.  My wife Kathy recently suggested deleting it as well, so that's probably at the top of the list of things to cut out.

Kathy had another good idea, though.  If there's a way that I can "unplug" those inessential "chrome" elements and set them aside, then I may be able to create a shorter, simpler "EIC" for broader appeal and still preserve the original "meaty" version as an expansion for the heartier gamers.


  1. Look forward to trying this at the Unpub on June 21. Hopefully we can help you trim some excess. Losing stuff you love from a game is always hard. It usually makes the game better though.

  2. Glad you like my suggestion, Paul! Best of both worlds...

    Keep at it! It's a terrific game.


  3. Thanks for all the encouragement! I really do think it will be even better.

  4. Sorry to hear the (temporary) bad news.
    Happy to help you playtest it.

    1. Thanks, Paul. I may well take you up on that.