Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Perspectives on Origins 2016 - Friday 17 June

Continued from Part 1, Thursday 16 June

East India Company
My primary purpose at Origins was to pitch "East India Company" to publishers.  At noon on Friday, my first appointment went well, but the publisher had issues with some of the liberties I'd taken with history in terms of which commodities were produced at which colonies.  I'd certainly made some "convenient assignments" in the interest of making the math work in the gameplay, but he seemed to think I'd gone too far and ought to revisit the historical basis of the game.

I had the opportunity to meet Tom Vasel at the Dice Tower booth, and he recommended a couple of other publishers that I hadn't considered.  Origins provides a great opportunity to talk to publishers directly, and in turn affords them an opportunity to look at designs on the spot.

So I approached a representative of a second publisher that afternoon and gave him a 15-minute run-down of how the game worked.  He thought it was interesting enough to show the main developer, so he borrowed a prototype for the day to take to his boss and evaluate.  Later that night, after they'd played through the game, the publisher told me that they found the heavy emphasis on pickup-and-deliver less interesting than the economic aspects of the game, which only got interesting in the late stages.  He recommended finding a way to "start later in the game," to get past the early decisions and mechanics that they found less interesting.  He also found the rules to be too wordy for the amount of content, and I think that's a fair criticism.  I might engage in some close reading of published rules to discern what it is that makes rules succinct but complete.

Cool displays
One of the fun things about Origins is some of the unusual demonstrations that some groups concoct.  An open source game called Robo Ruckus replicates the board game Robo Rally with a set of real robots.
Robo Ruckus demonstration

I'm not much of a fantasy miniatures kind of guy any more, but I made a double-take when I walked past the Reaper Miniatures table and saw an astounding collection of large skeletal creatures that deserved closer appreciation. These turned out to be their "Dark Heaven Bones" series, and their display highlighted some pretty amazing sculptures.
Yipes, these guys are scary.
Concludes in Part 3 Friday 18 June

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