Last year about this time, inspired by Chris "GamerChris" Norwood, I posted my "secret shame" - a list of unplayed games sitting on my shelves. When I did that, I thought surely, I am now motivated to work my way down this list and play all these games - or pass them along to someone else who will. Surely, in the next year, say, I will have played nearly all my games and the list will be shorter.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Last Saturday, Keith Ferguson ran an UnPub Mini event at Game Parlor Chantilly. (I helped a little.) We had about twelve designers and about 20 gamers playtesting over the course of the 11 hours that the store was open that day. It was about as successful as we could have wanted. For my part, I got to playtest "East India Company" and "Reactor Scram" one time each, as well as to play about four other games, though there were many more I wish I could have played.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
As I mentioned in a post on May 8, there will be an UnPub Mini event this Saturday 21 June at
Friday, May 30, 2014
I've been giving some thought as to how to streamline "East India Company." There are a few approaches I can take. The scientist in me wants to make one change at a time and test each change independently. I've heard at least one designer specifically recommend that approach so that you always know the effect of each specific design change. But my gut tells me to identify the essential core elements of the game, eliminate everything else in one big purge, and then see if anything should be added back in, painstakingly, one element at a time.
Monday, May 26, 2014
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.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014
Last week I opened a discussion on my effort to quantify game characteristics. I had in mind that I would explore this question on my own, somewhat in a vacuum, based on my own experience and opinions, as something of an exercise to see what defensible conclusions I might reach.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Gamers tend to characterize games in terms of luck vs. skill, replayability, lightness vs. depth, and so forth. These qualitative assessments help us to evaluate what we might like or dislike about a game before we've played it ourselves, or help to consider which games might be appropriate for a specific social, tournament, or convention setting. These characterizations also help in establishing design goals and parameters as well as assist publishers in determining which potential titles will fit within their product line.