Focus 2015: Return to non-POD Games Publishing

Archery Illustration from Pearson Scott Foresman via Wikimedia Commons

{tl;dr – skip down to the 3rd-to-the-last paragraph for the announcement}

In the distant, distant way-back past (around 2010), I self-published the Second Edition of Jump Gate after the POD-produced 1st Edition was named the “2011 Traditional Game of the Year” by GAMES Magazine.

I wanted to get it “out there” as quickly as possible after the award was announced, and so — looking back now — I did just about everything the hard way. Here’s a quick-hit list of a few of the many things I did wrong: Continue reading

Getting this Train Rolling Again

"Steam Train on Watercress Line" by Jenny GillelandSo, it’s been a couple of months of downtime on the games front for me.

Part of the time off had to do with the start of the school year and needing to focus on what my kids were up to, along with organizing the teaching program I run at church. Part had to do with a severe lack of motivation following Protospiel-Michigan in July, and not being able to attend any of the cool up-coming events this fall (GenCon, Gaming Weekend at the Geek Compound, Protospiel-Madison, BGG.Con, etc.). And a strong part of it had to with the weird, bio-rhythmic nature of my creative process (expect a blog write-up on this soon).

Those last 2 items are kind of related. So is my need — apparently — to do an annual pruning process in order to re-focus my game design time. I nearly always have too many creative project irons in the fire, and I have to pause here and there to do a mental reset to gain some perspective. So, on to how I am getting the train rolling again … Continue reading

Heading to Protospiel-Michigan this Weekend

Map to Protospiel, Chelsea, Michigan, July 2014Tomorrow, I leave for a pretty exciting game design related road trip. I’ll be picking up Jeff King (from All Us Geeks), Jason Glover (from Grey Gnome games), and David Sheppard (known to most as Sheppy) along the way. We’re headed to this year’s Michigan Protospiel event, where indie designers get together to test prototypes of their games with each other. While it’s always great to get games tested by a wide mix of players, getting them tested by other designers can yield espresso-like shots of great feedback you can’t get anywhere else.

King of Danger, TGC Version, Card Examples - March 2014I will be focused on testing my two Land of Danger card games — King of Danger and Danger at the Walls — along with my tile-laying, pick-up-and-deliver game set on the 1800s prairies, Abbottsville. I will also bring Magistrate along for continued testing as well.

Abbottsville, Early Playtest at Paul's Cabin, May 2014Another exciting development will be that Jeff Large from Happy Mitten Games will be there, testing my game, Aether Magic, which they will be publishing later this year. Can’t wait to watch that one being tested by Jeff and the designers there. A few of them may have played it in Milwaukee during the March 2013 Protospiel when it was still called “For Goods and Honor” … it’s undergone quite a thematic change, but the main social and production mechanics are still there.

I will try to send out tweets while the roadtrip is taking place, and throughout the weekend. So, follow me on Twitter to see how that bit of chaos works out! ;)

I will be on TV! (or, at least YouTube)

Something From NothingThis coming Sunday night, July 13th at 7 p.m. central time, I will be on a web show called Something From Nothing (see previous episodes here), hosted by a handful of game designer acquaintances — TC Petty III, Chevee Dodd, Jason Slingerland and Rob Couch — with conversation around a wide range of game-design related topics. Levi Mote, designer of the game Ruse, will also be a guest on the show.

To get the link to the live broadcast on YouTube, watch my Twitter feed for a link just before 7 p.m. central on Sunday night. To ask questions, post comments or otherwise interact with the show in real time, Tweet using the hashtag #btgsfn (it stands for “Building the Game, Something From Nothing”)

Abbottsville Submitted to TGC/TFC Contest

Abbottsville, Spring 2014As I’ve mentioned earlier (here and here), I’ve been working on a new gamed called Abbottsville, with plans to submit it to the contest held at TheGameCrafter.com, to be judged by the folks at The Flux Capacity. They are using the contest to find a new game to add to their publishing catalog in 2015.

I did officially submit Abbottsville as one of the entries in the contest last night! :)

Abbottsville, Early Playtest at Paul's Cabin, May 2014At this point, the contest is now closed to new entries, and the TGC community will be voting to narrow the field from 30 entries down to 20, before turning things over to The Flux Capacity to take it from there.

To see all 30 entries to the contest, click this link. To just view the rule book for Abbottsville, you can click here: Abbottsville Rules Booklet (21)

:)

Abbottsville – My (planned) TGC Contest Entry

Abbottsville, Center Starting Tiles The current game design contest over at TheGameCrafter.com has a bit bigger requirements than their previous contests. It’s being hosted by publisher The Flux Capacity, who are looking for a new game to add to their catalog. The requirements are for a game that can handle 2 to 6 players, runs 60-90 minutes (for sure under 2 hours), and has a well-integrated theme.

And I have a new design that I plan to enter into the contest, that I’m calling Abbottsville. I’m a little sheepish about doing this ahead of time again. Last time I did this — with Thunder Run to Gratis-3 — I didn’t understand all of the contest rules and had to scramble at the end to get things ready … and I simply missed the deadline. I don’t think that’ll happen this time.

So, here are the high-level details on this one … Continue reading

Winner Selected for “Late Christmas Present” Game Give-Away

Matt Worden's Games at TheGameCrafter.comMy first post of the new year announced a game give-away called “Late Christmas Present.” To enter, you had to make a comment (or tweet or FB me) with someone you would like me to send one of my games to.

I had 10 entries that met the criteria (I’ll give the list of entrants at the end of this post), and randomly selected a single winner.

The winner of the Late Christmas Present Game Give-Away is Scott Metzger, who would like me to send a copy of Jump Gate to his friend Dave. I will be contacting Scott directly on how to arrange delivery of the game to Dave.

Thanks to everyone who played along, and to everyone who shared info about the give-away via the various social media! :)

Now, here’s the list of all entrants … Continue reading

“Best Laid Plans” vs. “Real Life Game Changer”

Matt in a Hospital - Jan 2014I was pretty proud of the work I did preparing for 2014 on the games front. I worked out my two main core themes for grouping my TGC-published games, figured out which pitch-to-publisher games to keep focusing on, worked out the order in which I expected to do things in, sketched out a vague con attendance schedule, and even got the website setup for the next materials to be coming.

And then the new year greeted me with a pretty serious medical emergency. (You can read the details on my CaringBridge site.) While I seem to be out of the immediate-danger situation, I have a bit of a long, slow road ahead in getting everything straightened out and to be back out in the clear.

And I don’t really have any clue how this is going to affect the games stuff.  I’m not really even figuring it out right now — I’ll get that all sorted over the next few weeks/months. For now, I’m thinking just about everything I had prepared to commit to is on hold until I get my feet back under me. I may not make any cons. I’ll just take things as they come and give you updates as things get rolling. So, stay tuned on that and we’ll see how things go.

Matt Worden's Games at TheGameCrafter.comNow, I did want to make sure that everyone knew that I WILL be carrying out the “Late Christmas Present” give-away that I just launched last week before all of the medical fun began. So, please add your comments to that post, or send me info via Facebook or Twitter … there’s still a couple days before I throw the entries in a hat and draw out the winner. :)

 

Right out of the Gate for 2014: “Late Christmas Present” Game Give-Away

Matt Worden's Games at TheGameCrafter.comOver the Christmas/New Year break, I picked up a few more Twitter followers, putting me over 1500. In celebration of that milestone, along with a fun way to start out 2014, I am going to be giving away some of my games.

Here’s the surprise: No purchase necessary. No “likes” or “follows” or “pluses” or “shares” or any of those types of things necessary either. :)

So, what sort of rigmarole will I put you through to be eligible? Simply: I want some direct feedback … and I want you to be generous, by suggesting someone *else* I should send a game to.

Here are the formal rules: Continue reading