Selling “Jump Gate” Directly to Independent Retailers

Box top artwork for 2nd Edition of "Jump Gate"Due to self-producing the Second Edition of “Jump Gate” with all U.S.-based suppliers in a 3-week turn-around, my production costs weren’t exactly on the low end.

So, to allow retailers to be able to grab an acceptable margin, while still putting the product up for sale at a reasonable price, I am bypassing (for the most part) selling through distributors … and I’m selling this edition directly to the online retailers and independent game stores.

Any retailer who is interested in purchasing “Jump Gate” at wholesale rates, should contact me at matt@mwgames.com.  I have a retailer sell sheet available with more detailed information.

If you are a board game player, and would like to get your hands on a copy, either shop at Funagain.com, or ask your friendly local independent game store if they have it available or could order it (and then point them to mwgames.com if they need more info).

I am Hosting a Live Chat Today at TheGameCrafter.com

TheGameCrafter.com LogoThe team at TheGameCrafter.com (publishers of the First Edition of Jump Gate) have asked me to host a  live chat starting at 3pm central time today at their site.

I plan to talk about the process I took in designing Jump Gate and getting it ready for publication through their service … and answer any questions that attendants might have.

To take part in the live chat, jump over to the TGC Forums and look for the “Matt Worden Chat” box in the lower-right part of your screen.  (Their chat server will assign you a random name when you enter … login using your Twitter or Facebook account — or sign-up with the Envolve hosting service — to show your real name.)

You Know it’s Getting Serious when You Put the Camper in Storage

Matt Worden Games LogoMy wife and I bought a pop-up camper from our neighbors this past summer.  We can’t wait to get camping in it next year.  The plan was to store it in the 3rd stall of our garage over the winter.

But that all changed the day I was trading e-mails with the company making the boxes for the second edition of Jump Gate.  They informed me that the boxes would be shipped in 7 master cartons, which should all fit onto a single pallet … maybe two.  Where was I going to put 2 pallets worth of boxes?  And then you add in the plastic bits (120,000 chips & 6,000 rockets) and the cards (96,000 cards), and I figured I was going to need some place to put everything as it arrived.

So, the camper has been moved to winter storage … and that tells me things are getting serious. 

The other things that let me know things are serious, are forming an LLC (“Matt Worden Games, LLC”) and already taking orders for the games.  I suppose I’ll have to quit calling this a hobby, eh?

And, we’ll be hosting an “assembly” party this weekend with neighbors and friends … things are getting fun!

“Jump Gate” Named GAMES Magazine’s 2011 Game of the Year!!

"Jump Gate" is the GAMES 2011 Traditional Game of the YearI’ve been chomping on the bit to post this since I was alerted to it by a designer/artist friend of mine who facebooked me about it (props to Josh!) about a week-and-a-half ago … as a GAMES subscriber, he was an early-wave recipient of the December 2010 issue, which includes GAMES’ annual buyer’s guide and the GAMES 100 lists for both electronic games and board games (they call them “traditional games”).

“Jump Gate”, which was reviewed in the September issue of GAMES, was named their 2011 Traditional Game of the Year!!  This took me completely by surprise … I *had* hoped to make their 100 list, but getting the top spot has me flabbergasted. Continue reading

Tom Vasel Likes “Jump Gate”

Video: Tom Vasel Reviews Jump GateTom Vasel, a well-known board game reviewer, who puts out several video-based board game reviews per week has recently done a review of “Jump Gate”.

While he is normally partial to component quality (and this game won’t blow you away in that department), he had great things to say about the way the game plays.  I mean, how much better can a guy ask for than “It looks boring — but it’s really fun!”?? 🙂

Check out the video from YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIfOObqz1Ds):

Also … check out his call-to-publishers at the end to let me loose on some of their high-end production components … to which I can only say: “AMEN!!”

Summer’s Over — Time to Get Busy Again

I had a very good, busy summer.  Got to camp a bit, fish a few more times than I had expected, coach some softball with my 10-year-old’s team, and visit family & friends.

Didn’t do much games-related stuff, though … so, now it’s time to pick up the pace on that again.

I have a design in mind for the Protospiel card game design contest … but I’m not ready to say much about it.  So far, it seems good on paper and maybe even fun when I play through it in my head.  But, I still need to build the complete rough prototype and truly walk through it in a physical sense to see if it all works.  The first somewhat solid things are due to the contest by October 15th — so, I should have something to say about it by then.

However, I think this is the year that I will get back in to computer games.  I first plan on finishing my game-dev libraries, and using them to build a couple simple games.  Then I have something a bit more expansive in mind … we’ll see where that goes.

My Take on TheGameCrafter.com

The Game CrafterI am using The Game Crafter (TGC) to publish my board games.  If you are familiar with CafePress or Lulu, TGC has a similar publish-on-demand take on board games.

As a game designer, I am able to upload any graphics needed for custom cards and game boards, and then select a collection of bits needed for a game, and TGC makes that set of materials available as a game in their shop.  I can choose to keep something unpublished — just for me to order — such as prototypes, or personal game versions … or I can publish a game, which makes it available for anyone to order.

This is all done on-demand … when an order is placed for a game, the cards and boards are printed at that time and all parts are picked.  The whole set is then packed and shipped to the buyer.  The advantage of on-demand fulfillment is that I don’t need to pre-print and store a few hundred copies of the game.  The disadvantage is that the costs can be higher since things are not being produced in large quantities.

I am very happy that such a service is available … and I am happy that the TGC team seem to be quite focused on delivering great customer service.  I thought I would take a post to spell out my own personal opinions on the good and bad points around The Game Crafter. Continue reading

Rest in Peace, Cinder

Planet Cinder from Jump GateThis is more of a personal post than game-related … although there is a connection to Jump Gate as well.

Today we had to put our Siamese cat, Cinder, to sleep.  We think she was around 19 years old.  We adopted her as a 2-year-old from a vets office that was looking for a home for her.  I think she probably would have been put down if we hadn’t taken her home with us that day.  That was nearly 17 years ago.

CinderShe was a great cat for our family, but had really gotten old over the past 5 years.  The past couple years, especially, saw her greatly reduced … but she was still very affectionate and talkative.  Her kidneys were failing and she was having a lot of trouble the last few days.

The vet said that while we could do some things to make her more comfortable for a short period of time, there really was no cure for what was ailing her, and she would continue to go downhill.  She was already doing pretty poorly … had problems walking straight, among other things.  So, we had to let her go.

Her name — and colors — will live on in the planet I made for her in Jump Gate.

Rest in peace, Cinder.

We Have Liftoff: Jump Gate is officially available!

Jump Gate Cover ArtJump Gate is officially launched!  I’m very excited to announce that it is now available from TheGameCrafter.com.

Jump Gate is a board game about space exploration in the far future.  The Jump Gate is a device that lets a spaceship immediately jump into orbit around a far-away planet.  Players explore these newly-discovered planets by jumping to them, scanning them for resources, and landing on them to stake their claim as the first to set foot on them.  Ultimately, the game is about collecting resources in a way to maximize your score.  However, some resources cause a player to put a marker on the Black Hole Board … and too many markers on that board will cause problems for some players.

Jump Gate - All ComponentsThere is hand-management, multi-use cards, exploration & discovery, set collection, and some racing elements in the game.  The game can be played casually, but requires good decisions and efficient use of actions for a player to really excel.  The theme is family friendly and would make a great family-game-night game.

As part of the launch celebration, I’ll be giving away a copy of the game in a couple of weeks.

Check out the game’s page both here and at BoardGameGeek for images and more details.

Received the Jump Gate Proof Copy

Jump Gate - All Components

All Jump Gate Components from TheGameCrafter.com

I received my nearly-launch-ready proof copy of “Jump Gate” from TheGameCrafter.

I’m very happy with how the new card designs look printed.  My wife thinks I need to tweak the brightness of the blue gems (“they just look a touch dull compared to the white and red gems”), and I did find a typo on the Black Hole board.

So, I will tweak those and update TGC with the corrected files.  Then it’s just another pass on proofing the rules, prepping of some graphics files for both TGC and BGG, planning around advertising, launch announcing, begging for reviews, and the other things that go into launching a new game on a shoestring via a print-on-demand supplier.  Look for my “Go!” announcement shortly after Easter.

I managed to get a couple pictures taken tonight … like the one in the upper-left, plus these two:

Jump Gate - Start-of-Game Setup

Jump Gate's Start-of-Game Setup

Jump Gate - Player Components

Each player starts with a Spaceship and some Markers