Subtilla: Stealthy Sub Movements

Stealth Markers Between Boats in SubtillaThere are a couple of neat mechanics that I really like in Subtilla (click for original sneak peek), which I hope to have out via before the end of December.

My favorite is how the Sub can move around while submerged.  The spark for this idea originally came from my son, Seth, who has been my main tester and idea man with this game.  During an early test, he said “what if the submarine could actually go below the surface of the board and you didn’t know where it would come up again.”  And that was all it took for me to get the idea of “stealth markers” going.

When a Sub is submerged, its potential position on the board is indicated by Stealth Markers — little peg pawns.  More of these markers can be added to the board to grow the number of possible positions that the sub could resurface at.  When it’s time to resurface, the Sub can be placed anywhere there are markers on two adjacent spaces.

The Sub is able to move more quickly underwater, and usually gives you more possibilities than your opponent can cover with his Boats.  However, the Stealth Markers can be removed from the board by Boats and the other Sub moving onto the space a marker occupies.  If all of the markers are removed from the board, your Sub is forced to resurface and its location is chosen by your opponent.

Also, you can’t fire Torpedoes while in stealth mode.  Oh … the Torpedoes are pretty cool too — but I’ll save that for another post. Hall of Fame

TheGameCrafter.comToday, I had the honor of being inducted into’s Hall of Fame.

Primarily, this was due to having first published Jump Gate at TGC, and the success that has followed for that game.

However, if you click over to the article, I think you will agree that my best hopes are for my freakishly-huge logo to take over the world! 🙂

Thanks to Tavis, JT, Jamie, and the rest of the team at TGC … it’s a great crew, and a great site for a guy like me to make some games!

St. Boni Boutique Recap

Anna & Santa

Anna Makes a New Friend by Giving a Gift

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I signed-up to sell games at the “Unique Boutique” in St. Boni this past Saturday.  Outside of having done a smaller in-home boutique in our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, the only other time I setup to sell games has been at gaming events, such as Con of the North.

I really enjoyed myself, met a lot of very nice people, had a great time hanging out with my daughter, and even sold a few games in the process.

One of the things that Anna and I were able to do, was to get a handful of games of Dicey Curves in. Continue reading

Reminder: St. Boni Holiday Boutique Tomorrow

St. Boni Unique Holiday Boutique 2011Just wanted to take a quick minute and remind everyone that I will be at the St. Boni Unique Holiday Boutique, from 9am to 3pm tomorrow, selling Jump Gate and Dicey Curves.

There’s a good chance my lovely daughter will be there with me for at least part of the time.

And there’s 40-some other vendors there as well … come get your holiday shopping done!

First Dicey Curves Expansion — DANGER! — in February

Dicey Curves DANGER! Expansion Card BackWhen I first launched Dicey Curves, I intended it to be the “base game” that could work as a light party-game style filler, highlighting the main dice-combo and movement mechanics.  There are 2 expansions planned to add-on to the game and make it more and more of a “gamers’ game”.

The first one will be out in February, in time for Con of the North, and will be called “DANGER!” (or, “The Danger Expansion”, or “Dicey Curves: Danger!”, or “Dangerous Curves” … pick your favorite nick name ;)).

It will add-in a new deck of “Danger” cards that will be a collection of track-modifiers, play-modifiers, “immediates”, damagers, and defenses.  It will also add-in the concepts of car damage (and ways to fix it) and side bets.

All-in-all, it will greatly increase the player interaction and reduce downtime when it’s not your turn. 🙂

Selling Jump Gate in St. Boni on Saturday

St. Boni Unique Holiday Boutique 2011This Saturday (December 3, 2011), from 9am until 3pm, I will be selling Jump Gate as a vendor at the St. Boni Unique Holiday Boutique, located at the Choice School in St. Bonifacius.  {click the image to the left for a big version of the flyer}

For those needing specific directions, it’s located at 8101 Wildwood Avenue, St. Bonifacius, MN.

This will be the second time I’m selling at a holiday boutique this year.  It’s always a good time and fun to see the other vendors and their wares.

I’d love to have board gamers show up, even if it’s just to say “hi” during a pause in finalizing your gift list from the 40-some other vendors on display.

Of course, if you were interested in a copy of Jump Gate, I’ll be selling the “Friends & Family” release of the 2nd edition, which contains the extra spaceship art.  And, if you’d like me to, I’d be happy to personalize a copy with a message inside the box for whoever you’re getting the game for.

As an extra little at-the-event bonus, I’ll also have some copies of Dicey Curves available and I’ll be able to show off a copy of Space Mission (although that one’s not for sale). 😉

Thankfulness (2011)

Worden Family Hiking{Warning: this post is a link-o-rama of linkage … do not sue if you get a sore mouse finger from clicking on them all …}

I’ve recently had a number of reasons lately to review the past couple of years … especially the events around Jump Gate, from the original idea, through the early development, the final polishing, the GAMES Magazine honors, and Schmidt Spiele’s Space Mission.

More recently, throw in the nice response to Dicey Curves, and the very cool people I’ve met in the process of getting that game out and reviewed.  People I’ve met face-to-face, or viaTwitterand e-mail.

Finally, back it all up with the unstoppable support I get from my great family and awesome friends.  Everyone has really helped me and my wife and kids through a pretty tough year.

And to everyone who follows me here on this blog or via Twitter:  Thanks!!

I have a lot to be thankful for, and I try to make sure I take the time to acknowledge that every day. 🙂

First Peek at “Subtilla”

SubtillaI want to get one more game available via so folks can get it in time for Christmas.  Subtilla was originally designed in response to TGC’s Vehicles contest … but I couldn’t get the rules ready in time.

So, I put it on hold for a bit … but now I’m ready to finish it off and get it out on TGC.   Not sure on the exact timing, but I’m hoping to release it sometime in November.

Subtilla ComponentsThis is a two-player, head-to-head naval battle game.  Each player has 1 sub, 5 surface ships and a base on their side of the board.  A player wins by either destroying all 5 of the opponent’s surface ships or by occupying both spaces of the opponent’s base at the end of the opponent’s turn (they get a chance to knock you out of their base).

There are some nifty stealth and movement rules for the subs … I really like how that aspect of the game works.  And, of course, the sub gets to fire torpedoes! 🙂  The ship-v-ship battles are dice-based … so this doesn’t really fit the definition of an “abstract” game — it’s very “themey” and has strong chance elements.  To say it has a bit of “take that!” is also an understatement.

Continue reading

Getting Dicey Curves “Retailer-Ready”

Dicey Curves

All components fit nicely into the handy drawstring bag.

I’ve been working on making Dicey Curves into a form that will work for retailers to re-sell.  While I will continue selling the game through, I also wanted to be able to sell through some of the web retailers I’ve built a relationship with, and for any FLGS’s that would like to sell the game.

However, I did not want to create another full-scale manufacturing operation (like I with with Jump Gate, Second Edition).  So, to find the best mix approach, I’m ordering the cards and bits from TGC (nicely bagged-up and ready for packing), I found a different source for the drawstring bags (a slightly smaller and less soft bag, but functional), produced my rulesheets at a local printer, and added a yellow security ring around the neck of the bag and an “info tag” that will hang from the security ring.

Back from the eWilderness

Hard Drive CrashI’ve spent the better part of the past 10 days responding to a hard drive failure on my main laptop.  At first I wasn’t sure if it was actually a physical disk issue, or if my OS had become corrupted somehow.  In the end, it turned out that my hard drive actually completed died — went full “paperweight mode”.  A have a techy friend of mine to thank for a replacement drive, and some additional hardware to test out my old, faulty drive in case I’d still be able to read it somewhat.

I also want to say how happy I am that I had been running Carbonite as my file backup system!  Except for about 3 days worth of e-mails that I lost (there were a brief few hours in the middle of those 10 days where my old hard drive started acting normal again, and I turned on Outlook and it downloaded 3 days worth of e-mails, but Carbonite wasn’t able to archive the updated Outlook DB file before the hard drive crashed for good), everything else was restored onto my laptop within a day of having the new drive up and running.

Now that I’m back to having a working machine, there are a number of things I need to catch up on: someone won copies of a couple of my games (thanks to Father Geek), there was another positive review of Dicey Curves, I donated a copy each of Jump Gate and Dicey Curves in an auction, I received my copies of Space Mission (Schmidt Spiele’s take on Jump Gate), and I played the game with my son — and I loved it!

Oh, and I should be bringing out another new game via … something called Subtilla … a return to the head-to-head 2-player format.  Not an abstract game this time, though. 😉

So, watch for posts from me the next few days.  Also, if you’re not already following me on Twitter, please do so … and send me a tweet if you have any questions or comments about my games (or life in general). 🙂