Production Slow Down at TheGameCrafter.com

TheGameCrafter.comIt appears that TheGameCrafter.com — the on-demand publisher of several of my games, including the brand new Dicey Curves — has been getting slammed with lots orders … and, in particular, a lot of larger orders.  This has slowed down their ability to get games made and shipped.  For details, direct from TGC, click here.

What this means to me and anyone who is looking to get one of my games from there, is that it will take longer than normal to get it.  Normally, I would receive an order in about a week … now it’s taking 2 to 3 weeks.  They are taking steps to improve their throughput … but it will be at least a month before that starts having an impact.

New Updates: Catching Up After Vacation

Paper Money Podcast - Episode #54A lot of news items popped-up while I was away at GenCon and then on our week-long camping trip.  What better way to catch up than a bunch of links to other sites? 😉

8/3 – Purple Pawn’s Paper Money Podcast, Episode #54 – The Wausau Daily Herald article about my game design hobby was mentioned in the latest Paper Money podcast.  Listen around the 12:15 mark … and to make it all super-shiny, they think “it’s not a loser game” — how’s that! 🙂

8/3 – Glowing Castle Danger Review – Follow designer, Grant Rodiek, apparently really, really likes Castle Danger.  And that makes me happy.  (Grant is the designer of the cool-looking — and very cool-named — game Farmaggedon.)

8/10 – Battlespace Magazine’s Feature on TGC – Battlespace (online) Magazine has a feature article on TheGameCrafter.com in the August/September 2011 issue, which includes a few mentions and a couple pictures of Jump Gate.  And, of something called “Warpgate” that looks very, very familiar … 🙁

8/12 – I am TGC’s first “Designer Profile”! – TheGameCrafter.com will be posting periodic profiles of the designers that use their services, and they were nice enough to put my profile up first.  Be sure to check back each week to see the other designers using TGC for their games.

8/14 – Dice Tower’s GenCon 2011 Overview – At about the 8:30 mark of the Dice Tower’s GenCon 2011 recap video, Tom Vasel mentions the booth for TheGameCrafter.com and gives some nice video shots of 4 of my games (in order): Dicey Curves, DareBase, Castle Danger, and Jump Gate.  While Tom mentions me by name, the one game he gives — Diggity — isn’t one of mine … it’s by Dave Dobson of Plankton Games.  I had it there on behalf of Dave because I like to play it with my kids, and he sent me a new copy to take along. 😉

Okay … that should catch me up for a day-or-so!

Now I’ll turn my attention to getting Dicey Curves launched … thinking next Monday if everything goes well.

GenCon Indy 2011 – Day 2 (the real) Recap

Dicey Curves Demo Play at GenCon Indy 2011

Playing Dicey Curves in TheGameCrafter.com GenCon Booth

I am home, safe and sound, sitting in my favorite chair after a busy day.  It started off *way* too early to catch my flight home. (I must’ve been tired, based on the fact that I fell asleep before we pulled away from the gate, and I woke up when the tires hit the runway at MSP.) So, after a wedding reception for a good friend (she used to be this cool teenager that I knew once upon a time, and now is an amazing young woman), sneaking in a nap, mowing the lawn, and messing around with our camper (going on a week-long trip tomorrow), I am finally getting around to posting my recap of yesterday at GenCon.

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GenCon Indy 2011 – Day 1 Recap

GenCon Indy 2011Well, my plan I gave at the end of my previous post worked out pretty well.

After my burger/beer, I was able to get into my room, get my things together and catch the next shuttle over to GenCon.  By the time I got there, the will-call lines were small and getting my badge was a snap.

JT and Jaime at the TGC Booth at GenCon Indy 2011I found my way to the main exhibitor hall, and went directly to the booth for TheGameCrafter.com.  After shaking hands and chatting a bit with JT, Jaime, Tavis, and CW Karstens (Thursday’s in-booth designer), I wandered the hall to see what there was to see, taking pictures as I went.

Seth Jaffee from TMGAfter a bit of a wander, I found the booth for Tasty Minstrel games, and met and chatted with Michael M., and Seth Jaffee.  Michael gave me a demo of Martian Dice and Belfort, and Seth walked me through Jab and Eminent Domain.  TMG really has built a nice stable of cool games in a very short time.

After the hall shut down at 6pm, I was able to meet-up with Rick Teverbaugh, an editor with the Anderson, IN, Herald Bulletin.  He is interesting in Dicey Curves, with its racing theme.  We played through a whole game — 2 players, 2 cars each — and it was a nice, tight, well-fought game that came down to the wire.  In the end, he was able to sneak in ahead of me while my second car got hung up behind a 4-gate.  It was a great time, and I look forward to sending Rick a review copy once the game is out later in the month.

Dicey Curves Game with Rick TI ended the day by getting into the gaming library room, and playing a game of CW Karten’s Dragon Valley (an excellent game, and a worthy KickStarter project), and then chatting with the designer of an interesting storytelling/strategy game called Force of Fiction.

Back to the hotel to sleep … and now I’m back up and at it again. 🙂

You better come find me at GenCon …

GenCon Indy 2011… or I might just bump into you while I wander around looking like an overwhelmed noob at a giant game con (since that is exactly what I will be).

I gave some brief and general info about my attending GenCon Indy 2011 a few post ago, but I’m forming a bit clearer picture of where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing the 2 days I’m there.

My flight arrives in Indy around Noon, and padding some time for hotel check-in and brief settling (transferring things from my suitcase to a backpack, etc.), I should be getting to the con by early afternoon.  My entire plan for Thursday is to wander (as described above) and find people I’m looking to meet in person (some of these folks I’ve know online for almost 10 years!) and to get the general lay of the land.

On Friday, I will be at the booth with the guys from TheGameCrafter.com from 11 am until about 1:30 pm, when I hustle up to the Santa Fe room in the Marriot for a panel on Protospiel, starting at 2.  The Protospiel event is an open event, so please come see me and the rest of the designers on the panel talk about what it’s like to attend a cool game designer get-together like Protospiel.

If you will be at GenCon, and can’t stop in at the booth mid-day Friday, please Tweet me or e-mail me about meeting somewhere Thursday afternoon/night or Friday evening/night.  (Unlike a lot of the attendees, I actually *do* plan to make it back to my hotel room to sleep a bit Thursday night!)

See you there!

Dicey Curves: In Action (Lots of Pics)

First Full "Dicey Curves" Set from TheGameCrafter.com

All cards and bits easily fit into the draw-string bag

I received my latest order from TheGameCrafter.com, which included the first full set of my up-coming game, Dicey Curves.

The cards turned out very nicely, and everything fits easily into the large draw-string bag.  In fact, it might be a bit too roomy.  They do have a smaller draw-string bag, which I will check out when I am at the TGC booth during GenCon.

Another adjustment that I may make to improve the “feel” of the game — and to reduce costs a bit — are to switch to smaller dice.  On this first set, I had ordered the 16mm D6s.  At times they seem a bit bulky … especially when choosing to spend a control chip to re-roll 5 or 6 of them at a time.  So, another thing I will look into during GenCon will be how the 12mm D6s TGC offers will work in place of the bigger dice.

In any case, I just couldn’t help running a full end-to-end playtest of the game with the new set, and I took a good deal of pictures along the way.  Here is what happened …

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Catch Me at GenCon Indy!

GenCon Indy 2011I will be in Indianapolis next Thursday and Friday (August 4th and 5th) attending GenCon Indy 2011 (“The Best Four Days in Gaming!”).

Thursday will be my day to wander around and see what there is to see, get the lay of the land, and hopefully run into some of my game designer/publisher friends to talk with.

On Friday, I will be at the booth with the guys from TheGameCrafter.com, showing off the games I have published through their site along with one of my kids favorites by Dave Dobson (“Diggity“), and giving demos of my soon-to-be-release Dicey CurvesLook for me there between 11am and 2pm.

Starting at 2, I will be part of a panel of designers talking about Protospiel — an annual game designer get-together in Michigan.  I attended a couple of summers ago (and had originally planned to go this past summer), and it was a thoroughly entertaining time and greatly beneficial to me as a designer.  So, I am happy to introduce others to what it is about, as well as get another chance to talk with great folks like the other designers on the panel.  From the information I have, this will be event SEM1120131, starting at 2pm on Friday, in the Marriott’s Santa Fe room.

I can’t wait to get there … if you will be attending, I’d love to hear from you.  See ya there!

Upgrade at TheGameCrafter.com

TheGameCrafter.comThe website and available products and services at TheGameCrafter.com just went through a major upgrade this past week.  The changes are requiring me to update the web graphics associated with each of the games I have available there.

Jump Gate has already been updated, but I need to hunt through my archive files in order to update Castle Danger and DareBase.  I expect to have them updated before the end of the weekend.

One of the best parts of the update is that they now ship the games in an actual gamebox … and that is then packaged into a shipping box.  It’s all very generic at the moment, but now that they’ve moved to the updated site and production capabilities, more good stuff — such as actual folding, chipboard game boards, and tuck boxes — will be coming in the near future.  The pricing for parts has been reduced and more parts have been added.

A very nice upgrade indeed!

Hello to Wausau Daily Herald Readers

Wausau, WisconsinKeith Ullig of the Wausau Daily Herald — the main newspaper in my original hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin — did a nice column about my board game designing adventures.

We had a great phone conversation that lasted just over an hour and covered a wide range of topics.  Obviously, the pre-specified column space force Keith to have to do much boiling-down of what we talked about — and I think he did a pretty good job of it.

One item that he didn’t have room for that I would like to highlight is that the emergence of internet-based, publish-on-demand services — such as those offered at TheGameCrafter.com — have really opened up the ability for someone to turn a hobby or niche interest into something bigger.  Same thing can be said for Lulu.com for publishing books or CafePress.com for producing custom clothing and other novelty items.  Without TheGameCrafter.com, Jump Gate would still be another mostly-finished game design that I’d be shopping around to traditional game publishers.

In any case … it’s pretty cool to see an article on something you did in the newspaper you grew up reading! 🙂