Slowing My Roll

Rather be Lost in the WoodsAlthough you wouldn’t be able to tell from watching this site (and its lack of updates for 5 months), I’ve had a pretty busy and enjoyable first half of 2017. It’s just that not much of it was spent on activities related to designing games.

I’ve accepted that this is the new normal for me. My game design and testing time is limited, I don’t expect to be attending any cons the remainder of this year, and I’m not really able to keep up with social media to present a productive presence.

And so, I’m making a purposeful attempt to go slower and smaller … and we’ll see how that goes.

Days of Discovery - Ending Tableau ExampleI should have some game-related news in the coming months … but I want to break the habit of promoting things, setting deadlines and then missing. So, I’m switching to talking about things as they are now and not what they are “going” to be.¬†[For example: I have the latest prototype & rules for Days of Discovery completed and I’m starting a new round of blind testing. Send me a note if you’re interested in helping with that.]

On the social media side, this slower/smaller approach means that Instagram, Twitter and Facebook will be more about my day-to-day life — playing others’ published games, camping/fishing, food, beer, cats, family, etc. — and less about game design shop talk or promoting of my own games … at least for now.

And, of course, I’ll be watching and living vicariously through you all! ūüėČ

The Games I’ll Have with Me at Protospiel-MN

Days of Discovery, Abbottsville, SharkBait, and Zombie ClownsIn just a few weeks, Jeff King and I will be co-hosting Protospiel-MN¬†(click to register for your badge!),¬†which will be another one of my favorite type of weekends — put¬†dozens of tabletop game designers into a hotel ballroom and help them playtest each others’ games!

I will be bringing 4 prototypes of my own along — which is about double what I normally bring — and we’ll see which ones make it to the table.

Here’s a brief run-down on each one: Continue reading

Runways, Holidays and Protospiel Magic

"Days of Discovery" at Protospiel-MadisonI’m out of runway to get Days of Discovery ready for a launch this year. I have a number of reasons for this (for example, my Patience & Priorities post still fits). Mainly, the game is still not where I would like it to be.

I’ve made significant improvements to it by stripping it back to the main set of cards and getting rid of a lot of the extra fluff I had added in the prior couple of versions. So, it’s better, but it still feels a bit flat in multi-player games. So, I’ll keep developing and look for an early 2017 launch at this point. (see more on this below)

Expect to see more game development type posts on this one, along with more of the story mode type posts that will give a bit more background to the Land of Danger storyline.

In the meantime, we are verging onto the holiday season. So, I’d like to remind everyone of my silly little stocking-stuffer game that I made last year: Santa’s Little Helpers and the Ice Cube Jam. Continue reading

Mailing List Sign-Up Drive & Game Give-Away

Mailing List Sign-Up Drive

NOTE: The give-away has been completed. Congratulations to Tony Miller for winning the games!

I’m building a formal mailing list through MailChimp.¬†You can signup here: Matt Worden Games Mailing List

My plans are to use this list to send monthly newsletter-style updates and special announcements, such as Kickstarter project launches and other game release announcements.

As an additional nudge, I will be giving away a couple games to one randomly-selected person from the mailing list on Thursday, September 1st. The entry process is simple: Be signed-up on the mailing list by 7 a.m. on that morning to be eligible for the random drawing. (Update: This give-away has been completed.)

The winner of the random drawing will receive two games:

  1. Days of Discovery - First Draft Box Cover RenderA preview prototype of Days of Discovery
  2. A choice of either Jump Gate (3rd Edition) or Dicey Curves (Deluxe Edition)

Jump Gate, 3rd Edition, Box in Shrinkwrap from TheGameCrafter.com Dicey Curves, Deluxe Edition, 3D Box Render, March 2014

I’m Headed to GenCon Indy 2016

Matt Demoing at GenCon 2015Once again, I will be attending the giganto gaming con that is GenCon Indy! And, unlike other years, I won’t be scheduled wall-to-wall demoing my games! ūüôā¬†That means you’ll be able to find me to hang out and play games and such.

I’ll be driving down on Thursday, picking up a friend along the way, and leaving my Thursday evening open for picking up my badge and tickets, and finding folks to do the aforementioned hanging out and playing games with. For the next two days after that, here’s what my schedule looks like right now: Continue reading

Getting Some Games Ready for Protospiel-Michigan

Abbottsville at Protospiel-MN, Jan 2016, with Cyrus Kirby (Father Geek) and JT SmithI’m already getting excited about travelling to Chelsea, Michigan, in mid-July for Protospiel (the original)! I’ll be road-tripping there again with Jeff King and Sheppy, just like I did a couple of years ago.

I’ll be returning with an updated Abbottsville, and I can’t wait to get it back on the testing table since my take-aways from playing it at Protospiel-MN this past January. It’ll have some new ways of handling¬†resources and the crowd-favorite pumas. I still need to re-integrate the character cards and special powers into the game. I’ve got a few ideas on how to do it … so, we’ll see how that goes between now and July. Continue reading

Finding a Missing Land: How It All Started

Leatherbound Book on PlanksI¬†distinctly¬†remember the “aha!” moment I had on one particular day when I was in my third year at¬†college. I had checked-out a few old history books from the library (yes — I did go into the library now and then) to do research for a paper I was writing¬†at the time. Of course, the paper was due in a couple of days and I was way behind the proper curve for researching and writing a paper of this type, so I had been trading normal sleeping hours for homework time.

The books spanned a wide range of the middle ages and were filled with old maps and stories about travels throughout the known world. I’m not sure if it was the sleep deprivation or the frightening amounts of coffee I had consumed that evening, but I started seeing some unmistakable patterns.¬†Although it was never fully described nor drawn on a map, I became¬†certain that there¬†was once¬†a large land area located¬†in what is now the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Continue reading

“Days of Discovery” Development Still Progressing

Days of Discovery - First Draft Box Cover RenderHi … it’s me … I’ve been wondering — how nearly 5 months have gone by since I last posted. Actually, I know exactly how that’s happened … one major building project, two *very* active teenagers, and lots of good family/friend times and the clock simply flies!

But I am still working on getting Days of Discovery ready to be Kickstarted this summer. I’ve simplified things in the game quite a bit — taking it back to the basics and general tightening up. So, it’s off to more blind testing with the new rules now.

I’ve also been working with a graphic designer to get things consolidated and in-shape to show off. Once example is the box in the upper-left … the other is below. In both cases, you can click to see bigger versions of the images.

Days of Discovery Cards Example Display Render

I will be starting to add some new stories over the coming weeks that will be tagged with “Story Mode” … these will be creative writings tied to the story behind the game. Keep an eye out and let me know your thoughts. ūüôā

What’s on Tap for 2016

Welcome to 2016!Wow — 2015 flew by very fast!

After the weird 2014 I had¬†(last time I reference that, I promise ūüėČ ), I originally intended for 2015 to get back on track and catch up to all the plans I had made for the previous year … but it didn’t quite work out that way. After the failed Kickstarter project for Aether Magic, a number of other real-life, non-game-related things took priority. Days of Discovery — while solid as a solo-game from the start — took longer to get the multi-player game right, and I simply ran out of time to make everything happen that I wanted to last year.

So, the approach at the start of¬†this year is going to be a little different. I’m only going to worry about one thing at a time, and move forward with whatever is next on the list after that. So, my “plans” at this point do not go very far past February … and I seem to be perfectly okay with that. ūüėČ

Here is what I have on the list: Continue reading

My Game Design Duct Tape: Multi-Use Cards

Examples of multi-use cardsWhile I try to do something different in each game I design, and I try to let the theme of the game drive what mechanisms are used, I do have some common tendencies … and most obvious of them is my love of multi-use cards.

As a player, I love to have options, flexibility, room for creativity to use whatever my current resources are. The ability to combine things or otherwise have a choice in what a specific card is used for gives the strategy-crunching part of my brain a lot of enjoyment.

As a designer, I love the way multi-use cards can expand¬†a design¬†without much, if any, increase in number of components. There’s usually a bit more math and/or spreadsheet work that’s needed to make everything come together right … but that’s a trade-off I’ll take most times. Continue reading