Muse vs. Focus

Whisper, whisperIf you’re familiar with the classic Greek concept of the Muses, you’ll know what I mean when I refer to my muse giving me an idea for a game … or when I say that I’m waiting on my muse to help me figure out the answer to something I’m working on.

I don’t actually believe that I have an invisible woman following me around, whispering in my ear with new, creative ideas. But, I’ve always found … Continue reading

Back on the Table: Magistrate & Thunder Run to Gratis-3

Magistrate, Evidence Cube ExamplesAs I look forward to the Protospiel event in Michigan at the end of July, it’s time to get a couple of my other games back on the table to make them ready. Namely: Magistrate and Thunder Run to Gratis-3. For the most part, Magistrate just needs to get the doco finished and a little more polish … but Thunder Run needs a bit more work. That one (and Danger at the Walls) will be getting the majority of my attention over the next few weeks.

More specifically …  Continue reading

2013 Reflections and a Holiday Pause

Merry Christmas 2013 from Matt Worden Games

It’s time for me to put the game operations on pause until after the New Year. I’ll likely still be on Twitter and Facebook during the next couple of weeks, but I don’t plan on doing much with moving my game designs forward, or posting about things until we’re into 2014.

So, it seems like a perfect time to look back at the fun and excitement that’s been had over the past year, and to mention a few things that I see coming up in the near future.

Let’s start with a walk through the 2013 calendar. Continue reading


PruningThe time has come for me to do a bit of clean-up and cutting back on my back projects.

Somewhere in the middle of the run-up to GenCon, attending the fun in Indy, and mulling/digesting things afterwards, I felt a need to put more focused effort into just a few things.  Which means changing away from my normal style of having a dozen things all in-flux at the same time.

It’ll be a “personal growth” thing for me. I’ve generally just gone where the muse has lead and not worried too much about planning ahead of time. So, I’m in the middle of a “sit down” discussion with her in my head. Time to setup the guidelines of our relationship moving forward and see what fun she’ll be able to conjure up within those boundaries. I know that creative restrictions can produce a wealth of ideas for a particular project. We’ll see if it does the same thing on a more general scale.

Here are the changes I’ll be working toward over the next few weeks … Continue reading

What I’m Bringing to GenCon Indy 2013

Jump Gate, 3rd Edition, Box in Shrinkwrap from TheGameCrafter.comWell, this is the “Go!” week for GenCon Indy 2013, and I am totally pumped!

I will be bringing 5 different prototypes with me, in addition to my shiny new copy of Jump Gate, 3rd Edition.  If you bump into me (I’ll be posting my schedule tomorrow), please be sure to show me the games you have (if you’re a designer), offer to play anything you’ve got on you that you’re excited about, or ask to play one of these mentioned in this post.

Here are the 5 prototypes I’ll have on me: (If you are a publisher and are interested in trying any of these out, please e-mail me or catch me on Twitter.) Continue reading

Where Did I Leave Off with Thunder Run?

Thunder Run to Gratis-3


So, after my first 3 posts about Thunder Run to Gratis-3 (Intro, Basics, Carrier Commands), it turns out that I missed the deadline for the contest the game was intended for in the first place.

And I just stopped posting about it altogether … like a sad sort of sad person. And I don’t want to be like that. But on the other hand, I have a ton of different things I want to post about in the run up to GenCon Indy.

So, as a compromise, I’ll post the first full draft of the rules here so that you can read it and get the gist of what this game is all about.

Thunder Run to Gratis-3, Beta Prototype, End Game LookHere’s my quick overall: It’s an old-fashioned, trashy battle/brawl game set in space, with some new-fashioned ideas on the gameplay … basically, it’s just fun — probably the “wettest” game I’ve designed yet. Can’t wait to get this in front of other players!

Oh yeah — rules: Thunder Run to Gratis-3 Rules Booklet (111)

Got My First Post-Release Copy of JG3

Jump Gate, 3rd Edition, Box in Shrinkwrap from TheGameCrafter.comWent on a great 4-day camping weekend with my family. When I returned, I had a USPS box sitting on my porch from

It contained a number of things in it … new cards and rules booklet for my Thunder Run to Gratis-3 prototype, a copy of Tuesday Night Tanks by Chevee Dodd, and my first copy of Jump Gate, 3rd Edition, since it was released in the TGC shop.

As pictured to the left, it was nicely shrinkwrapped in their awesome “small pro box” … it’s pretty impressive how far the TGC production quality has come in the past couple of years since the original edition of Jump Gate.

Packed inside is a lot of game … cards, bits and booklet all nicely baggied and ready for play:

JG3 Components in a Freshly-Opened Box from  All JG3 Components, Straight out of the Box from



Back At It!! (summer 2013 edition)

Jump Gate, 3rd EditionSo it’s been a few weeks … errrr, a month. 😉

Summer always gets me overly busy into fun things that aren’t necessarily game related.  So, I’ve been off doing that sort of thing over the past month — camping, canoeing, hanging out with the family, mowing, weeding, grilling, visiting family and friends, etc.

Bedroom TV Cabinet, Top OpenI even picked up a new thing: woodworking!  During June, I built my first piece of supposed-to-look-good-furniture, pictured to the right.  It’s a TV & linen cabinet for the corner of our bedroom, made to match the new bedroom set we recently bought as a 20th wedding anniversary present to each other.  My wife did the cool stain & poly work.  I also have to give thanks to Chevee Dodd, who turns out to be an experienced woodworker and general fix-it guy … lots of good advice from him.  Also, from the folks at the lumber yard in Mayer … good folks there, and good lumber too. 😉

But, I’m guessing that if you’re reading this site, you probably don’t care that much about my camping and woodworking exploits … you’d really rather have me talking about games.  So, here goes … Continue reading

Thunder: Carrier Commands

Thunder Run to Gratis-3, Carrier Command CardsThis is the third post on my TGC Design Contest entry titled Thunder Run to Gratis-3.  Read the previous two posts (here and here) to catch up, if needed.

At the start of the game, each player randomly draws 3 of their Carrier Command cards from their hand and sets them face-up, left-to-right in front of themselves as the start of the “cool-down queue”.  At the start of each turn, a player needs to play 1 of the Carrier Command cards from his hand and take the actions (if possible).  That card is set on the right side of the queue.  At the end of the turn, the card on the left side of the queue is returned back into his hand.  This means any card played will not be available again until three turns later, making for a bit of a logistical strategy. Continue reading

Thunder: The Basics

Thunder Run to Gratis-3, Player ComponentsOn my previous post, I introduced Thunder Run to Gratis-3, the game I plan to submit as my entry in the TGC miniatures game design contest. I’ll use this post to go over a few of the basics of the game. I’ll follow with a post or two more about some of the details. (This process isn’t just about sharing this with those who might be curious — I’m also doing it to help me organize the information that will go into the rule booklet. 😉 )

The game board (pictured to the right) is made up of a pair of 10×16-inch game mats set end-to-end, for a 10×32-inch playing area.  The players’ Carriers all start on the Jump Thunder Run to Gratis-3 BoardGate on the left side of the board, and travel from location-to-location (the large rectangular spaces) along the path until they arrive at the planet Gratis-3 on the right side of the board. Continue reading