Right out of the Gate for 2014: “Late Christmas Present” Game Give-Away

Matt Worden's Games at TheGameCrafter.comOver the Christmas/New Year break, I picked up a few more Twitter followers, putting me over 1500. In celebration of that milestone, along with a fun way to start out 2014, I am going to be giving away some of my games.

Here’s the surprise: No purchase necessary. No “likes” or “follows” or “pluses” or “shares” or any of those types of things necessary either. :)

So, what sort of rigmarole will I put you through to be eligible? Simply: I want some direct feedback … and I want you to be generous, by suggesting someone *else* I should send a game to.

Here are the formal rules: (more…)

Minor Site Face-lift Completed — Ready for 2014

Land of DangerIn preparation for some of the design direction I plan to take in the new year, I’ve updated my website header, menu tabs, and right column content.

It’s all rather minor, but should set things up nicely for new content that will be coming.

One of the more dramatic changes are the declaration of 2 “Core Themes” – Jump Gate and Land of Danger. I expect that nearly all of my new TGC-published games going forward will fit under one of these two themes. Jump Gate should be obvious, while Land of Danger will be a newly fleshed-out back-story of the setting for Castle Danger.

Stay tuned and keep an eye out! :)


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. (more…)

Castle Danger, 10th Anniversary Edition Available


Castle Danger, 10th Anniversary Edition, Mid-Game Shot


I’m very proud to announce that the big & beautiful 10th Anniversary Edition of Castle Danger is now available at TheGameCrafter.com!

This new edition comes with a gorgeous 18×18 inch quad-fold board with the look of an ancient hand-sketched parchment map on an old wooden table.  The majority of the pieces are hybrid wooden/plastic tokens with classic-style icons.  The rule booklet is full-sized, full-color, saddle-stitched and glossy (take a look at it here).

I still plan to have a short how-to-play video out in the near future … keep an eye out for that.  In the meantime, please spread the word on the new version of this classic game! :)

Status Update on New Editions of Castle Danger and Jump Gate

Castle Danger, 10th Anniversary Edition, Rules Booklet CoverIn addition to the new 10th Anniversary edition of Castle Danger that I’ve been mentioning, I am starting to work through a new smaller-box edition of Jump Gate via TGC.

The final proof pieces for Castle Danger have been ordered and should be here by this time next week.  Once I’ve had a chance to see it all together (and probably put together a quick game-play video), I’ll get the shop page updated on TGC and release the new edition.  As part of the launch celebration, I’m thinking of including the King of Danger deck with it for a limited time. :)

In the meantime, I’ve posted a couple of images of updated Jump Gate art on the Facebook page over the past couple of days. My plan is to use the new “Small Pro Box” that TGC announce last month, reduce the max. number of players to 5, tweak a few rules, and use smaller cards for everything … it’ll sort of be a “travel edition” without being called that specifically.  Here’s the early art — some planet examples and resource card examples:

Jump Gate, 3rd Edition, Early Planet Card Examples  Jump Gate, 3rd Edition, Early Resource Card Examples


The Plates, They are a-Spinning: What I am Working on – Jan 2013

SharkBait Token Board Setup ExampleWhen it comes to creative projects, I always seem to have a ton of plates spinning at the same time … and just when I have a good grove going on something, a new idea pops into my head.

And that always leads to the struggle of how much attention to pay to the new thing. A lot of times I want to just jot down some of the ideas, maybe sketch out a few things physically, and then put toward the back of the line so that I can keep working on the things in the front.  And, sometimes, those new things cut to the front of the line and take up more of my time than is probably healthy.

With that said, I’ve always found my creative process to be rather feast and famine … so, when the surf’s up, it’s time to ride it and see how much stuff I can get done.  So, here’s my current list of things at the front of the line … (more…)

King of Danger Updated [Updated 17-Jan]


King of Danger - All Cards, January 2013


I have just updated the rules and PnP files for King of Danger, my Castle Danger themed trick-taking game.

Besides a major graphical update, the card distribution is different now, and the rules have had some major tweaks.  In fact, if you downloaded the original file, I would highly (highly!) suggest you delete those files and download these … it’s aleady a much better game.

Here is the new download: King of Danger Rules (with Print and Play cards) (30) (updated to v6.0 on 1-Feb-2014 … this game has changed a lot in the past year … check out the new version for a much, much better game ;) )

Let me know how it plays for you.



Castle Danger, 10th Anniversary Edition, Rules Booklet Draft [updated 11-Jan]

Castle Danger, 10th Anniversary Edition, Rules Booklet Cover


As I announced last month, I will be updating Castle Danger at TheGameCrafter.com to a new edition in celebration of it having been 10 years since I put out the first edition of the game.

One of the updates will be a new rule booklet, using TGC’s new Jumbo Bookets, which are 8×10 and saddle-stiched.  This one will be an 8-page booklet.  I actually only need 5 pages for the rules, so I’ll use one for some advertising and have purely graphical covers.

Here is the first draft of the rules booklet: Castle Danger, 10th Anniversary Edition, Rule Booklet Draft (138) {updated to v1.3 on 11-Jan}

I’d very much appreciate anyone who would be willing to give it a read and let me know what needs fixing.  Thanks! :)

King of Danger: A Trick-Taking Card Game [updated 11-Jan]

King of Danger Main Deck Card BackFor a number of years, I’ve wanted to design a new trick-taking card game, based on 3 suits and some specialized trump cards.  And I kept thinking it would work to base it on the same theme as Castle Danger, with players building up their castle walls while tearing down those belonging to the other players.

The idea sat on the back-burner for quite a while until two things happened within the same day a couple weeks ago: (1) I had an interesting chat with Grant Rodiek about a new design of his that might have some trick-taking elements in it, and (2) I read through a Twitter exchange between several designers on how complex the setups are for some of the currently popular card games.  This got my mind wrapping around the idea of a good, old-fashioned shuffle-and-deal card game … which brought me back to the trick-taking card game that was on the back-burner.

So, I present an early print-and-play version of “King of Danger” (aka “Castle Danger: The Card Game”).    The graphics are quite early and not overly great … but they are functional and should let people test the game out to see if it works, and what still needs work.

From the introduction to the rules:

“King of Danger” is a mix of old and new.  It is based on traditional trick-taking card games, but uses a custom deck of cards and adds-in special actions and an extra element of building and destroying castle walls.  Players score points by taking more tricks than other players and by having more walls in their castle.

And here is the download: King of Danger Rules (with Print and Play cards) (30) … {updated to v6.0 on 1-Feb-2014 — this game has changed a LOT in the past year … check out the new version for a much better game! ;) }

If you give it a try, please let me know what you find.

Repainting the Castle: Castle Danger 10th Anniversary Edition on the Way

Castle Danger, 5th Edition, Quad-Fold Board GraphicIt’s hard to believe that my first completed board game design, Castle Danger, is about to turn 10 years old in the next few months!  The game actually got its start as a computer game in 2001, but by late 2002 I was working to get a tabletop version available for sale.

Four tabletop editions, 2 computer versions, and a free print-and-play set later and 10 years has gone by. Phwew. ;)

In the meantime, TheGameCrafter.com, where the 4th edition has been produced, has been steadily improving their services, offerings and quality … so, it was time to give my old classic a face-lift.  I plan to release it sometime in early 2013 — January/February timeframe, if everything goes as planned.

I’m switching to a thick 18×18 quad-fold board with brand new graphics (click the pic in the upper-left to see it full-sized).  I’m also getting my player pieces consolidated around a standard look and feel (no more mix of 4 different types of materials, etc., like in the 4th edition).  The player pieces look like this:

 Castle Danger, 5th Edition, Player Pieces

I also plan to redo the rule book, taking advantage of the new saddle-stitched booklets available at TGC … and a new box wrap too.  I’ll spend the next month-or-so tweaking the board graphics, creating something new for the box cover, and getting the rule book in shape.

I’m not sure what this will cost yet … I’m hoping that $39 will handle it, but I need to get all of the pieces finalized an setup on TGC to see what the underlying per-unit cost is.  I’ll post more pics and give more info as I progress on this.