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

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

The Three Main Things for 2015

Three Main Projects in 2015Things are about to kickoff in a big way next week with the Kickstarter launch of my game¬†Aether Magic by publisher Happy Mitten Games.¬†Once that gets rolling, I’m sure you’ll see plenty of posts from me on Facebook and Twitter (and here at the website) about that. But I’ll also¬†continue to post things related to my other games … and things may overlap.

So, I thought it would be good to have this post clearly point out the “big 3” for me this year.

1. AETHER MAGIC KICKSTARTER (February) Assuming everything continues happening on-schedule, the Happy Mitten team should launch¬†Aether Magic¬†on Kickstarter on February 10th. (I’ll have a link here once it’s ready.)

Aether Magic Artwork ExampleIf you haven’t heard of it before,¬†it’s¬†a fantasy-themed auction and set collection game for 3-6 players that¬†plays in about 45 minutes. Players¬†are¬†mages summoning aether from a¬†portal, making trades¬†to gain more resources, and casting spells to earn points.¬†It has a unique social-focused auction mechanic and cool effects-chaining during spell casting. The artwork, by Jacqui Davis, is fantastic!

2.¬†TALES OF DANGER #1: DAYS of DISCOVERY KICKSTARTER (April) Following rather closely on the heals of Happy Mitten’s project, I plan to launch my own Kickstarter project in order to fund the artwork and printing of the first game in my recently-announced¬†Tales of Danger series.

Queen Isabel of Portugal in 1290This first game —¬†Days of Discovery — is a hand-management, resource-management, and path-building game for 1 to 5 players that should play in 30-60 minutes. It starts out in the year 1290, in Portugal, with players trying to gain sponsorship from King Dinis, Queen Isabel, or another important figure, in order to undertake a voyage to find the secret land.

3.¬†JUMP GATE – SILVERLINE EDITION KICKSTARTER (Fall/Winter) In order to get a full line of¬†Jump Gate related games kicked off, I’m going to need to reboot the original game in a high-quality edition, which I’ll be calling the “Silverline” edition. I expect to have a Kickstarter project for this later in the year to fund the artwork and printing. I’m not exactly sure when it will happen, yet, as I’ll need to time things based on how the¬†Tales of Danger project goes. But, expect top-notch artwork, an enhanced storyline, and additional gameplay.

So, while those are the primary 3 things I will be focused on promoting and communicating about, I’ll still be working on some new things — just a little more behind the scenes. That includes getting a couple more games signed with other publishers¬†as well as testing out future¬†games in the¬†Land of Danger and¬†Jump Gate product lines that I will be targeting for 2016/2017 releases.

In the meantime — plenty to keep me busy with in 2015! ūüôā

Focus 2015: Return to non-POD Games Publishing

Archery Illustration from Pearson Scott Foresman via Wikimedia Commons

{tl;dr – skip down to the 3rd-to-the-last paragraph for the announcement}

In the distant, distant way-back past (around 2010), I self-published the Second Edition of Jump Gate after the POD-produced 1st Edition was named the “2011 Traditional Game of the Year” by GAMES Magazine.

I wanted to get it “out there” as quickly as possible after the award was announced, and so — looking back now — I did just about everything the hard way. Here’s a quick-hit list of a few of the many things I did wrong: Continue reading