Matt Drake Reviews Jump Gate

Jump Gate Cover ArtMatt Drake, at “Drake’s Flames” blog site, has written up the first public review of Jump Gate.

While Matt seemed to like the game, and gave a pretty spot-on assessment of the game-play, I think he was way over-the-top harsh on The Game Crafter.  (I left a comment on Matt’s blog about it too.)  I gave my own hit-and-miss views about TGC in my prior post, so you know that while I’m a fan, I do have some areas I’m hoping for improvement on.

In any case, give Matt’s review of Jump Gate a read and let me know what you think.

We Have a Winner!!

Jump Gate Launch Celebration Give-Away Game SetCongratulations are in order for Duncan (spacewolf009) from Hamilton, New Zealand, who was randomly drawn as the winner of the copy of Jump Gate that I gave away as part of the Launch Celebration.

In addition to what you normally get when you buy Jump Gate from TheGameCrafter.com, the special copy that I will be sending to Duncan also includes a box with color cover artwork, color printed rules, and 6 rubber spacecraft miniatures.  (Click the picture to the Spacecraft and Box Cover Close-Upleft to see a larger version.)

To the right, is a close-up of the special box cover and the spacecraft miniatures.

Congratulations, Duncan — enjoy the game!

Win a Free Copy of Jump Gate

Jump Gate - All ComponentsAs I briefly mentioned in the original launch announcement for Jump Gate, I will be giving away a free copy of the game through a contest on my website.  I wanted to give a bit more information about that here.

On Wednesday, April 21st, I will randomly draw a winner from everyone who has registered for the give-away and send them a full copy of Jump Gate (plus a little extra bonus).  To register for the contest, you need to first sign-up a user account on my website (yes, a blatant attempt to increase the number of registered users on my site), and then follow the instructions on the contest page.

I am already enjoying the entry comments from those who have registered so far … you have a week and a couple days left to join in the fun.

Rest in Peace, Cinder

Planet Cinder from Jump GateThis is more of a personal post than game-related … although there is a connection to Jump Gate as well.

Today we had to put our Siamese cat, Cinder, to sleep.  We think she was around 19 years old.  We adopted her as a 2-year-old from a vets office that was looking for a home for her.  I think she probably would have been put down if we hadn’t taken her home with us that day.  That was nearly 17 years ago.

CinderShe was a great cat for our family, but had really gotten old over the past 5 years.  The past couple years, especially, saw her greatly reduced … but she was still very affectionate and talkative.  Her kidneys were failing and she was having a lot of trouble the last few days.

The vet said that while we could do some things to make her more comfortable for a short period of time, there really was no cure for what was ailing her, and she would continue to go downhill.  She was already doing pretty poorly … had problems walking straight, among other things.  So, we had to let her go.

Her name — and colors — will live on in the planet I made for her in Jump Gate.

Rest in peace, Cinder.

We Have Liftoff: Jump Gate is officially available!

Jump Gate Cover ArtJump Gate is officially launched!  I’m very excited to announce that it is now available from TheGameCrafter.com.

Jump Gate is a board game about space exploration in the far future.  The Jump Gate is a device that lets a spaceship immediately jump into orbit around a far-away planet.  Players explore these newly-discovered planets by jumping to them, scanning them for resources, and landing on them to stake their claim as the first to set foot on them.  Ultimately, the game is about collecting resources in a way to maximize your score.  However, some resources cause a player to put a marker on the Black Hole Board … and too many markers on that board will cause problems for some players.

Jump Gate - All ComponentsThere is hand-management, multi-use cards, exploration & discovery, set collection, and some racing elements in the game.  The game can be played casually, but requires good decisions and efficient use of actions for a player to really excel.  The theme is family friendly and would make a great family-game-night game.

As part of the launch celebration, I’ll be giving away a copy of the game in a couple of weeks.

Check out the game’s page both here and at BoardGameGeek for images and more details.

Received the Jump Gate Proof Copy

Jump Gate - All Components

All Jump Gate Components from TheGameCrafter.com

I received my nearly-launch-ready proof copy of “Jump Gate” from TheGameCrafter.

I’m very happy with how the new card designs look printed.  My wife thinks I need to tweak the brightness of the blue gems (“they just look a touch dull compared to the white and red gems”), and I did find a typo on the Black Hole board.

So, I will tweak those and update TGC with the corrected files.  Then it’s just another pass on proofing the rules, prepping of some graphics files for both TGC and BGG, planning around advertising, launch announcing, begging for reviews, and the other things that go into launching a new game on a shoestring via a print-on-demand supplier.  Look for my “Go!” announcement shortly after Easter.

I managed to get a couple pictures taken tonight … like the one in the upper-left, plus these two:

Jump Gate - Start-of-Game Setup

Jump Gate's Start-of-Game Setup

Jump Gate - Player Components

Each player starts with a Spaceship and some Markers

A Quick “Jump Gate” Update

Jump Gate Cover ArtI have a fully completed rulebook for Jump Gate … just need to proofread and edit … and proofread … and tweak, etc.  I’m also waiting on 1 last artwork update, and then I will be ready to upload the latest and greatest to TGC.

Rocket Pawns from TheGameCrafter.comOne minor change (that feels kinda major to me) that I decided to make is to use the colored “Rocket Pawns” (shown to the right) as the spaceship markers instead of the really cool-looking rubber “Spacecraft” models (shown to the left) that TGC has available.  There were 2 deciding Spacecraft from TheGameCrafter.comfactors:  (1) the Rocekt Pawns are way cheaper, and (2) they will match the color of the player’s markers … so it will be much easier to know which player is at which Planet.

It’s getting close now … hopefully, by the end of the month … just in time for my birthday!! 🙂