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


Current Happenings

Matt Worden Games LogoWhile this is normally a pretty slow time of year for me (things really crank from Con of the North time in February through GenCon in August, andthen sort of change into a slow-mo through Fall and early Winter) I have been up to a few things.

I’ve been making a few updates on Facebook and Twitter — so, that’s a good place to get daily info on what’s up.

First, I’d like to direct your attention to a copy of Jump Gate that I have entered into the 2012 Jack Vasel Memorial Fund Auction at BoardGameGeek.  I will sign it and write an inside-the-cover message (if the winning bidder wants that sort of thing) … and I’ll ship it to anywhere in the world.  So, if you’re still looking to get a copy of the game and/or want to back a great gamer-focused charity, then put a bid on the thing.

Second, I’m happy to see that FatherGeek has had a chance to play Dicey Curves with the DANGER! Expansion, and really seems to like it, as do his little geeks.  I’d love to play a game with that crew — it has to be a blast!

As for games I am working on right now … lately, my time has been spent working out a simple dice game that recently popped into my brain.  I’ve put up a generic set of rules here: Simple Dice Game (Code Name: SB) (252)

MagistrateI do have a theme planned for the game, along with a specific target market … so, my next steps will be to get a nice prototype put together and get it tested by some folks.

Finally, I am continue to edge Magistrate forward. All of the post-GenCon changes have been worked in, I’ve figured out what would all go into the updated prototype, and I’m slogging my way through an updated rulebook … and, if you know how I work, you know that the rules-writing thing is a bit of a hang-up for me.  So, wish me luck and send me encouragement. 😉



Game Stores & Distributors: Half Off Wholesale on Final Sets of Jump Gate (2nd ed.)

Box top artwork for 2nd Edition of "Jump Gate"

It’s time to reclaim my basement!

I have the last sets of Jump Gate (Second Edition) taking up space in my basement … and it’s time for me to get rid of them and convert that space over to something more family-friendly and useful.

To do that, I would like to sell as many of them as quickly as possible.  So, that means I’m quite flexible and willing to negotiate if someone has a great (and reasonable) offer to take a bunch of them off my hands.

To kick it all off, I will be offering them all for half-off the original wholesale pricing for stores (both online & FLGS) and distributors.  If you’ve bought from me in the past, you’ll know what that means.  If you haven’t purchased from me before, send me an e-mail and I’ll give you the full details.

Preliminary Artwork for "Jump Gate" 2nd Edition Box BottomAlso, there will be no shipping costs within the U.S. for orders of 5 or more copies.  Outside the U.S., I will split the actual shipping costs with you 50/50.

I will be e-mailing all of my previous store/distributor customers to let them know of this … but I am always happy and excited to work with new customers as well.

For those of you who aren’t game store buyers or distributors, but would like to get a copy of Jump Gate: START HERE, and then e-mail me if you aren’t finding what you’re looking for. 🙂

See My Big Shiny Head in the July 2012 Issue of GAMES Magazine

GAMES Magazine July 2012John J. McCallion, the boardgame-centric editor at large for GAMES Magazine, published an interview with me in the July 2012 issue of GAMES.  So, go out and buy a copy (if you aren’t already subscribed), turn to page 75 and look for my big, shiny, disembodied head floating in the middle of the page.

If you’ve read any of his boardgame reviews in the magazine, you know that Mr. McCallion has a way with words … especially an exceptional ability for packing great density of information into a very efficient wordcount.  So, one of the last things I sent to him during our back-and-forth series of e-mails (which was our method for conducting the interview) was that he should feel free to edit my words as needed to fit into the space he had available for the article.  He did that and I think he did a great job of coaxing my original intended meaning out of many fewer words than I originally provided him with.  However, this means that you may notice some phrasing or word choices that you wouldn’t normally hear from me.

Matt's Head

My Head: It floats!

I was quite happy that he was able to include my prompts for a few of my favorite game design related things … namely:

  • Board Game Designers Forum — — A very good online community of designers, from absolute beginners through industry vets.  Such a good resource to learn and to share.
  • The Game Crafter — — the publish-your-own-game specialists, where you can buy most of my games.  There is a special paragraph specifically dedicated to discussing the merits of TGC on page 76 of the interview.
  • Protospiel — — an annual designer get-together held in July in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I’ve only attended once, in 2009, and I do plan to be there again this year.  Also, there are a number of these sorts of get-togethers throughout the year and all over the country … but my trip to Protospiel had such an enormously positive impact on my designing that it hold special importance for me.

This is quite an honor and exciting thing … please check it out and let me know what you think!

-Matt 🙂

Michael Fox Allows Me to Ramble On and On (Little Metal Dog Show)

Little Metal Dog Show's Jump Gate Ship

Oh, Michael! What has your dog been eating?!

Michael Fox of the Little Metal Dog Show — an always-interesting podcast about board gaming — recently interviewed me via Skype for the show.

That conversation is now part of the latest episode of the LMD Show!  And he lets me ramble on and on about things … for over 20 minutes! 🙂

I will suggest that you listen to the whole show, because he starts with a very interesting industry topic — board games getting develop for iPhones and iPads — and ends by interviewing Stephen Avery and Tom Vasel about a game they have in the works by the name of Capo.

However, if you really just want to hear *my* nasally monotones counter-point with Michael’s brilliant and lovely pear-shaped lilting, you can start around the 23:15 mark.  And, yes, I was serious about my part being over 20 minutes long … and that was after some skillful editing!

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!


Dicey Curves Reviewed in May Issue of GAMES

Dicey CurvesIf you don’t yet have the May issue of GAMES Magazine, then that is an easy thing to correct … just visit your favorite local bookstore or magazine rack and find a copy of it.  It’s usually tucked in around the Sudoku and crossword puzzle mags, since the majority of GAMES’ pages are fun mind-bending puzzles.

However, near the back of each issue, you can find nicely written game reviews, with Thomas L. McDonald handling the electronic games and John J. McCallion reviewing table top games.

You may remember that GAMES Magazine caused the latter part of 2010 to be quite exciting for me as they selected Jump Gate as their 2011 Traditional Game of the Year.

So, I’m pretty excited to see Dicey Curves get a review in their May issue.  It’s right there on page 72 … go ahead, give it a read and I’ll wait …

Not a whole lot of editorial in these reviews … mostly a straight-forward description of the game.  (The editorial/opinion writing is usually more evident in their end-of-the-year GAMES100 issue in December.)

I did, however, pull out a few happy words, such as “entertaining”.  There’s even a mention that the ability to subtly interfere with your opponents’ progress is “delightful, but not brutal.”  Well, the DANGER! Expansion — which, as I keep promising, will be out soon — will amp-up the “delightful” and completely remove the “not brutal”. 😉

Space Mission Nominated for Origins Award

Origins Award Nominee SealThe nominees for the various categories of Origins Awards were announced today.  Space Mission, Schmidt Spiele’s European take on Jump Gate, was named as one of the 5 final nominees for the “Best Family, Party or Children’s Game”!

I find it interesting that Family games, Party games and Children’s games are all smished together into a single category while the various RPG stuff is all broken out into separate categories … but I don’t know much about the history or evolution of how GAMA has conducted these awards.

I do know that we will need to wait until June 2nd for the winners in each category to be announced, at the awards ceremony hosted during the Origins Game Fair held in Columbus, Ohio. Continue reading

Warriors of Destiny, Father Geeks, Games and Games

Playing Dicey Curves with Cyrus and JeffSaturday was a long (yet fast), fun day of meeting people, talking about games (and gamers) and playing games of Dicey Curves, Subtilla, and Space Mission.

I need to give a big “thank you” to the booth babes of the day (they each got to wear my secondary booth badge labelled “Warrior of Destiny”): Whitney Watts (pictured to the right), my wife Britt, my daughter Anna, and my son Seth.  Whitney has a bad tendency to beat me at my games — winning Dicey Curves twice (once as a playtest of the DANGER! Expansion) and also winning Subtilla twice.

Playing Dicey Curves (with DANGER! Expansion) with Whitney WattsThere was also a Father Geek sighting (see picture above and to the left).  Cyrus Kirby of and another local Twin Cities game designer named Jeff spent (also a TGC user) a couple hours at my booth to talk games and gaming, watch a game of Subtilla, and then play both Space Mission and Dicey Curves.  I also gave Cyrus a sneak peek at what’s up with the DANGER! Expansion.  Good times and glad to have these guys stop by.

The rest of the time was spent doing more games-playing and games-talking and even got some more discussion in with Donovan about multiple things, including additional progress on the “Magistrate” prototype.  Met a couple of people who had liked the “Jump Gate geocache” contest I ran a couple weeks ago.  They reassured me that I can keep the clues tricky, knowing who the target audience is. 😉  So, we’ll see what I work out for my planned “Dicey Cache” find-it-keep-it event in April.

In the main room where my space is located, the miniatures games have definitely taken over today.  I love the way these games look.  Here are a few examples:

Continue reading

Con of the North Exploded into Gaming

The Matt Worden Games Vendor Space at Con of the North 2012So, I guess I was wrong about posting again once I had my vendor space setup at Con of the North.

As soon as I was setup, I was playing a game — seriously.  So, it’s really not my fault … I’m guessing you all would have been doing the same thing.

Sadly, my original “booth babe”, Whitney, is fighting off a bug and hasn’t been able to attend yet … but I’m guessing we’ll see her at some point this weekend. 😉  Just got word that my wife and kids will be coming to stay with me at the hotel tonight, which is pretty cool.  Very likely to have Britt or Anna working in the space tomorrow for some of the time.

I do want to give grand thanks to Donovan Loucks, who I ran into right away.  He came up with a novel way to get my “T” shaped table setup to work (and he is the reason for my instant gaming).

First Magistrate Playtest at Con of the North 2012He and I played through a 2-player game of “Magistrate” — the prototype I’m excited to test a lot this weekend … and it really helped to reveal a number of areas where balance issues still abound.  We were also able to “talk shop” about different ways to improve the design.  As for the result of the game … he smoked me!  He played as blue and I as green … that’s his flag pawn near the end of the VP track and mine *way* down toward the start of the track.  See the final shot to the right.

Prepping for the Con

Banners to be Used at Con of the North 2012I seem to be working on a dozen things at once during the times I have available to prep for Con of the North.

I’ve put together a set of banners (pictured to the left — click for a bigger view) that I plan to display in my space.  I’m still working on how they are going to be held up, but I think I have a good approach so far.

I’m working on getting my for-sale products ready: the Dicey Curves are all ready, about half the Jump Gates are ready and the other half will be done tomorrow, and the copies of Subtilla were shipped from on Monday and I expect them to arrive tomorrow (cutting it a bit close with that one).

As I mentioned in my earlier CotN post, I will be bringing a few copies of some games just to play, and those are all ready to go.

I’m also going to have 2 different prototypes for testing — the DANGER! Expansion for Dicey Curves, and a heavier “Waro” that I’ve been working on for a number of years.  I was originally hoping to have at least 2 more ready, but they just simply aren’t.