I am Hosting a Live Chat Today at TheGameCrafter.com

TheGameCrafter.com LogoThe team at TheGameCrafter.com (publishers of the First Edition of Jump Gate) have asked me to host a  live chat starting at 3pm central time today at their site.

I plan to talk about the process I took in designing Jump Gate and getting it ready for publication through their service … and answer any questions that attendants might have.

To take part in the live chat, jump over to the TGC Forums and look for the “Matt Worden Chat” box in the lower-right part of your screen.  (Their chat server will assign you a random name when you enter … login using your Twitter or Facebook account — or sign-up with the Envolve hosting service — to show your real name.)

It’s (almost) All Here!!

Second Edition Box with the 7 spaceship cards available in the Funagain special limited release

Second Edition Box with the 7 spaceship cards available in the Funagain special limited release

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I opened up space in my garage to store all of the stuff needed to assemble this quick-run second edition of Jump Gate.

And now there are a lot of things in that space that I hope will be going away over the next few months: Seven large cartons of game boxes … 34 boxes of various sizes containing cards & boards … a handful of boxes of plastic bits … thousands of ziplock baggies … thin foam padding … shrink-wrapping materials …

The only thing missing at this point are the copies of the rulebook, which are due to arrive Monday or Tuesday.  And our box assembly party starts tomorrow afternoon!

But that’s really no problem — the rulebook will be the last thing put into the top of each box … so, we will be able to get each game box nearly completely ready, and then add the rulebook to them before shipping them.

Can’t wait for the party to start tomorrow!! 🙂

“Jump Gate” Second Edition Now Available via Funagain.com

Jump Gate Capital Ships Credit Sheet BackThe special limited release of the Second Edition of “Jump Gate” via Funagain Games is now available for pre-order at Funagain.com.  This will only be a short-lived “pre” order since I will be sending Funagain their first supply of games next week.  I will also start shipping out orders to the other retailers as well.

Remember that by buying through Funagain.com, your box will contain the extra spaceship cards & card stands, plus the artistic credit sheet with information on all of the artists.  (The other retailers will still have the great Second Edition box, rule booklet, and the rest of the game’s components — just not the extra ship artwork.)

For those of you who already purchased the First Edition set via TheGameCrafter.com, and would like a nice, shelf-worthy box (plus a nicely setup rules booklet), please e-mail me and I will let you know about the special “early adopter” deal for getting a box to put your “Jump Gate” guts into.

(And … for those of you who know me personally, contact Britt or myself for the friends-and-family deal. ;-D)

So, what will be so Special about the Funagain “Special Limited Release”?

Preliminary Box top artwork for 2nd Edition of "Jump Gate"When I announced the second edition of Jump Gate on BGG, the BoardGameNews.com ran a story about it.  They ended their article with: “Worden notes on BoardGameGeek that a ‘special limited release’ of Jump Gate will be available through Funagain.com, with details of what’s so special coming at a later date.” Ship Cards for Player Markers in the Funagain Special Limited Release

 So … here’s what’s so special:  I found 6 internet-based artist friends of mine who were willing to each draw a single capital ship for the game.  Some of these guys are already-established board game artists … and there were artists from 4 different countries.  Throw in a ship of my own design, and you will find 7 capital ship cards in the Funagain boxes that can be put into colored card stands, to be used in place of the little “rocket pawns” as each player’s location marker in the game.  It’s a very cool and eclectic collection of different art styles — but all ships were specifically drawn for this same project.

The box will also include a “credit sheet” that gives a little background on how the art project came together, with detailed info on the artists.  And the back of the credit sheet has a bit more of an artistic “ship over planetscape” type representation of the artists’ work.

Here’s what that looks like:

Jump Gate Capital Ships Credit Sheet Back

You Know it’s Getting Serious when You Put the Camper in Storage

Matt Worden Games LogoMy wife and I bought a pop-up camper from our neighbors this past summer.  We can’t wait to get camping in it next year.  The plan was to store it in the 3rd stall of our garage over the winter.

But that all changed the day I was trading e-mails with the company making the boxes for the second edition of Jump Gate.  They informed me that the boxes would be shipped in 7 master cartons, which should all fit onto a single pallet … maybe two.  Where was I going to put 2 pallets worth of boxes?  And then you add in the plastic bits (120,000 chips & 6,000 rockets) and the cards (96,000 cards), and I figured I was going to need some place to put everything as it arrived.

So, the camper has been moved to winter storage … and that tells me things are getting serious. 

The other things that let me know things are serious, are forming an LLC (“Matt Worden Games, LLC”) and already taking orders for the games.  I suppose I’ll have to quit calling this a hobby, eh?

And, we’ll be hosting an “assembly” party this weekend with neighbors and friends … things are getting fun!

2nd Edition of “Jump Gate” is in the Works!

The GAMES Magazine award has lead to some interesting things that I wasn’t expecting … such as scrambling to pull-together a 2nd Edition of “Jump Gate” in time to ship for this holiday season!

I had been hoping for the game to make the GAMES 100 list ever since it was reviewed in their Septemer issue, and that would help me find a traditional publisher for next year while I continued to sell the game through TheGameCrafter.com.  However, having the game named the Traditional Game of the Year required something more.

Since the biggest 2 complaints about the TGC-delivered game were the lack of a traditional game box and inconsistent printing/folding of the rulebook, I figured I better create a new edition of the game, with a traditional board game style setup box and a nicely printed rules booklet.  Turns out that the trickiest piece to get in place has been the box.  But we’re close now.  If things go smoothly, we should have something shelf-ready to ship by late November.

Here’s a sneak-peek at the box artwork … this is preliminary, but close to final … first the top of the box, then the bottom. (click the image … then click it again in the next screen to see a bigger version)

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

Preliminary Artwork for "Jump Gate" 2nd Edition Box Bottom

“Jump Gate” Reviewed by Examiner.com

Jump Gate - Player Components

Each player starts with a Spaceship and some Markers

Skip Maloney posted a rather thorough review of the game at Examiner.com yesterday.  While he does a good job of describing how the game works, what I really like is how you can see him mentally working through his early plays of the game in order to better understand the strategies involved.

He raises a few questions that I’m sure he will find answers to with repeated play.  He does a nice job of both pointing out the simplicity of the game (easy to get the first game going, and easy to teach to others) and the depth of the game (having to decide about if it’s better to use the Jump Gate or save cards in order to collect more advantageous resources; a debate about the relative strength of the different resources’ scoring styles; etc.).

Of course, while I would rather he just jump in the air and shout “GAME Magazine nailed this one — Best! Game! EVAR!!” … I think he takes a fair, and thoughtful approach on the game.  So, thank you, Mr. Maloney, for taking the time to play the game and write up your thoughts.

“Jump Gate” Named GAMES Magazine’s 2011 Game of the Year!!

"Jump Gate" is the GAMES 2011 Traditional Game of the YearI’ve been chomping on the bit to post this since I was alerted to it by a designer/artist friend of mine who facebooked me about it (props to Josh!) about a week-and-a-half ago … as a GAMES subscriber, he was an early-wave recipient of the December 2010 issue, which includes GAMES’ annual buyer’s guide and the GAMES 100 lists for both electronic games and board games (they call them “traditional games”).

“Jump Gate”, which was reviewed in the September issue of GAMES, was named their 2011 Traditional Game of the Year!!  This took me completely by surprise … I *had* hoped to make their 100 list, but getting the top spot has me flabbergasted. Continue reading

Tom Vasel Likes “Jump Gate”

Video: Tom Vasel Reviews Jump GateTom Vasel, a well-known board game reviewer, who puts out several video-based board game reviews per week has recently done a review of “Jump Gate”.

While he is normally partial to component quality (and this game won’t blow you away in that department), he had great things to say about the way the game plays.  I mean, how much better can a guy ask for than “It looks boring — but it’s really fun!”?? 🙂

Check out the video from YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIfOObqz1Ds):

Also … check out his call-to-publishers at the end to let me loose on some of their high-end production components … to which I can only say: “AMEN!!”

Welcome Games Magazine Readers!

Games Magazine - September 2010Jump Gate was mentioned in the board games review section of the September 2010 issue of Games Magazine.

On page 74 of the issue, John J. McCallion — the magazine’s editor-at-large for the “Traditional Game Views” section of the magazine, and author of most of the board game reviews — gives a nice, detailed description of the gameplay and ends on a friendly tone:

“We salute independent designer Matt Worden for family-friendly explanatory cards that welcome casual players, while offering plenty of card management and set-collection challenges to seasoned explorers.”

If you’re not already a Games subscriber, please look for it in the magazine rack of your local bookstore and buy a copy.  Not only are there reviews of traditional and electronic games, but there are tons of word, math and logic puzzles to strain your brain on as well.

Thanks, again, to Mr. McCallion, for taking the time to play Jump Gate with several different testing groups and writing up the review for the magazine — it’s definitely appreciated!