Slowing My Roll

Rather be Lost in the WoodsAlthough you wouldn’t be able to tell from watching this site (and its lack of updates for 5 months), I’ve had a pretty busy and enjoyable first half of 2017. It’s just that not much of it was spent on activities related to designing games.

I’ve accepted that this is the new normal for me. My game design and testing time is limited, I don’t expect to be attending any cons the remainder of this year, and I’m not really able to keep up with social media to present a productive presence.

And so, I’m making a purposeful attempt to go slower and smaller … and we’ll see how that goes.

Days of Discovery - Ending Tableau ExampleI should have some game-related news in the coming months … but I want to break the habit of promoting things, setting deadlines and then missing. So, I’m switching to talking about things as they are now and not what they are “going” to be. [For example: I have the latest prototype & rules for Days of Discovery completed and I’m starting a new round of blind testing. Send me a note if you’re interested in helping with that.]

On the social media side, this slower/smaller approach means that Instagram, Twitter and Facebook will be more about my day-to-day life — playing others’ published games, camping/fishing, food, beer, cats, family, etc. — and less about game design shop talk or promoting of my own games … at least for now.

And, of course, I’ll be watching and living vicariously through you all! 😉

The Games I’ll Have with Me at Protospiel-MN

Days of Discovery, Abbottsville, SharkBait, and Zombie ClownsIn just a few weeks, Jeff King and I will be co-hosting Protospiel-MN (click to register for your badge!), which will be another one of my favorite type of weekends — put dozens of tabletop game designers into a hotel ballroom and help them playtest each others’ games!

I will be bringing 4 prototypes of my own along — which is about double what I normally bring — and we’ll see which ones make it to the table.

Here’s a brief run-down on each one: Continue reading

Interview on the Cardboard Architects Podcast

Cardboard Architects PodcastI was invited to be on the Cardboard Architects Podcast recently. The hosts, Chris and Joe, are also hobbyist board game designers who love to talk shop.

The conversation is relatively brief by podcast standards — right around 40 minutes. But it covers a wide range of territory, and was an easy, fun chat with a couple of guys that really like this topic. These types of conversation are still my favorite part of this hobby.

You can check listen to the interview at BGG (link). If you’re already a podcast consumer via iTunes, Podcast Addict, and the like, search for “Cardboard Architects”.

Play Jump Gate on!

Jump Gate listed at BGAOver the weekend, BoardGameArena — a major play-for-free online boardgaming site — just added Jump Gate to their line-up!

This very exciting thing has been a couple of years in the making. Shortly after BGA opened up their developer tools, I was contacted by Charles Mead (“ChazM” on BGA) about working on a Jump Gate implementation on the platform. Over time, a number of real-life-change-related pauses, and additional involvement from Fabien and Greg of the BGA team, Charles & Fabien were able to get it packaged and ready for primetime!

I’m very grateful for their work, and super excited about having this available at BGA! 😀 If you play there, look for me — I’m always open for a game — and let me know your thoughts on the game.

Jump Gate at BGA

Free Game: Crunch Time QB!

Crunch Time QB!Earlier this year, the Building the Game Podcast held a bit of an informal game design contest. The challenge was to design a dice-based game about American football that could be played with people hanging out in a sports bar.

My attempt at the challenged ended up with a light, fast-playing press-your-luck game called “Crunch Time QB!”

You can download the rules here: Crunch Time QB! (47)

You will need to supply your down dice (10D6) and method for tracking scores (pencil/paper work fine).

Enjoy! 🙂

Free 8-pack of Square Repeating Textures – Beach Rocks

River Rock Beach TextureI love being out in nature, and sometimes while I’m there, I’ll take pictures. Often, the pictures are just close-ups of specific natural features, like rocks, grass, bark, water, etc. I’ve worked out a trick for turning some of these pictures into repeating textures that could be used for website backgrounds or game textures.

The first set is a collection of pebbles, rocks and rock surfaces found near large bodies of water. I took the pictures over the past few years, while on vacations to the Big Island of Hawaii and on the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.

Each of the 8 files is 2048 pixels square and can be tiled next to itself to create a seamless larger image. They are large files, though, so you will likely want to reduce their dimensions and file sizes to make them more useful as website backgrounds or background textures for games. In fact, feel free to adjust/manipulate them as needed to make them work for you. Please read the READ ME file included in the ZIP to get the full usage/attribution terms.

You can download the full ZIP file here (~27MB): Square Repeating Textures - Beach Rocks (50)

Here’s a sample of the 8 textures:

Samples of the 8 "Beach Rocks" Textures

Runways, Holidays and Protospiel Magic

"Days of Discovery" at Protospiel-MadisonI’m out of runway to get Days of Discovery ready for a launch this year. I have a number of reasons for this (for example, my Patience & Priorities post still fits). Mainly, the game is still not where I would like it to be.

I’ve made significant improvements to it by stripping it back to the main set of cards and getting rid of a lot of the extra fluff I had added in the prior couple of versions. So, it’s better, but it still feels a bit flat in multi-player games. So, I’ll keep developing and look for an early 2017 launch at this point. (see more on this below)

Expect to see more game development type posts on this one, along with more of the story mode type posts that will give a bit more background to the Land of Danger storyline.

In the meantime, we are verging onto the holiday season. So, I’d like to remind everyone of my silly little stocking-stuffer game that I made last year: Santa’s Little Helpers and the Ice Cube Jam. Continue reading

Mailing List Sign-Up Drive & Game Give-Away

Mailing List Sign-Up Drive

NOTE: The give-away has been completed. Congratulations to Tony Miller for winning the games!

I’m building a formal mailing list through MailChimp. You can signup here: Matt Worden Games Mailing List

My plans are to use this list to send monthly newsletter-style updates and special announcements, such as Kickstarter project launches and other game release announcements.

As an additional nudge, I will be giving away a couple games to one randomly-selected person from the mailing list on Thursday, September 1st. The entry process is simple: Be signed-up on the mailing list by 7 a.m. on that morning to be eligible for the random drawing. (Update: This give-away has been completed.)

The winner of the random drawing will receive two games:

  1. Days of Discovery - First Draft Box Cover RenderA preview prototype of Days of Discovery
  2. A choice of either Jump Gate (3rd Edition) or Dicey Curves (Deluxe Edition)

Jump Gate, 3rd Edition, Box in Shrinkwrap from Dicey Curves, Deluxe Edition, 3D Box Render, March 2014

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! 🙂 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

Getting Some Games Ready for Protospiel-Michigan

Abbottsville at Protospiel-MN, Jan 2016, with Cyrus Kirby (Father Geek) and JT SmithI’m already getting excited about travelling to Chelsea, Michigan, in mid-July for Protospiel (the original)! I’ll be road-tripping there again with Jeff King and Sheppy, just like I did a couple of years ago.

I’ll be returning with an updated Abbottsville, and I can’t wait to get it back on the testing table since my take-aways from playing it at Protospiel-MN this past January. It’ll have some new ways of handling resources and the crowd-favorite pumas. I still need to re-integrate the character cards and special powers into the game. I’ve got a few ideas on how to do it … so, we’ll see how that goes between now and July. Continue reading