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!!”

Summer’s Over — Time to Get Busy Again

I had a very good, busy summer.  Got to camp a bit, fish a few more times than I had expected, coach some softball with my 10-year-old’s team, and visit family & friends.

Didn’t do much games-related stuff, though … so, now it’s time to pick up the pace on that again.

I have a design in mind for the Protospiel card game design contest … but I’m not ready to say much about it.  So far, it seems good on paper and maybe even fun when I play through it in my head.  But, I still need to build the complete rough prototype and truly walk through it in a physical sense to see if it all works.  The first somewhat solid things are due to the contest by October 15th — so, I should have something to say about it by then.

However, I think this is the year that I will get back in to computer games.  I first plan on finishing my game-dev libraries, and using them to build a couple simple games.  Then I have something a bit more expansive in mind … we’ll see where that goes.

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!

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.

My Take on TheGameCrafter.com

The Game CrafterI am using The Game Crafter (TGC) to publish my board games.  If you are familiar with CafePress or Lulu, TGC has a similar publish-on-demand take on board games.

As a game designer, I am able to upload any graphics needed for custom cards and game boards, and then select a collection of bits needed for a game, and TGC makes that set of materials available as a game in their shop.  I can choose to keep something unpublished — just for me to order — such as prototypes, or personal game versions … or I can publish a game, which makes it available for anyone to order.

This is all done on-demand … when an order is placed for a game, the cards and boards are printed at that time and all parts are picked.  The whole set is then packed and shipped to the buyer.  The advantage of on-demand fulfillment is that I don’t need to pre-print and store a few hundred copies of the game.  The disadvantage is that the costs can be higher since things are not being produced in large quantities.

I am very happy that such a service is available … and I am happy that the TGC team seem to be quite focused on delivering great customer service.  I thought I would take a post to spell out my own personal opinions on the good and bad points around The Game Crafter. Continue reading

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!