The Plates, They are a-Spinning: What I am Working on – Jan 2013

SharkBait Token Board Setup ExampleWhen it comes to creative projects, I always seem to have a ton of plates spinning at the same time … and just when I have a good grove going on something, a new idea pops into my head.

And that always leads to the struggle of how much attention to pay to the new thing. A lot of times I want to just jot down some of the ideas, maybe sketch out a few things physically, and then put toward the back of the line so that I can keep working on the things in the front.  And, sometimes, those new things cut to the front of the line and take up more of my time than is probably healthy.

With that said, I’ve always found my creative process to be rather feast and famine … so, when the surf’s up, it’s time to ride it and see how much stuff I can get done.  So, here’s my current list of things at the front of the line …

SharkBait (pictured above)

SharkBait — my family-style, around-the-table dice game — is themed around fish avoiding being eaten by sharks. This started as a quick little dice mechanic, where a couple of the dice determine how the rest of them are scored.  Then, I added-in a bit around trying to get the best scoring tokens left on the board, with the ability to upgrade your token via a neat catch-up mechanic.

This game has entered the Prototype PenPal Program being administered by Grant Rodiek of Hyperbole Games. The first blind testing via this program should be happening by the end of the month.  For those curious enough, I do have rules available: SharkBait Rules Book (updated) (561 downloads)

King of Danger

King of Danger - All Cards, January 2013After years of back-burnered thinking around a simple trick-taking game with an extra layer of building/destroying smeared on top of it, King of Danger has very quickly emerged and already gone through a handful of rounds of updates and improvements. It’s themed as part of the Castle Danger universe … wizards and cannons and walls … yeah.

I’m updating the rules at a rather quick pace … the latest can be found here: King of Danger Rules (with Print and Play cards) (706 downloads)  (updated to v6.0 on 1-Feb-2014)

Castle Danger, 5th Edition, Quad-Fold Board GraphicCastle Danger, 10th Anniversary Edition

And, speaking of the Castle Danger universe … I mentioned about a month ago that I am working on getting a new big-board edition of my original game available through the shop at

I’ve completed the board and token design, and I’ve been finalizing the rulebook and have ordered updated sample prints of the components.  I’m targeting early February at this point.

If you want to check out the way the rules will look, click here: Castle Danger, 10th Anniversary Edition, Rule Booklet Draft (872 downloads)


Magistrate's Updated Main Board - January 2013The larger-scale strategy game that I seem to have been working on for years and years, Magistrate, continues to turn and change.

I just updated the main board map again, complete changed how the main deck of cards work, and added-in a brand new area of the game — Agent Operations.

My first draft of the (text-only) rules is done, but I already see areas that need to change … and then I’ll add-in some graphics and examples before it’ll be available for the public to see.  Luckily, I have a couple fellow designers willing to give it a try in the meantime.

I do plan to have this along with me at Con of the North in St. Paul in February, and for the Protospiel-Milwaukee event that I will be attending in March.

One More Castle Danger Thing …

Very Early Screenshot of Castle Danger 2013 - Computer GameDuring a session at the always-active TGC community chat, Chris Leder suggested that I take a look at GameMaker — software for making computer games.  I had actually looked at it a number of years ago, but it didn’t impress me at the time.

However, now that I tried it out this past weekend and had a couple days to work with it and research it a bit more, I think it’s going to become my computer game dev environment of choice. My first project that I’m using to learn the system and see what I can do with it is an updated computer version of Castle Danger (of course).  It’s only been 12 years since the original PC version of the game. Let’s see how it goes.


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