On My Radar: Other People Working on Cool Things

Radar AntennaI keep telling myself that I will soon write a post about the feast-or-famine cycle that my creative process rides along. But I continue to delay — it’s likely too personal.

In the meantime, I’ve found that I gain energy by paying particular attention to other folks who are doing things right, working on cool things, or otherwise providing up-lifting stories in the here-and-now.

So here is a very random sampling of the things I’m currently paying attention to, and hoping to vicariously catch a charge for my own creative battery:

  • My GenCon roommates … I generally keep tabs on the 3 guys I shared a room with at GenCon this year (A.J., Chevee and Grant), but they are each currently in the middle of very cool stuff:
    • Tessen (A.J. Porfirio of Van Ryder Games, and Chris & Suzanne Zinsli) … a freshly-finished Kickstarter success! 🙂  I backed this game soon after it launched from watching the gameplay video. After meeting Chris & Suzanne and playing the game live, I added a second copy of the game to my pledge. So happy to see this one do as well as it has.
    • Hedeby (Chevee Dodd) … Chevee has an amazing game on his hands here, based around Viking conquest and city building using some very interesting dice mechanics. He has a major publisher interested, and I’m really enjoying watching him develop this one.
    • York, Blockadeand Flipped (Grant Rodiek of Hyperbole Games) … I’ve mentioned York a number of times over the past year, but it’s now being considered by a major publisher. Blockade — Grant’s tactical space battle game — is in the hands of another publisher right now as well. And, to just add another interesting thing to the plate, Grant is working on his first Euro-style game design, Flipped. The blog page on the Hyperbole site is always a good read.
  • A couple other Kickstarter projects:
    • Neptune (Jason Glover of Grey Gnome Games) … This is a fabulous trick-taking game (the space theme doesn’t hurt either, imo) — and I love trick-taking games, so I backed it on the first day it was available.  It’s also fun to watch Jason work: all he does is run successful KickStarter campaigns. 🙂 Can’t wait to have this one fund so I can get my copy!
    • Belle of the Ball (Daniel Solis and Dice Hate Me Games) … As I’ve mentioned before, Daniel Solis is one of those designers that is a constant fountain of ideas, and Belle started as one of those ideas that he developed in near-real-time on his Twitter feed. While I haven’t backed this game (I’m a bit tapped on what I can back), I found it very cool to see him team up with Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games to get this one out.  I’m not surprised at all on how fast and strong this project has gone.
  • And a couple other games I’ve played recently …
    • Gravwell (Corey Young via Cryptozoic) … I played this GenCon and was really impressed.  It’s one of those rare games that has a truly unique mechanic at its core that I haven’t seen anywhere else.  It handles what might have been an overly-mathy physics problem in a way that is intuitive, easy to understand, quick to learn, and a ton of fun. I look to get a copy of this around Christmas time.
    • Scoville (Ed Marriott, a future publication via Tasty Minstrel Games) … I played the prototype of this game at the Protospiel in Milwaukee this past spring, and it seemed like a nicely-polished game simply waiting on a publisher to come along — and TMG did shortly thereafter. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.  Also, I’d recommend that you simply bookmark Ed’s main blog page … it’s a good read on a regular basis as well.

What cool things are holding your interest right now? What else should I be looking at to help keep my muse active?


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