Getting this Train Rolling Again

"Steam Train on Watercress Line" by Jenny GillelandSo, it’s been a couple of months of downtime on the games front for me.

Part of the time off had to do with the start of the school year and needing to focus on what my kids were up to, along with organizing the teaching program I run at church. Part had to do with a severe lack of motivation following Protospiel-Michigan in July, and not being able to attend any of the cool up-coming events this fall (GenCon, Gaming Weekend at the Geek Compound, Protospiel-Madison, BGG.Con, etc.). And a strong part of it had to with the weird, bio-rhythmic nature of my creative process (expect a blog write-up on this soon).

Those last 2 items are kind of related. So is my need — apparently — to do an annual pruning process in order to re-focus my game design time. I nearly always have too many creative project irons in the fire, and I have to pause here and there to do a mental reset to gain some perspective. So, on to how I am getting the train rolling again …

Here’s the quick summary: I’m looking to run 2 of my own kickstarter projects in 2015 to get the Land of Danger and updated Jump Gate lines launched, while also continuing to work on a few pitch-to-publishers games.

I’m grouping my actions into four categories … (1) Cleaning Up the Table, (2) Land of Danger Plans, (3) Jump Gate Plans, and (4) Pitch-to-Publishers Games.

Danger at the Walls Prototype, Red Deck Back, Feb 2014Clearning Up the Table … This is the first-steps work needed to clear-up my work plans — back-burner or “finish” those things that I need to get out of the way in order to get back to first-things-first again. For example, I need to stop working on a couple of the games I’ve devoted lots of time to over the past six months. Namely, King of Danger and Danger at the Walls. They are not where I’d like them to be, but I have other things that should get my effort instead. So, I have a little photoshop and rules-writing work to do in order to make new PnP sets publicly available. And then they will sit in that form of “done” … for now.

Land of DangerLand of Danger Plans … I keep talking about a big back-story that will be the hook for a number of games in the weird world that Castle Danger is set in. Truth is, I’m trying to get some specific artwork done for it first, but that’s been taking longer than expected. So, I may just move forward with updating the Core Theme Page without that. In any case, here is the main news here: I have sketched out the plans for a series of seven games that will take you through the back-story step-by-step. They will be called Stories of Danger and will be numbered: such as “Stories of Danger #1: Days of Discovery” and “Stories of Danger #2: Days of Settlement”, etc. Each will have solo-play and multi-player modes and will also fits some specific requirements that I’ll go into detail on in a later post. I’m slating #1 for a Kickstarter launch in early Spring 2015.

Jump GateJump Gate Plans … As I’ve already mentioned too many times (but haven’t really produced and publicly-available stuff yet), I will be moving forward with a whole series of different games based on the Jump Gate theme. You can read the backstory and see the list of games on the Core Theme page. The first step to getting things going on this front will be to publish the single-player rules for 3rd Edition and a “conversion pack” to make it easier to play 3rd Edition rules using a 1st or 2nd Edition set. Finally, the initial artwork-related ball has been nudged forward on a Fall 2015 Kickstarter for a high-end “Silverline Edition” of Jump Gate that will be the basis for all of the other games in that line.

Magistrate, Final Scoring on a 4-player Test Game, Nov. 2013Pitch-to-Publisher Games … I still have a few games that I expect to keep working on until they would be ready to pitch to other publishers. For example: Magistrate, Abbottsville, SharkBait and Move the Chains. I really like these games and think that getting them into the hands of a publisher that would know what to do with them is exciting … and I do really like how the licensing-to-a-publisher-and-get-a-check-in-the-mail thing works.

Testing Aether Magic at Protospiel Michigan, July 2014Now, I will also need to spend some time promoting Aether Magic when the Happy Mitten team launches it on Kickstarter this winter. And I do expect to have new ideas pop into my head, thanks to the BGDF Game Designer Showdowns or design contests via TGC, BGG, and elsewhere. So, I’ll likely get back to a point where I’ll need to reset again … but that whole process seems to take about a year. 😉


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