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.

Santa's Little Helpers and the Ice Cube Jam - render of game being playedThis is an easy-to-teach game that can be a great way to introduce families and younger folks to some of the common concepts found in hobby games. It plays quickly and replays well. It’s gotten good reviews from folks like The Family Gamers, Father Geek, and Gameosity.

All components in the Green Gift Bag of "Santa's Little Helpers and the Ice Cube Jam"Also, I still have a few of the $10 Green Gift Bag editions of the game on hand. I ship those out the next day, direct from me to you, when you order. If you’d like a box instead of a bag, you can always buy them from the store at TheGameCrafter.

Protospiel-Madison happened last weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. While there, I got to see and play a lot of really cool games. Some of them looked like this:

"Conundrum Crisis" by Eric Jome "Flooded Forest" by Robert Johnson "Highway to Shell" by Daniel Grek

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of these Protospiel events. I mean, what’s not to love? You get to meet fun, creative folks, play interesting games in various states of development, have meaningful discussions on game design theory, methods and industry … and, probably most important to me as a designer, get your games in front of some really smart people who give you invaluable feedback to help move your designs forward.

Testing "Days of Discovery" at Protospiel-Madison 2016 with Nick Volkman (pictured), Alisha Volkman and Carl KlutzkeAnd, such was the case with Days of Discovery for me this time around. I knew I had improved the design from the previous version, but I knew it still wasn’t giving the experience I wanted when played multi-player (the solo game has been pretty solid from the start … but the motivations and things that work in a solo-game don’t always translate right to multi-player). So, thanks to good feedback from playtesters — especially some evocative questions from Protospiel vet Carl Klutzke — I was able to get some gears turning that had ground to a halt in the previous weeks, which will lead to another iteration of cards and rules (and tests, and tests, etc. 😉 )

So, the Protospiel Magic works once again for me. Not only on Days, but for a few of my other designs that hadn’t seen much love lately. Conversations across the weekend, seeing other people’s designs, and having hours in the car to chat with Andrew Voight, and Alisha & Nick Volkman, gave me some sparks to work on updates and even start a new design. Good stuff — you should try it if you haven’t yet.

In fact, Protospiel-MN is coming up at the end of January — get signed-up now! 🙂

  1. Carl Klutzke

    I’m glad I could help, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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