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State of the Gaming Address

26 Mar

Imagine my surprise and chagrin when I realized that it had been over a year since I had last posted here … and that in that time I had learned the word “chagrin” … As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been taking a little different tack to my game designing, you know, like, trying to make a decent one sometime.

To this end I have been refocusing my efforts on taking my designs past the very first rudimentary stages of jotting down an idea, writing some rules and playtesting it against myself a few times. Now I actually have some friends to tell me when things are not good. (They are much more willing to hurt my feelings than I ever was – and I am most thankful for it!) Give me a few more years of toughening up my skin and I may yet reach my lofty goal of blazing mediocrity.

But just so you know that I haven’t been idle I thought I would give you a little teaser of some of the projects I have been working on in the past year.  Here they are in no particular chronological order …

First, as I also mentioned in that previous post, I have begun going back into my catalog of crap and doing some re-working. O Tannen BOOM! got a bit of a face lift, and a couple of mechanical changes to really heighten the tension, and timing. Behind the 8-Ball got totally reworked, scrapped, rebuilt into Cue It Up!, and then scrapped and re-shelved. I am hoping something gels and I get some inspiration again soon. Pay the Prize also got a major overhaul, into something I’m now calling Profit Margins. I like where it is going. I have also revisited Balloon Tycoon, and I like what I see there …

420091_10150704129492059_1014883846_ncue it upProfit Margins

Next up I have been working on some new stuff too. For now I will let the pictures do the talking. I’m getting kind of tired (did I mention it’s been over a year since I did this much writing?)

Pillars and Postshold fast picDonkeyMonkey moonInfectiousCaverns and CoffersOver the Rainbow Proto

Some of these are actually pretty good, and at least a couple of them are worth publishing (if playtester reports are true … and not just my own opinion … )

And lastly, I have also worked collaboratively with a couple of really awesome designers, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve put together. Look for promising futures out of both of these creative minds. May I present the designs of Sam Maher (age 8) and Becca Maher (age 6)

Castle BuilderPippi Game

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my missing year in game design. If you would like to know more about any of the games you see here, or serve as a playtester for something here that looked interesting to you please drop me a line and I will be tickled to send you the particular files (seriously, all this typing after a year of nothing is tickling my fingertips like you wouldn’t believe!)

Happy Gaming!


Missions? Impossible!

16 Dec


“Missions? Who … Us? Impossible!”
As anyone who has ever had to come up with a “winning idea” knows the same thing rarely works twice. The same goes for missions in the church. Yester-year’s tea socials and bake sales just don’t pack them in like they used to. It’s time to get radical. It’s time to get whimsical. It’s time to go out on a limb and invest yourself in a scheme that’s just so absurdly crazy it might even work! … Or not …

Ages: 10(ish)+

Players: 2-6

Interesting Features: Playing it safe does not pay off! By having one less mission project each round than players ready to invest, competition is built right in!

Extras Needed: deck of ordinary Playing Cards (or 2 or 3), lots and lots of tokens (pennies, chips, stones) for each player


Printing Suggestions: Rules are designed to be printed on both sides of the same 8.5X11 (just fold it in half when done) The Tiles should be printed on heaver paper (or glued to it) before being cut out.

Designer’s Notes: What can I say? There really isn’t much of an “interesting” story behind this one … and that suits the game. Originally this was begun as a game design for a specific group of mission-minded Ladies at the LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League). Only problem was I went way over budget. OK, so there really wasn’t any budget, it just sounded better than saying I took way too long to finish it. (It’s the story of my life!) So now I have this game with a very specific theme that not everyone can appreciate, but is still lots of fun. So I’m going to risk it. Gambling and the Church don’t mix? Wanna bet?

Building Babel

14 Dec

bbA Grandiose little card game for those who think highly of themselves and what they can accomplish!. It’s easy to learn but hard to win! It takes a subtle balance of working together AND looking out for yourself … Not to mention a whole lot of praying that the Big Guy Upstairs won’t end the whole thing before you’re finished! Players try to build the legendary “TOWER OF BABEL” while God is out to stop them! (He said something about new neighbours and His property values going way down!)

Ages: 10(ish)+

Players: 3-6

Interesting Features: By working together you have a better chance of completing the Tower, but only the one who completed the most levels will get the honours! (Unless God stops the whole thing before it’s done … Then they get the Blame instead!)

Extras Needed: A deck of ordinary Playing Cards (with or without the Jokers), some different tokens for each player.


Printing Suggestions: Rules are designed to be printed on both sides of the same 8.5X11 (just fold it in thirds when done).

Designer’s Notes: Being a Christian, there has been a desire to design at least a few of my games around Biblical themes (I’m a little biased). But how can you do that and still remain true to the overall idea of the Scriptures … don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the Bible can’t be fun (just read the book of Judges some day). The trick is how do you have fun with it BUT without rewriting what happens in it? Worse yet, how do you do a Biblically based game without it being totally detatched from good taste. The world DOES NOT need another Bible Trivia game (uuuuggghh!). In Genesis Chapter 11 I saw just such an opportunity. Could they have actually built the tower … no way. Can you actually win this game? Maybe … Probably not … But it’s fun trying!