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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!


Damn You !!! (Wrath of the Ancients)

15 Jan

A quick warning to any concerned parents: While the Title of this game really does speak well to the theme (in a funny sort of way), it may be a little much for some youngsters. You need to judge what is appropriate for your own family. If you prefer you may wish to substitute
“Wrath of the Ancients”
as an alternative title.

dypic“Modernia” The greatest civilization this world has ever known, and they owe it all to you! You are one of the ancient (and Petty) gods who first brought gifts to the mortals. But the people of Modernia turned their backs on you. They don’t believe in you any more … They don’t worship you anymore … THEY DON’T PLEASE YOU ANYMORE! Use all of your divine powers, the proper timing, and a little luck from the Fates to forever DOOM this civilization … just as you have so many ungrateful civilizations before it!

Ages: 7(ish)+

Players: 2-6

Interesting Features: There is definitely more to this simple little game than first meets the eye! Every part, every move, every card, every decision is vital to winning the game. Make sure you keep an eye on how those tiles are initially laid out!

Extras Needed: A bunch of coloured markers for each player (like poker chips or different sized coins), A pawn for each player (the different colours should be similar to the Tiles in the game – (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown)


– + –

Damn You Too!!!

The quest for petty revenge!  New cards, new tiles, new variations to try … same Damn fun but with more celestial backstabbing!


– + –

Printing Suggestions: The tiles should be printed on to heavy card, and/or laminated to make them sturdier. You will also need to make yourself a “colour” die (singular of dice) but the instructions are included in the download file. It is also a good idea to play this game on a table cloth so the tiles don’t slide around too much.

Designer’s Notes: A game design competition on the theme of a doomed civilization led me to this little idea. Rather than playing the part of the one being doomed, I wondered, ‘What would it be like to play the part of the one doing the dooming?’ Rather than flee a sinking ship … why not sink it? Doesn’t that sound more fun? Of course it does! Once I decided that I wanted players to pick apart a civilization piece by piece, tiles for a board seemed only natural. Besides, everyone else is doing games with tiles so why shouldn’t I? What does “Settlers of Catan” have that I don’t have? … don’t answer that. Next came the brilliant idea that six sides to a hex tile was very similar to six sides on all those dice … so why not number them the same? And I did. Then all I had to do was figure out why … In the end it all seems to have worked out well. Thanks to my friend Jonathan for the “inspired” title!

Steppin’ Stones

17 Dec

2steppinYou’re Stuck in the Muck and there’s only one way out … lay out a series of stepping stones and run your way across. Easier said than done, for in this game you are your own worst enemy … well OK, you’re the only player, so just try not to goof it up too much! A puzzling challenge for the analytical thinker – or a mindless diversion for the rest of us.

Ages: 8+

Players: 1

Interesting Features: While the rolling of so many dice may make this game seem overly random, to be successful you need to be very methodical in your planning. (WOW … Can I make this sound any LESS interesting?!)

Extras Needed: the piecepack game system.(You can download and print one for free HERE)


Printing Suggestions: Rules are designed to be printed on both sides of the same 8.5X11

Designer’s Notes: Ah what a fool I’ve been! All these years of hiding in the basement working on games to try and avoid the dishes (see Dish Pan Hands) — when something far more hideous has been lurking ’round the bend. What I wouldn’t give for a carefree night of scraping plates and soapy water! Just so long as I don’t have to take my life in my hands and go near the explosive little boy called my brand new son. That little guy is loaded in both ends and just waiting to go off! A ticking time bomb of twelve kinds of muck and fluids (shudder). Perhaps this feeling trapped in an endless cycle of mucky diapers lead subconsciously to the theme for this game. All I know is that every once in a while a person needs a game they can play alone … in silence … by the light of a pocket flashlight … in the back of the storage room in the basement … where that adorable little diaper-bomb can’t find you. And where there are no dishes. Enjoy.