Friday, November 27, 2009

Time is Running Out

12:22 AM by Mike · 0 comments
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Just a quick reminder that anyone interested in entering the drawing (explained here)  for a copy of the Armor of God has until November 30th at midnight to become a follower of the blog here and/or a fan of the Facebook page for the blog (do both and you get your name entered twice!).

And don't forget to spread the word (I know, even though it will lower your chances of winning).

I will hold the drawing on December 1st and announce the winner here on the blog.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

There is actually a website called Book of Mormon Games. Surprisingly (not really) the url is What there is on the site is a list of short multiple choice quizzes about different "topics" from the Book of Mormon. For example, there is a quiz about the different "Villians and Victories" in the Book of Mormon (here). Additionally there is a Book of Mormon Hangman game. A word is displayed, well, a few letters and spaces is displayed. You guess letters (you can only get it wrong 4 times before you lose the game). There isn't any actual hangman displayed, just a you got it right or you got it wrong kind of presented text.

One problem I found with the site is that on the quizzes you answer all the questions and hit the "Grade Me!" button and nothing happens. Even after the time limit counts down to the end, still nothing happens. Must be some problem in the coding or scripting of the quizzes.

All in all, the site could help you with your Book of Mormon knowledge a little bit, if the quizzes were scripted correctly. I'm just not sure I'd call it a website about games (although the hangman game would constitute a game).

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gaming with Kids

I recently came across the book Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning through Modern Board Games and was very excited to find that the American Library Association had put it out. I mean, I love games and am very interested in learning and education, especially for children. So, putting the two together is absolutely awesome! Anyway, as I shared the book with others (or told them I had found it; I still need to get into reading it) I was offered an excellent opportunity. Here at Utah State there is an on campus elementary school and I will be teaching games to kids there! The idea is to have a sort of "after school club" that meets once a week for an hour. We'll start up the first Tuesday in December! As I understand it, any child who wants to stay after and learn some board/card games is welcome.

My plan is to use the book as a guide to choosing games and helping the kids learn them. I've also decided to chronicle the whole thing in a blog: Gaming with Kids (here).
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Cache Valley Meet-Up Report

10:11 AM by Mike · 0 comments
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Well, I was able to spend about 4 hours (out of the total of 8) at the meet up on Saturday evening. It was a lot of fun! There were maybe 20 people or so who came and went during the whole day. The following games were played (for more info on each game click their title to go to the boardgamegeek entry):

Arkham Horror
Armor of God
Blokus Duo
Dominion: Intrigue
Last Night on Earth
Saint Peterburg
Thurn & Taxis
Ticket to Ride
Tigris & Euphrates

I was able to play several that I had never played before. It's always good to learn new games, even when I pretty much lose every single time. I lost every game I played this weekend, but I did come in second one time.

I hope that this gathering can happen at least once a year and that it can grow. It's a lot of fun getting together with others and playing games!! Thanks to Jason (tuttleboy) for setting the whole thing up.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Win a copy of the Armor of God!

Here's your chance to win a copy of my very first self-published game, the Armor of God!! All you have to do is become a follower of this blog or a fan of the Facebook page for this blog (both of which can be found over in the right hand column). That's it!! On December 1st a drawing will be held. I will then send that person a copy of the Armor of God, just in time for Christmas. So, if you become both a follower and a fan, then you are entered twice into the drawing!!! Pretty simple.

To introduce the game a little more, I created a short How-To video that explains how the game is played.

The video can also be downloaded here on the website.

You can also check out the boardgamegeek page for the Armor of God (here). There isn't a whole lot there just yet, but eventually there will be more. And, if you would like to check out the rules, you can get a copy here.

Lastly, the game is currently up for sale on the Game Crafter website (here), for anyone who would like to get their hands on a copy.
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Mike Agrelius from Happy Valley Publishing

Some 30 years ago, a young man named Mike Agrelius noticed that there weren't many LDS themed games available for people to play. In fact, Seek and Zion were the only ones! And they are both trivia based games and, as Mike points out, spent most of their time on shelves in closets. Even college students didn't break those out at gatherings. Mike set out to change that. He designed a game called Count Your Blessings, established a company named Happy Valley Publishers, and made his dream a reality! This year marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Count Your Blessings! Over it's lifetime about 50,000 copies have been sold. Sadly, the only way you'd get your hands on a copy today is to find it at Deseret Industries or possibly online somewhere.

Mike was kind enough to give me some of his time. I was able to find out a bunch about him and his experiences with game design and publishing. And, I recorded the whole thing for your listening pleasure.

You can also download the mp3 here, if you would prefer.

Here's a list of the questions I asked during a little interview:
  • Can you tell me your background in game design and publication?
  • How many LDS themed games have you designed? Could you tell me a little about each one?
  • How many of your LDS games have been published?
  • What experience do you have with LDS game publishers?
  • Where can I get a hold of your games?
  • Do you have any suggestions for those who want to publish LDS themed games? (What is the best course of action? Who is the best publisher to approach? Etc)
  • How many LDS themed games have you played?
  • What is your favorite LDS themed game (that isn’t your own)?

If anyone is interested in contacting Mike, they can do so at Thanks Mike for your time and your insights into LDS games!

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Happy Birthday Mormon Game Design!!

Today marks a full year that this blog has been around (if you would like to read about the beginning you can here)! It has gone through several changes (I hope these have made it better). I have learned a lot in the process and hope that others have been able to find something interesting for them here. So, I just wanted to throw my own little birthday party.

Happy Birthday!!

And, since birthday parties always have gifts, I'll be giving away a copy of the Armor of God (you can read about it here; there's also a page on boardgamegeek). But, of course, there will be a small contest involved in the gift giving, so keep an eye out for that.

Thanks to all who have commented and shared their ideas and insights. It has been very helpful in making this blog what it is today. I really appreciate it. And, in the future, if any reader has any suggestions, don't hesitate to let me know.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cache Valley Board Game Meet-Up

11:04 AM by Mike · 0 comments
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On Saturday, November 14th here in Logan a gaming day will be happening. It will take place in the public library building in the North East Meeting room. It will run from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. (Here's a flier)

I'm looking forward to this. It should be a lot of fun! There will be plenty of games to choose from and hopefully plenty of people with which to play those games!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

LDS Splash

3:31 PM by Mike · 0 comments
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The website LDS Splash (here) has a huge list of games labeled as Family Home Evening games (here). Some are LDS themed and others are not. Some of them look really interesting and fun to try out. For example, there is one called Holy Ghost (from the website):

As a family, make an obstacle course with pillows, chairs, blankets, etc. Then pick one person to be blindfolded and another one to be the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost tries to direct the blind folded person through the course with only words (left, right, straight, stop, etc.) while everyone else yells trying to lead them astray. - Tim Bitner

One of the other cool things from the website is that they open it up for everyone and anyone to submit (linked here) their ideas and share them with anyone who comes to the website.

Another fun section of their website lets you try your hand at church trivia (here). There are a ton of categories to choose from. Once you choose your category you go through and answer 10 multiple choice questions. After you finish it tells you how many you got correct.

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