Thursday, July 30, 2009

Orson Scott Card Talks About Games

I received a link this morning (read it here) to an article written by Orson Scott Card talking about LDS themed games (focusing on trivia games), his experiences with them, what he liked and didn't like, etc. Needless to say, I was very excited to see that people really do think that LDS themed games can be fun and that they NEED to be fun!

Now, how do I get my fun LDS themed games out for everyone to play and enjoy!!?

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Gathering of Strangers

That was a whole lot of fun!! I was able to make the trip down to Salt Lake City on both Friday and Saturday. I had never attended A Gathering of Strangers, or any game convention for that matter, before, but I really enjoyed it and can't wait for next year!

Friday I presented my game, the Armor of God, in the guild competition. It went pretty smoothly. There were 2 groups of 5 judges (from places like FRED Distribution, Out of the Box Games, and Games Unplugged), so the game was played twice. Then the judges rated the game following Mike Compton's Evaluation Form (find it on baordgamegeek here). A total of 8 games were entered into the competition. I'm not sure what place I ended up taking, but it wasn't in the top 4. Not really a big deal though. I mean, I didn't really expect to win. There are a whole lot of great games that the members of the guild design. It was just great to be a part of it and I can't wait to get the feedback from the judges. I'm sure it will help me improve the game a lot.

There were a few highlights of the weekend that I wanted to touch on. After the judging on Friday, Carey from FRED Distribution approached me and asked about taking a copy of the prototype to Armor of God home. In other words, he's interested and thinks it's a pretty good game! No guarantees that they will publish it, but success!!! Part of the purpose of the competition was to get publishers to see the games from the guild and hopefully get them interested in the games we had to offer. Carey was also interested in Mike Compton's game Bandits of Persia! It's exciting to see that publishers have an interest in games designed by guild members!

Also on Friday, Seth picked up the finished painting that Scott has been working on for Hagoth!!! Here it is!!!

He brought it to the Gathering. We both had prototypes of the game as well and we got about 10 people to demo it during the weekend. Ryan from The Board Game Guy was very excited! We're getting closer and closer to being ready for production!!

Lastly, I wanted to add that there was a lot of free stuff given away by all the publishers and game stores on hand. On Friday I won a brand new copy of Dominion Intrigue!!! I ended up playing it 3 times that evening (I even won the first of the 3 games, which was pretty big because I don't thing I won anything else during the 2 days). It's a great game!

All in all, I just loved the convention. I got to meet new people (another guy from here in Logan, now we'll have 4 of us here that design games). I got to play a lot of games. And I found someone interested in another one of my designs. Really, what more could I ask for from 2 days?

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Conversation with James H Fullmer

I recently was able to speak with James H Fullmer about his experiences with designing, illustrating, and publishing (via Covenant Communications) his two games, Book of Mormon Battles and Warriors of the Promised Land.

Download the conversation here.

I had a list of questions that we discussed. We didn't really read them out loud or anything, so here they are.
  1. What made you first decide to design a game?
  2. Was the idea Book of Mormon Battles from the beginning or did it sort of evolve to that as you worked on it?
  3. How did the design process go? I mean, did you get some paper, cut it up, and mark them for cards, or how did it go?
  4. When did Covenant Communications enter the picture? Did you contact them as you were working on the idea or more after you had it all worked out?
  5. How did the whole relationship work with Covenant?
  6. What was your process for the artwork (there are a lot of images in both games)?
  7. What made you decide to go the second game Warriors of the Promised Land?
  8. Was the process with that game pretty much the same as with the first?
  9. Do you know the print run size for either game?
  10. Do you know how successful the games have been (how many have sold)?
  11. What did you learn from your experience that you would like to share with other "would-be LDS/Mormon game designers?"
This is my first dive into doing a podcast or recorded interview/conversation, whatever you want to call it. So I learned quite a bit about that. Plus I enjoyed meeting James (Jay as he prefers to go by) and learning about him and his experiences.

Hopefully this will be of benefit to someone besides me, but if not, I enjoyed it and found it enlightening.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Busy Summer

Things have been pretty busy lately. I was looking forward to summer as I thought it would be a little more relaxed and give me more time to work on my games and whatnot. Anyway, I just defended my thesis! So now I have to wait for the secretary to read through it, make the changes, wait for the grad school to read through it, make the changes, and then pay fees, get it bound, etc. Hopefully by the end of August I'll officially be a MASTER! Plus I'm trying to get going on the dissertation proposal, so that's keeping me busy.

I recently got the Armor of God printed by BluePanther. (I'll be posting a comparison between Guild of Blades, Artscow, and BluePanther here a few days.) I'm ready to take it down to SLC for A Gathering of Strangers. I'm really looking forward to that.

As I worked with Steve at BluePanther to get the cards printed he asked me about doing some artwork for his Nepal game! It was quite a surprise to me. I mean, I've been a little hesitant about my art abilities, but this gives me some added confidence that I do pretty good work. It has made me think more seriously about doing my own thing, publishing my games myself. I mean, having someone do the artwork is a big expense, but if I'm able to do it myself that would definitely cut back on costs. We'll see if I can get enough money together to really go out and do something like that. It would be great!!

The Game Design "class" (Game Design Concepts) started at the beginning of this week. It looks like it's going to be fun to follow along and hopefully contribute something. The problem will be trying to find enough time to participate in such a way that will allow for some contributions. There's a lot going on this summer!

On boardgamegeek a competition was posted for teams of 2 to design and produce a print n play cooperative game. Dane and I are going to design and submit to the competition. It will be a lot of fun to work with Dane, brainstorm, playtest, etc. as we move from idea to prototype to production. The brainstorming process has begun!

Lastly, we've had a little more discussion on the Korihor game that our Google Group (join us) is working on designing. This whole experience has been very educational and informative already. It's not easy working together on a game design, especially when it involves people from 5 states, many who have never met face to face, with so many different ideas and perspectives on what will make the game not only work but FUN! It's actually a lot of fun working on this project with the group. I hope that the end result will be a great game that we will figure out how to publish and offer as a ZGDI game!!! Then we'll put it up on our website as a great LDS/Mormon themed offering!

Anyway, quite a bit going on this summer! I guess it's good to keep busy.

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