Friday, August 28, 2009

Video Reviews Coming Soon

I've already said that I'll be posting a video review of Settlers of Zarahemla, as it received the most votes as the favorite. But I've decided to do as many video reviews as LDS themed games I can get my hands on. One of the guys from our little group of locals (here in Logan; we get together to play-test each others designs) is a frequent DI (Deseret Industries) shopper. Anyway, he's agreed to picking up LDS themed games from DI for me whenever he sees them. Last night he brought 3 for me!!: Warriors of the Promised Land, Missionary Impossible, and Building the Kingdom. So, look for reviews of these games soon.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Total War Title of Liberty Mod

Darren, from the UK, is a video game "modder." And he did his thing on Total War a while ago. He added Book of Mormon names and places to the game, allowing players to enter the Promised Land and the battles that took place between the Nephites and Lamanites! Check out this game trailer:


View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com


As it is a mod, you will need a copy of Total War with the Barbarian Invasion expansion, along with the mod file provided by Darren, via the Book of Mormon Battles website (link).

On the Book of Mormon Battles page, near the bottom, Darren gives thanks to several who contributed to helping him complete the project. It looks like there were a bunch of people who helped out. It's great to see that so many are open and willing to share their talents with others.

Overall, it looks like a fantastic game! I really need to get a copy and try it out.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

New Poll & Contest Update

Well, the time for voting for your favorite LDS themed game has ended! It looks like Settlers of Zarahemla is the winner!! I'll be posting a video review of the game in the next little while and will also post one for each of the other games that were voted for, so be on the look out for those. Don't forget to cast your vote on the new poll. If you don't see the answer you would choose, please email me and let me know. I'll add the person you want to vote for.

Also, don't forget to submit your design for the Mormon Game Design blog logo (500 pixels wide X 100 pixels high). Remember, you have until midnight on September 6th and the winner will receive a copy of Hagoth: Builder of Ships!!!!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Hagoth at GenCon 2009

Seth had told me that he would be taking Hagoth (both the prototype that he put together and a big banner that he had made) to GenCon this year (it ended last week).

















Anyway, he also had the other game he is doing, Space Junkyard, with him. He had a finished version of that game. Anyway, up on boardgamegeek now is an image of Space Junkyard at GenCon. And, looking closely enough at the image you can pick out Hagoth on the side. Here's the image (with nice annotations included, ha, ha). Thanks to Chester for finding this little gem.
















I'm getting very excited to see the final, produced version of Hagoth. Scott did a great job with the artwork and I know that the components will also be very well done!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yehuda: A Great Blog

Yehuda (link) is a great blog! The subtitle to the blog is: Gaming, Technology, Philosophy, and Life. It definitely discusses those four subjects and especially how they interact and are related to each other.

I wanted to touch on one particular post from Yehuda titled: How (and Why) to Play with Your Child in Six Steps. It was posted on October 5, 2006, so it's rather old (compared to how quickly things move forward with all this technology and internet stuff), but it is an excellent post.

I'm a parent and I love to play games. That's why I like this post so much. He starts off with an awesome view on parenting and children:

"The difference between a happy parent and an overwhelmed one is the difference between a parent that sees the big picture and one who is caught up in the drudgery of the moment."

It is really hard to "see the big picture." I mean there is so much going on that pulls my attention (school, work, etc.). But my family makes up the majority of the "big picture." So there shouldn't be any drudgery. The question becomes, how do you keep the "big picture" foremost in your mind? I have a tough time with messes. I have my stuff and each thing has it's proper place. Well, this kind of perspective doesn't work too well with children. But that doesn't need to make things into a drudgery for me. I just need to know that they are learning and keeping things clean and organized isn't something that is easy to learn. Someday they will get there and I just have to remember that. Besides, it's not a huge part of the "big picture." Helping them learn that is part of the "big picture." So, as I attempt to help them learn, that is a major part of the "big picture."

He follows this statement up with:

"You don't need to spend money to make children happy; you need to spend time."

Isn't that the truth!! It reminds me of the Church info-mercials: Family; Isn't it about, TIME. Here's a prefect example, from youtube:



He goes on to talk about all of the things that are available for families and their children (video games, summer camps, to name a couple) and how those things separate children and parents. There are many things available for children to do, some good, others not so good. But even the good things can often times take the place of the "essential things." Now, I'm not trying to say that board games or card games are the "essential things." But I am in complete agreement with Yehuda: it's the time spent with family in playing those games. Therein lies the value. After all, all of the other things we do in life, work, school, etc. we do to be able to spend time with our family. Yehuda puts it this way:

"All of those other things you do, you do to spend time with your children; maybe you forgot that."

So, here are the six steps he gives for How & Why to Play with your Child:
1. Accept that playing with your kids is time well spent
2. Know your child
3. Broaden the definition of play
4. Narrow the definition of play
5. Find good games
6. Adapt games

This is a great read and I encourage you to take a look; don't forget the big picture; and figure out a way of playing with your children. They won't be children forever.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Facebook-ified!

So, I took the plunge (and I consider it to be one). I decided to add my blog here to Facebook. I'm not sure this will accomplish much, but perhaps it will get out to more people than I've been able to find thus far.

Furthermore, I've added the Facebook widget thingy here on the right. Maybe not the most efficient thing in the world, as whatever I post on Facebook will also be posted here, but it makes it easy for others to find this blog or vice-versa find the Facebook page via this blog.

Through this experience (I'd never used Facebook before) I also set up my own Facebook profile. So, now other people I know or once upon a time knew can "add me as a friend," which is a very interesting idea. I mean, I might barely know them or barely knew them like 10 years ago. How much friendship is really there? So anyways...

Isn't social media super exciting!?

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Friday, August 14, 2009

BookofMormonBattles.com

A few weeks ago I talked with James H Fullmer about his games and his experiences designing them and getting them published (link). Today I wanted to talk a little about his website: www.bookofmormonbattles.com.

Jay has put a lot of stuff up on his site. The first link goes to a page of games. It highlights his 2 games, Book of Mormon Battles and Warriors of the Promised Land, and also shows off his Book of Mormon chess set that he designed! Below that though, he has several games that you can play online or print and play on paper. The Book of Mormon Match Game is a nice online matching game created using his artwork from Book of Mormon Battles.

Weapons of War (link)
This section of the website is pretty cool. Jay goes through, step by step of how to make padded weapons (swords & shields currently, with more weapons to come). He does this both in written format and via video. Here's the video of how to create a padded sword (looks pretty fun)!


Watch Making a Level 1 Foam Padded Sword in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

He also has an "interactive" (interactive because you can move around and look at things and even zoom in) map of the Promised Land. Jay says that the map is based on the book Mormon's Map by John L Sorenson. It would be cool to add in some 3d buildings for the cities and stuff like that (a la Google Earth).

All in all, it's a great site to learn more about Jay Fullmer and his work, what he thinks, what he likes to do, etc. I'm sure that kids out there would highly enjoy putting together some padded weapons to use on each other.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Missionary Novelty Company

In my search for LDS themed games and places to find them, I came across the Missionary Novelty Company (link). It looks like they have a lot of games to offer: Build the Kingdom, Greatest Mission in the World, LDSopoly, etc. (I think I saw LDSopoly in Deseret Book here in Logan the other day.) They have both English and Spanish version of pretty much all their games.

As I looked over their games, it seemed to me that a lot of them are very much like remakes of already published games; I'll take Build the Kingdom as an example. Here's a quote from their website about the game:

You’ve been called to the “Greatest Mission in the World”, Earth. Your duty is to build the Kingdom of God by placing Books of Mormons (BoM), gaining converts and building ward houses. First player to gain 10 Celestial points wins. You gain Celestial points by placing the most BoMs, obtaining Principals of the Gospel cards-Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Prayer, “Preach My Kingdom”- which produces the most converts, and building the most ward houses with prayer and baptisms. Principal cards can be traded in to produce BoM, converts and ward houses. Beware of Satan who can slow your progress.

There is also a short video that describes the game that you can watch:



Sounds and looks interesting. From this description and images though, it does sound a little bit like Settlers of Catan (we've even got Settlers of Zarahemla that has been done LDS style). I wasn't sure so I looked at the rules which they have up on their site (link). I have to say, this is a great idea. I like it when I can find the rules for a game. It helps me know a little more what I'm getting into before I buy.

Anyway, after looking over the rules, I would have to say this game is very much like Settlers of Catan. Converts and Books of Mormon are used, as opposed to settlements and roads, and Satan is referred to instead of the robber. It was very easy to read the rules and understand the game. That is definitely important.

After looking over their site and the games they have to offer, I am stuck with two questions. 1) Does anyone have any experience with any games from Missionary Novelty Company? and 2) Why are so many of the LDS themed games available remakes of games that have already been published (without the LDS theme of course)?

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Bi-Weekly Poll & BoMToons

I've decided to attempt to solicit ideas and opinions from any who read this glorious blog. To accomplish this I'll put polls up for about 2 weeks at a time. The first one asks about your favorite Mormon themed game. If your favorite isn't listed please let me know and I'll revise the list so that it is included. Let me know what you think!

BomToons (link)
I came across the BoMToons website quite a while ago but have finally decided to write a little about it (it fits here now that this site is about games in general not just board/card games). Anyway, it is a website that hosts flash format games based on Book of Mormon stories and LDS/Mormon culture. From their site: it was "started as the crazy idea of a few returned missionaries who wanted to feature some of the funnier things from the Book of Mormon and Mormon culture."

They have several games. I found that I enjoyed playing BoM Battle Beat and LDS BMX.

They also have a section with flash animated short cartoons. Very interesting stuff. And you can even order 2 different t-shirts with their logo and games on them!

Logo Contest Update: I've already received 2 entries in the contest!! And I've decided that I'll post the entries and then let everyone vote on the one they like the best. That way we can get a look that everyone likes, not just me.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Look & Contest

9:49 AM by Mike · 5 comments
Labels: , , ,
So, I'm updating the look of the blog here. I'm hoping to get something that looks a little more professional and that goes a little more with the Book of Mormon (not that LDS/Mormon themed games necessarily come from the Book of Mormon only, but anyway...). I've also added some things that I think will make it easier to get around and find things that are put up on the blog.

The thing I need now is a lot more professional looking logo to go with this more professional looking blog. So, on that note I've decided to run a contest. Anyone who would like to design up a logo (100 pixels tall x 500 pixels wide) for this blog and submit it to me will be entered to win a copy of Hagoth: Builder of Ships (which will be sent once it is available)!












I will select the logo that I like the best and that person will receive a free copy of Hagoth!

To submit your design please attached it in an email to: mikedrys@gmail.com. Be sure to put Hagoth Contest in the subject line. Submissions will be accepted until September 6, 2009 @ midnight MST.
Good luck to all!

Please refer to the ABOUT page for a little more guidance on what exactly this blog is all about.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

About Mormon Game Design

Mormon Game Design is a site on the internet where LDS/Mormon themed games are discussed.

The word "games" can refer to board games, card games, video games, games and activities that are used for Primary or Young Men/Young Women. "Games" should be taken in the broadest terms possible.

"Discussed" means there will be postings about (a) games in general, (b) what people have said about games, (c) experiences playing and designing games, etc. If it is somehow related to games, then it will be discussed. Hopefully it can become a discussion with everyone sharing their opinions, perspectives, and insights as well.

Lastly, this site is dedicated to promoting the design and publication of quality LDS/Mormon themed games. There need to be original LDS themed games designed and published. How can that happen?

All in all this will be a fun, resourceful place for people who are looking to find LDS/Mormon themed games.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Portfolio

Published Games


Hagoth: Builder of Ships (pre-order the game)
Being published by Mayday Games


 

Published Artwork


Nepal: Trade & Intrigue at the Top of the World
Being published (2nd edition) by BluePantherLLC. Now available!



Designed Games
Armor of God
Peril in the Promised Land
Temple Builders

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