Starting the year off right

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions any more (I made a resolution not to many years ago). But the start of the year is still a great time to reevaluate and re-focus.

First, on the writing-front. The last couple of months, I haven’t been writing much, trying to deal with the New Bedford Kickstarter campaign and all of the holiday fun. I’d like to get back on that, and do more analysis of games, review some of the new games I’ve got (I got a ton of Kickstarter deliveries over the break), and just generally dig into the hobby I love again.

UNPUB 5 is coming up at the start of February, and although it seemed like I had tons of time, I’m quickly running out of time to prepare. Amidst the talk of  custom shirts and new business cards, I realized that I don’t really need them yet. I’m still just a designer, and my home-printed business cards are sufficient. I’m a little concerned that UNPUB might be starting to trend the same way as Kickstarter, where you have designers trying out nearly publish-ready versions. Hopefully I’m just over-anxious.

I don’t have a big new game this year. I was working on a couple of bigger ideas, but I haven’t made much progress besides figuring out that the ideas aren’t ready yet. I do still have New Bedford, though. The game is nearly final, and I’m starting to work on some of the expansions. Primarily, I’m testing out some changes to the new Ship’s Log expansion based on some of the notes and feedback from BGG.Con. I plan to have multiple copies of New Bedford at UNPUB, so I can send some home with people to share across the country.

I’d also like to use UNPUB 5 to work through some of the new games I haven’t had a good opportunity to test yet. The most complete game is a small game I’m calling One Card Wonder. This is a quick-playing, cube-pushing, wonder-building game for 2-6 that fits in your pocket. It draws some loose inspiration from 7-wonders, but it’s a completely different experience, and can be played nearly anywhere. I’d like it to be the first in a series of games that play off of the similar basic mechanic, which is a drawing resources from a bag. I might get lucky and have one or two of the variations ready in time.

I’m testing a new trick-taking game that I don’t know if I’ve discussed yet. It’s a game about bespoke tailoring, suit making. So players are both literally and figuratively trying to play the right suit. to win a trick. It’s such a huge family of games already, it’s hard to find something new to do. I’m also not very familiar with trick-taking as a genre. I didn’t grow up playing Hearts or Euchre. But of course, my take on trick-taking is to add a euro-element, where players earn money to use to upgrade their shop, and every card is useful. The large parts are in place, and I’m trying to find the right smaller parts that add fun to the game without taking away from the play experience. While I like the idea of the game, I don’t know how excited I am to actually design this.

I’ve recently re-worked Human Resources to make it a better game. I made exactly no progress on this game in 2014. It was untouched since I printed out copies for UNPUB 4. But I’m still excited about it, and I want to try it out with 3 and 4 players.

I’m taking a couple of microgames to UNPUB 5. First, Nantucket is all ready to go. I’ve also got a micro-version of Brew Crafters, I’m calling MicroBrew. I’ve only tried it out solo, because nobody I know has played Brew Crafters yet, but I’m working on fixing that. I’m excited to see how it works with two actual players. If I get through those two, I might break out some more micro-games.

Finally, I’m trying to set my course for 2015. I’d like to get back to working on some of the larger game ideas I set aside. I also have some medium games that I’d like to start, too. Game design is still a hobby for me, and I don’t have plans to change that, but I’d still like to push more games through the design process, (and hopefully into publishing). I have a few other games that still need some mechanical work, and more ideas to come, so it’s time for me to get moving.

  1. 2015 Wrapup and 2016 goals | Oakleaf Games

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