Archive for November, 2015

My first Metatopia Experience

My reaction after my first Metatopia is simple. If I had known what I was missing, I would have started going years ago


See that? It says “Professional”

I was only there for about 28 hours, but I feel like those 28 hours were as productive as twice that amount of my own time. Over the course of the weekend, I was able to play two prototypes from other designers that I was really looking forward to playing. I also got to play a number of small prototypes from friends that I wasn’t expecting to play, outside the scheduled testing times. The weekend was so productive that it took me several days to write up some feedback and send it to people, which is why I’m only getting around to posting this a week later. And of course, I had some playtests of my own games, and came back from Metatopia with one more game than I had when I arrived. 

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Grieving Feedback

Recently, I got feedback from a publisher I’m working with for a new game. The publisher was suggesting some pretty big changes in the design. Most of these changes were things we had previously discussed, or things I was considering, myself. It’s easy to tell designers that they need to be ready for a publisher to change their game. And–as a designer–I can tell you that advice is easy to mentally grasp, but it’s an entirely different story when you have to deal with that feedback the first time. But I learned a big lesson through this experience. It can be emotionally difficult to hear a publisher tell you to change your baby. And I’m pretty sure I went through the 5 stages of grief. I hope that sharing this experience will be valuable to other designers dealing with this for the first (or tenth) time. Read the rest of this entry »

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See you at Metatopia

This year, I’ll be headed to Metatopia for the first time. Metatopia is an annual game design-centered event presented by Double Exposure in Morristown, NJ. I’ve missed it the past few years, but I finally am able to attend, and I’m bringing a few games. I can’t attend the whole weekend, but I’ll be there Friday night and most of Saturday. I have three playtests scheduled

I’ll have a newly updated One Card Wonder to show off and test. I’m trying a slightly different system for pairing buildings and wonders, so your feedback is important. You can try it from 9-11am or 4-6pm Saturday.

I’ll also have a brand new game to test; the working title is Cash Out. It’s a small game inspired by No Thanks!, For Sale, and High Society, where players are high stakes gamblers trying to beat the house and their other players. The simple premise is ante a chip to stay in, or take half the pot. The winner each round gets a big payout from the Casino. I’ll be showing that  2-4pm on Saturday.

More information, including exact locations, is available on the Metatopia website. Stop by and say hi!


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