It’s a Good Week: Game Featured in Upcoming Book and Godzilla Contract Signed!

Just got an email from Eric W Martin that he would like to include a game that I designed – along with friend, Don Kirkby, in an upcoming book and game package that he’s producing on a game system called the Piecepack.

pieccepackWhat the heck is Piecepack? Well, it’s an open source game system designed by James Kyle that allows people to make their own games using a specific set of components. Hundreds of games have been designed using this system and now Eric W Martin is writing a book about it – and including numerous amazing games that demonstrate its versatility and unique-ness!

The game Don and I created is called Cream of the Crop – which can be found for free here on this site! It’s a clever game that I’m happy will get played by more people!

In other news, Sen and I have received our contracts back from Toy Vault! We are now contractually obligated to make a Godzilla game! How cool is that? This is our first game that we’ve been asked to make by a publisher – and our first time working with an IP! We’re pretty stoked. We already have the core system working, but now it will undergo a million and one play tests and tweaks!

Stay tuned for more info on both of these projects as we develop them further!

-Jay Cormier

Akrotiri Sold Out at Essen!

IMG_0984Well Essen has come and gone and the Internets are hopping with what people played, what’s good and what’s not. A somewhat decent flag to wave if you’re a publisher is if a game sells out. Of course if they only brought 10 copies then that’s not a very impressive flag – but Z-Man brought 150 copies of Akrotiri and they sold out of all copies! That’s great news and it sets Akrotiri up for good word of mouth – assuming those mouths belong to people that like the game.

So if you got a copy – consider yourself lucky! Please tweet or post about your thoughts on BGG, your own blog, or in response to this post. If you didn’t get a copy, no worries as it should start hitting distributors soon and then to retailers! Then everyone can bathe in the awesomeness that is Akrotiri (can you tell that I really like this game?!)!

-Jay Cormier

Akrotiri overview video from Essen!

logo-spiel-essen_04Our first game to be released at Essen Spiel is Akrotiri and we have our first video overview of the game thanks to boardgamegeek’s livestream! Click on this link and then jump to the 7:14:00 mark right near the end to watch this 5 minute overview of the game! Thanks to JF from Filosofia for presenting it so nicely!

-Jay Cormier

You too can buy This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us!

ThisTown-logoYou know that hit game that was super successful on Kickstarter but for some reason you missed out on it? Well now you can! This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us is now available on the BGG store! You can get a copy for only $5! Now that’s a bargain. Head on over to the BGG Store and check it out and buy a copy or twelve.

-Jay Cormier

First Time a Game of Ours Launches at Essen!

IMG_1303We are excited! Not only do we have our very first game called Akrotiri launching at Essen – which opens tomorrow morning – but it’s actually our favourite game we’ve designed. I know, I know – it’s hard to choose which of your “children” is your favourite – and while we do love all the games we have designed, this is the game that I would play the most. It  just scratches all the itches I have when I want to play a game.

If you’re at Essen, we would loooooove it if you could take a picture or twelve of Akrotiri being played or being sold or stacks of it for sale!! We can’t attend Essen this year so we’ll have to live vicariously through all of you lucky dogs out there! If you do play it and enjoy it – then make sure you tell the BGG booth as they have a system to track which games are the ones worth checking out.

Akrotirifin3finAkrotiri can be found at the Z-Man Games booth in Hall 3 booth P111. I’ll wait here, constantly refreshing my computer until I get some photos of Akrotiri out in the public!!!

-Jay Cormier

Cardstockawa 2014

Each year, the Ontario chapters of the Game Artisans of Canada meet up at a secret location and cloister themselves for a weekend of design, playtesting, and comraderie.  This year was no exception.  If you follow my Twitter feed (@SenFoongLim), you’ll have been spammed with pictures of at least 17 or 18 prototypes from various designers in attendance.  From experienced designers like Yves Tourigny (Top This, Blue Prints, Expedition Northwest Passage), to designers who have just had their first signing like Daniel Rocchi (Bomb Squad Academy – a game co-designed with Josh Cappel that’s going to be packed in with TMG’s current Kickstarter, Bomb Squad by Dan Keltner and David Short) and Chris Chung (Lanterns from Foxtrot Games), to journeymen designers like Jessey Wright (who though unpublished, has made good headway through the print and play community with games like Zeppelin Strike), we meet to share our ideas and make each others games just that much better.

I can’t go into too many details without express consent from each designer, but I will share some of the pictures here of the games I’m involved in designing.

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Midnight Men from Yves Tourigny and myself

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Codename “Voltron” until we find a better name or acquire the IP – from Jessey Wright and myself.

Coaster Quest by Jay and me gets the run through at Cardstockawa 2014

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Choice Words by Daryl Chow and me is so close to ready, I can feel it in my bones!

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Jessey rolls the dice and tests his might in Crossed Blades, a co-design with yours truly.

So, if you’re part of a design group, do yourselves a huge favour and set up a retreat.  A day, a whole weekend, a whole week.  You’ll thank yourselves for doing it.  You’ll be refreshed, have new directions and new ideas, and your colleagues will be more vested in your success as they’ll have a chance to have a hand in shaping your design.

~Sen-Foong

Train of Thought Experiment on Twitter

Jay and I still love Train of Thought after all these years and we’ve been using Twitter a lot lately, so it just seemed like a natural fit!  We’re going to do a little experiment and try to run a Train of Thought game (kinda) on Twitter next Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. EST.  If things go well, we’ll make it “a thing”.

The goal will be slightly modified in that the Conductor (me for the first one), will be trying to get the team (all y’all out there in the Twitterverse) to get to 10 josh-train of thoughtDestinations in 10 minutes.  Can we do it?  YES WE CAN!

The Tweet format will be important for game flow:

<round number> <Guess> <hashtag>

e.g. 1 starfish #ToT

Got it?  Good!

Now review the rules, follow me on Twitter @SenFoongLim and hop on board this crazy train!

ALL ABOARD!

~Sen-Foong

Tom Vasel from Dice Tower reviews Tortuga!

Tortuga-BoxWhile we already got a Dice Tower review from Ryan Metzler about Tortuga, we now have Tom Vasel weighing in as well!

Here are a few things that Tom liked about Tortuga:

“The game has a lot of interaction”

“The game has a really cool look to it.”

“It’s very easy to teach and fun for families to play.”

“I liked it!”

“A fine game and I think a lot of people will like it.”

Thanks Tom for the review! Just so I’m not super biased I will point out that he didn’t like that there was some set collection with the treasures – that you got more points by collecting a set of red, blue, and yellow. He said it wasn’t very thematic – and I totally agree with him on that one.

That is definitely a gamey solution to a challenge we had as designers. The challenge was trying to motivate players to attack one player over another – but have that choice be interesting. When we tried it with either ‘all treasure worth the same’ or ‘different valued treasure’ –  it became a non-decision since you’d always go for the highest valued treasure. The way we have it now you have to think about what colour you need – and you can even push your luck by stealing a white treasure (as white can be any colour – but only if you can get it all the way to Tortuga)! So the game works better with the current rule – but yes, it is thematically a bit wonky!

He also points out the possibility of King Making on the final turn – which is half-true I think. The game allows players to collect face down treasure tokens and the other players never know if each one has 1,2 or 3 treasure on the other side. So this reduces the ability for a player to know who is going to win and therefore affect the outcome on the final turn. That said – if a player can choose player A or player B to attack on the final turn – it definitely will impact their ability to win…so I do see his point.

Regardless – he liked the game and recommends it to families!

-Jay

Meeple Syrup Show a Success!

MeepleSyrupLogoSquareThe Meeple Syup Show (which Jay and I co-host on regularly) has a brand spankin’ new logo, courtesy of Gavan Brown (he of Roxley Game Laboratory fame) and we’ve knocked out 2 shows with some very cool guests (like Scott Almes, Michael Eskue, Chris Handy, and Micah Fuller).

We’ve also got a new website just for the show complete with its own blog at http://www.meeplesyrupshow.com so stick that in your favourites and visit often.  That’s where the shows are archived so we’ll point back there every now and then, I’m thinking.

We love interacting with the audience, so send us your questions or let us know in advance if you can’t watch live.  We’ll get your questions for the guests specifically or about design in general.  You can do that on Twitter or on the YouTube channel.  Hopefully, y’all follow us @MeepleSyrup on Twitter, so you can get the link when the Google Hangout goes live.

Just as a sneak peek, here’s some of the luminaries we’ve got lined up for future shows…

Matt Leacock (Pandemic)Kevin Nunn (Sentinels: Tactics)
Gil Hova (Battle Merchants)
Eric Lang (X-Com)
Jermemiah Lee (Zombies in my Pocket)
Emmanuel Aquin (D-Day Dice)
Gavan Brown (Jab)
Jeph Stahl (1775)
Josh Cappel (Wasabi)
Yves Tourigny (Blueprints)
Kevin Wilson (Descent: Journeys in the Dark)

If you’re interested on being on the show, write us a note at info@meeplesyrupshow.com and we’ll serve you up a platter of piping hot pancakes, straight of the griddle!