Review of This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us!

ttabe-dwpHere’s a new review of our game with the longest name: This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us (I really need to create a shortcut so I don’t have to keep typing that!). The review is from the website, Daily Worker Placement.

Awesome highlights include:

“you don’t need hours to have an awesome experience”

“This game is pretty great”

“when you have 10-15 minutes to spare this micro game will fill it will some old west fun!”

Thanks for the great review!

-Jay Cormier

First Look review of Akrotiri

AkroThis is a bit of an older post, but with Akrotiri now hitting store shelves, we thought we’d run it again. It’s a wonderful review of Akrotiri by the Daily Worker Placement website. Here are some excerpts:

“there’s nothing out there quite like it”

“I can’t stop thinking about it”

“I can’t wait for it to be released later this year, as I’ll be picking up a copy straight away”

“keep the game fresh for a long time to come”

You can read the entire review here. Thanks Adam and The Daily Worker Placement!

Akrotiri is now available to purchase…and to play!!

Akrotirifin3finThat’s right – our hit 2-player game that the entire world* has been waiting for is now available to purchase from Coolstuffinc.com! Soon it will be popping up on all online board game stores – and soon it will be in actual stores around the world!! Pretty exciting – and good timing too, what with Christmas coming up and presents needing to be bought for your game-loving loved ones…!!

Get your copy here and be the first person in your hood to have a copy of the coveted 2-player game from Z-Man Games …. AKROTIRI!!!

-Jay Cormier

*might be a smaller subset of the entire population of the world.

Train of Thought is the #4 best game this year!

OK, maybe a bit misleading – but it is true…if your name is Joseph Peterson at least. Joseph created a top 100 list of the games he’s played this year and Train of Thought is his #4 favourite game! It’s great to see that this game is still entertaining some folks out there! Thanks for playing Joseph! Everyone else can still pick this game up from Amazon (for just $10!) or their friendly local board game store!

Here’s what Joseph had to say:

Train of Thought is a party word game in which players take turns trying to get opponents to guess a particular word. They’re limited however to being able to give only a 3 word clue – and one of those words must be from a prior answer. For each clue given, each player may make 1 guess. If none are correct, the clue-giver creates another clue, using one of the guesses and up to 2 other words.

When the word is correctly guessed, the guessing player and the clue giver each get one point, and the clue giver draws a new card and continues making clues, trying to get as many as they can in 2 minutes!

This one is a laugh riot! There are so many stories I could tell about this one, but my favorite has to be during these clues: “Horse but smaller” “PONY!” “Pony but smaller” “CHILD?” “No not child”. We had to stop the timer because we lost it. This is hands-down my favorite party game that I’ve ever played and one that I can only imagine will see more and more playtime as the years go by.

-Jay Cormier

But Wait, There’s More…Waiting…?

IMG_1271News just broke today that our new game, But Wait There’s More will not make it in time for Christmas! So if you’ve been thinking that would make the perfect Christmas present for pretty much everyone on your list – well, you’d be right – but you’re going to have to wait until next year before you can give it to them!

Apparently China was having a tough time finding 30-second timers and that held up production. This puts us back a few weeks for delivery to all the Kickstarter backers and a few more weeks to retail stores. But this gives us something to spend all our Christmas money presents on right? Right?!

-Jay Cormier

Video Overview of Akrotiri at Essen

Here’s a great overview video of Akrotiri by Boardgamegeek.com with JF (Jeff) Gagne from Filosofia/Z-Man Games. He gives a great high level overview of the game in about 6 minutes. Can’t wait for you all to try this game!!! (Also – as we all know here, Sen has done 50% of everything we’ve done together!! JF wasn’t sure in the video!)

-Jay Cormier

The Power of Time in Game Design

whatsyourstory

We here at Inspiration to Publication want to share stories from other designers about their process of getting their games published. So if you are a designer and you have a story – we want to hear it! Please contact us and we’ll figure it out.

Here’s a guest post by fellow game designer, Patrick Lysaght. Patrick took us through his impressions of attending Origins as a designer – which was quite insightful. Today is an exciting day for Patrick because his game has launched on Kickstarter! Let’s see what time does to a game design.

Glory and Riches

The Power of Time in Game Design, by Patrick Lysaght

Glory & Riches launched on KickStarter this morning. By the time the campaign is over, the design will be two years old. It will be another 6 months or so until the game hits shelves. At this point, the primary changes will be the final cuts with art/layout. Reflecting on the development of the game over the last week brought something important to my attention. Waiting for something to happen is not wasted time, it is a critical element in the refinement process.

When an idea is fresh and new, the creative process consumes your brain. You rapidly innovate, solve problems, and face large challenges. If a design show potential, you transition into a development phases where the problems become simultaneously smaller and harder. A primary example in Glory & Riches was the balance between the strength of Economic Expansion mechanisms and Military Conquest mechanisms. I spent months tweaking, adjusting, pouring over minute details, and frustrating playtesters. This is essential to a solid design, but it is not fun.

This second step, however, is not the waiting I am talking about. For me, this step ended around October 2013. At this point, I thought the game was done from the design standpoint. Effectively, I stopped working on the game, and focused on some other things. I was ready to handoff the project to the publisher and artist. I actually thought I did. I was wrong. One day a few months later, a new layout design occurred to me out of nowhere. It elegantly solved a problem I had brute-forced with an earlier method. The new concept reduced production cost, answered playtester-feedback, and was very visually appealing. The cost of this idea was months of subconscious thought. Without that time, the game would not be as good as it is today.

Another key ingredient to the power of time in game design is the outside perspective it allows you to gather. For example, Glory & Riches is a resource-management and area control game. Early on, it suffered from the first-player initiative problem. Going first conveyed too powerful of an advantage. I developed a system which reprogrammed turn order based on geographical control. I solved the problem…too well. The game exploded from 2 to 4 hours. Players could not sustain any gains. I reverted to the original scheme out of a desire for simplicity and gameplay. Then the breakthrough came.

Months later in a meeting with the publisher (Jolly Roger Games), the owner suggested an auction format. This simultaneously resolved the initiative problem, increased player agency, and balanced the value of resources in the game’s final phase. He didn’t see all of those elements at the time, but his suggestion made the instant connection in my mind. I couldn’t have arrived at that point without outside input. Importantly, this meeting happened a month after the initial target date for the KickStarter. The delay afforded insight, and produced a much better product.

From what I have gathered, 2-3 years has become a standard cradle-to-shelf window. When I started, I thought it could move much faster. If I could have rushed it through the process, I probably would have. I’m glad I didn’t. I am proud of the finished product. I hope that you will enjoy playing it as much as I do. Give your game time to age into maturity. You will be surprised how much a few extra months can improve it.

Here’s the link to support Glory & Riches on Kickstarter!