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and David Short) and Chris Chung (Lanterns from Foxtrot Games), to journeymen designers like Jessey Wright (who though unpublished, has made good headway through the print and play community with games like Zeppelin Strike), we meet to share our ideas and make each others games just that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.
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.