Junk Art in top 1000 on Boardgamegeek!

screenshot-2017-01-14-14-55-46Junk Art now marks the third game that Sen and I have designed that made it into the top 1000 on boardgamegeek! Our top rated game is still Belfort, sitting near the 300 mark and Akrotiri is our second, sitting at around 600. Junk Art has a chance to reach higher than both of these due to the number of units that are being sold and the fact that it currently has a higher average than both of those games! That’s pretty neat. On one hand, it’s just a metric that doesn’t mean a ton – but on the other hand, this is a rank that is determined by the people who’ve (hopefully) played the game and rated it on bgg.com. So we are thankful to all of you have rated it – whatever you rated it – and we hope to have other games enter this prestigious list some day soon!

-Jay Cormier

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Belfort mini-promo now available to all!

When the second printing of Belfort came to our shores last month, they also came with a mini-promo that consisted of three new guilds! These guilds can be mixed and matched with all your other guilds to keep replayability high on the game.

There was a bit of kerfuffle when current owners of the game couldn’t get their hands on this neat little promo – but that is now rectified! The Belfort Guild Promo Pack #1 is now available on the Boardgamegeek store for $5.00!

What’s so special about these three new guilds? Well, first we have the Contractors’ Guild, which is a new Resource Guild and provides 1 Wood, 1 Stone and 1 Metal. This variety is nice and has been a favourite throughout all the playtesting!

Next is the Rules Lawyers’ Guild – which is a great name for a guild! This guild allows you to break the rules of the game by getting points outside the normal ways. Always keep an eye on someone who continues to target this guild!

Finally we have the Sentries’ Guild. This guild puts more emphasis on building walls! Usually they are buildings that are built near the end of the game, but now you can profit from them throughout the game!

We hope you enjoy this mini-promo!

On a side note: we’ve finalized the rules to our official expansion and it will be heading to our artist (the amazing Josh Cappel) very soon!

-Jay Cormier

2011 in Review

Well, to say 2011 was a big year for the Bamboozle Brothers (that’s Sen and I, btw!!) would be quite the understatement!

Published Games

In 2011 we saw the release of our first two games!

Train of Thought

Train of Thought box artTrain of Thought was our first published game (though it was our second one signed to be published). It’s a party game that gets people thinking differently than most other party games. It has been reviewed very well so far. There are discussions with other publishers to see if there’s interest in publishing the game in different languages and different countries. We managed to get it into a National Retailer in Canada…yep – Train of Thought is available on Bestbuy.ca!

Belfort

Belfort box artBelfort was released just a few months ago and has been received extremely well by gamers everywhere, including achieving the number one game of this year’s BGG.con. It has sold out at the publisher level, and they are in discussions with other publishers to see if they want to do other language versions of the game. On the last day of 2011, Belfort was the 392nd best game of all time, according to users on boardgamegeek.com. We’ve seen it pop up on a few top ten lists of the year as well.

It has already been confirmed by the publisher, Tasty Minstrel Games, that an expansion will come out next year! Expansion you say? Yep! Sen and I have been working hard on many expansions for Belfort. Tasty Minstrel has given us carte blanche in creating it – so we thought we’d come up with a few and either have them choose – or, if they like them all, then stagger the release of expansions over the next couple years.

Unpublished Games

It was also a big year for our unpublished games! How so? Well, 8 of our unpublished games are currently out at various publishers being reviewed. My trip to Essen (detailed in many posts starting here) was key in getting most of our games out to publishers. We’re feeling some good vibes from at least two publishers about our games and we should start to hear from most of them in January. One of them, Akrotiri, made it to the finals in the Canadian Game Design Competition that was ultimately won by fellow Game Artisan of Canada’s Matt Tollman with his game, Undermining.

Sen and I took one of our almost-published games, But Wait, There’s More and posted it here on our website and gave it away for free to everyone! It has also been posted on boardgamegeek.com – so I guess it’s actually a published game now! If you’ve downloaded and tried it, we’d love to hear your feedback. Expect more free games from Sen and I in the near future!

Game Artisans of Canada

Sen and I belong to the Game Artisans of Canada (GAC), and it’s been an amazing organization and very symbiotic relationship so far. There are chapters of game designers all across Canada that get together to playtest each other’s games and help each other out with general questions and direction. The collective knowledge of the group is astounding, let alone the numerous contacts that each person brings to the table. You can read more about the group, including its annual get-together, appropriately named Cardstock here.

Comic Books!

We also released our first comic, which was set in the world of Belfort and was written by me and my comic-writing partner, Tim Reinert and illustrated by the uber-talented Rob Lundy. We’ve started a path that was very similar to the path Sen and I took on getting a board game published: we have no idea what we’re doing, but we’re taking it one step at a time and enjoying the process a lot!

The entire 10-page Tales of Belfort comic will be complete by Monday or Tuesday of this coming week, then we’re onto other stories set in other, non-board game worlds! Check it out at Condo Of Mystery.com!

 

This Website
It’s always interesting to see if people are reading what you’re writing. One way to tell if you’re connecting with your audience is if your posts start a discussion (go on, comment below!), but the other way is through analyzing the stats. It’s rewarding to me to see that people are visiting the site as often as they are.

What’s the plan for 2012 for this blog? Well, there are still a few more steps left to go to fully complete the journey we started long ago. Plus, since starting this blog, we’ve come up with many more tips and best practices along the way that we’ll have to squeeze into the step process somewhere. Not sure how we’ll do that…maybe just renumber the steps? We’ll see. Plus we’re hoping to get some experiences with different publishers under our belt this year. No problems or challenges with our current publisher – but it will be interesting to see how other publishers operate. We also have plans to put some videos together that better demonstrate some of the steps that we’ve described.

As usual, we’ll be as transparent as we can be – we have to hold back sometimes when publishers request us NOT to post about certain things – which we can understand. Usually it’s just a timing thing and not a forever thing.

Our goal, as it has been since we began: show and explain all the steps we took to get our games published, in an effort to make it easier for others to get their board games published. How altruistic! Well, in doing so, we’re hopefully raising awareness for our games as well! 🙂

Click here to see the complete report.

2012?

So what else is coming in 2012? We hope a few more games from the Bamboozle Brothers! While the publishers are assessing the games of ours that they have right now, Sen and I are still working on new games (it’s really a never ending cycle, isn’t it – no complaints here though!). We have Lion’s Share, RuneMasters, Scene of the Crime and more that haven’t made it through Beta stage yet.
I am really looking forward to April as I have been invited to the very exclusive Gathering of Friends! This is a week long event held by famed game designer, Alan Moon in which his friends (most of them are other famous game designers) and some publishers show up and play games all week! Wow! That’s going to be amazing!
Sen is planning a trip to Essen this year to celebrate completing 4 decades of living. I might go as well, but the Gathering will take a fair bit of change out of my spending this year.
The aforementioned expansion to Belfort will be released. Expect the first expansion to be one of the smaller kind of expansions – not a full boxed version. Just something to mix it up a bit!
I have to say that five years ago, I would never have thought I’d be where I am right now. It’s been a fantastic ride, and I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for us! Thanks for joining us on this trip!
-Jay Cormier

Interview with the designers of Belfort!

Belfort board game box frontJeff Temple, who has teamed up with the infamous board game reviewer Ender Wiggins  (seriously – have you seen their reviews? They’re extremely thorough to say the least. Examples here.) has interviewed the also infamous duo known as Sen and Jay!

Check out the interview and also the link within the interview that takes you to a 10 minute Youtube video of Sen and I explaining and showing some prototype examples of the history of how Belfort came to be! This was a great interview for us – thanks Jeff!

Check out the interview here!

Belfort Promo Wagon Commences!

We’re starting the promotional campaign for Belfort! The artist for the game, Josh Cappel, has made up these small ads that take one of the components of the game and then has a interesting or funny saying attached to it. We’re expecting a new one to be posted every week until the game launches this summer!

If you want to see all the images as they come then you can do one of two things:

1) Register on www.boardgamegeek.com and then subscribe to Belfort (an option on the right hand side of the screen).  Then, every time you log into boardgamegeek.com you will be told if there has been any updates with Belfort!

2) Go to Facebook and add Belfort as a friend! We’ll be sharing the images on Facebook shortly after they launch on boardgamegeek.com.

If you’re interested in helping out, then you can click the green ‘thumbs-up’ icon near the image when you’re on boardgamegeek.com. If enough people ‘thumb’ it then the picture gets promoted to the front page of boardgamegeek.com. This helps with awareness of the game even more! The Euro Game market is a crowded scene, so anything we can do to stand out we’ll try it!

Here’s the link to the first image. I’ve included the first image in this post – but head on over to boardgamegeek.com and give it a thumb (and yes, you do have to register once in order to thumb – but I’ll be asking you to thumb and rate more of our games in the future – so you might as well register now!  Hey – while you’re there, why not write up a quick review of Train of Thought – or at least give it a rating? I’m not asking for you to stuff the ballots – but just for you to rate it whatever you think it’s worth!).

New Video Review of Train of Thought

Boardgameblogger has posted a video review of Train of Thought over at boardgamegeek.com!  For those who don’t have 9 minutes to watch the video, here’s the skinny: He loves it!  Thanks to boardgameblogger for taking the time to play and review the game. What a nice birthday present!  You can check it out here.

General Update

General Updates:

Train of Thought: It is pretty cool to have a game in the top 2500 on boardgamegeek (which means this is based on users rating it). Here’s the screen grab!

And it’s nice to see the breakdown of all the votes so far.  It’s valid and fair to see that there are a few people that just don’t get or like the game; it’s bound to happen with pretty much every game!  But it’s great to see so many people enjoying it! If you’ve played the game and want to rate it, then just log into www.boardgamegeek.com (and register if you haven’t yet) and rate it at the very bottom of the page.

There’s also some exciting news about Train of Thought…but there’s still an official contract that needs to be signed before we make that announcement. Stay tuned.

Belfort: We’ve been getting a lot of art updates for Belfort these past two weeks and now we have seen all of it!  I’ve got to say that this game has the best rule book that I’ve ever seen!  Josh Cappel has gone above and beyond and we’ve upgraded his credit from Artist to Artist and Rules Editor. It is easy to read, has tons of examples and pictures and even has quite a bit of humour throughout. Some last minute tweaks and she’ll be off to the printers.

But Wait There’s More: We have some exciting news for our third game, But Wait There’s More – but we can’t tell you yet! Dang – not really a good update on that one.  Soon you’ll be in the loop.

Jam Slam: Just got word from the Product Development and Marketing Manager at Gamewright that Jam Slam received some nice marks and now they’re looking to see if they can find a slot in their 2012 line up or not.  Exciting!

Akrotiri: Got word from Zev at Z-Man games that he’s been crazy busy, but plans on getting this game on the table to test this month.  Can’t wait for this one as this is my favourite game we’ve made!

Junkyard and Lost For Words: We’re just getting ready to send these games out to Asmodee for review.

Secret Project: We’ve been told by a publisher of a type of game that they’d be interested in publishing that involves licensing a known property.  We’re currently doing a lot of research on this one.

Updates might be a little slow over the next week or so as I’m knee deep in packing for my impending move next week.  Moving closer to civilization and will be moving to Vancouver proper (instead of telling everyone that I live in Vancouver – kinda).

For my move I had to pack all my board games and they ended up taking up 15 boxes (and they were big 75 litre boxes)!  In case it wasn’t obvious, I love board games. 🙂

-Jay Cormier

Movin’ on up – slowly but surely!

As of March 10/2011, ToT is ranked on bgg as follows:

Board Game Rank: 2448
Party Game Rank: 52

I can’t wait to unleash Belfort on the world! It’s looking great and the chemistry between Josh, Seth/Michael and us has been nothing short of great. We went in with a solid game and are coming out with something that’s even better! Jay and I will be looking to get a commercial shot, in a different vein from the ToT commercial so we’ll be scripting that soon. I have music in mind already…

We’re hopeful that Jam Slam will be our first children’s game to be published. Gamewright is a strong company that really stands behind their product. They submit their products for a lot of reviews / awards and the market penetration they have in some of the different areas like bookstores (Chapters) and educational stores (Scholar’s Choice) is awesome. We’re anxiously awaiting word back from them – fingers crossed! I would love to see how they handle the flyswatters we’ve been using in our prototypes.

Same with Z-man. Z-man has great production value and they’ve handled some great titles (Agricola, etc.) so getting on their roster with Akrotiri would be a nice feather in our collective cap.

And Asmodee is another company that is very distinguished in the game publication biz. While Junkyard and Lost for Words aren’t exactly what you might think of as standard fare for the company that published SdJ candidates like 7 Wonders, they also have a few hidden gems like Jungle Speed and Good Question! for their lighter fare. So, getting our games looked at by them is a good thing. Getting one or more published by them would be amazing!

But Wait, There’s More! We’ll have to tell you more about But Wait, There’s More! in the near future – rest assured that it’s gonna be a busy few months for the Jay/Sen machine. Between all the games in production, out for review, and in development, I’m not sure when either of us will find the time to sleep. I’ll hopefully be able to do some updates while Jay’s moving, so that you, our faithful readers, aren’t left wanting!

-Sen-Foong Lim

 

Now Playing: Train of Thought Commercial!

The Train of Thought commercial is now available for all to see!

We wanted to make a video/commercial that could showcase how the gameplay worked, but we didn’t want to overstay our welcome, so we kept it to under 1 minute.

The Process

1) First we got approval from the publisher, Tasty Minstrel Games to make the video, which included them signing off the script we wrote.

2) I’m fortunate enough to work in a company that has a videography department, and so I asked both of the videographers – Darren Jones and George Coucopolous – if they could help film it, and they agreed!

3) I recruited a few actor-friends that I know and we shot the video in lat January, 2011.  In the video: Xavier Cousin, Floyd Sandiford, Leslie Dancey, Joel Stephenson…and me!

4) Darren Jones then took the footage and started to edit it down and even was our voice over announcer!

5) We wanted a floating thought bubble to appear and found some online, but they cost a lot of money, so we asked our good friend, Errol Elumir, to create one from scratch for us.  He did, and after a few requested tweaks we ended up with what’s in the video!

6) Once the video was final (at least the length of the video was final), Sen went to work and created the entire theme song that plays throughout the video.  That’s even his voice singing in the background.  Sweet!

7) Finally we go through 3-4 rounds of minor tweaks and adjustments and we’re done!

Thanks to everyone who helped make this commercial.  It’s really amazing how many talented friends we have!  And now without further ado, here’s the video!

-Jay Cormier

Board Games in Song Titles

What do the Beatles, Daft Punk and Pink Floyd all have in common?  They all have a song that is also the name of a board game!

I made a Geeklist on boardgamegeek.com that lists song titles that have board game names in them.  One of my favourite bands is a Vancouver based band called Mother Mother and they have a song called Train of Thought which is quite excellent!  This led me to thinking what other song titles have board game names in them.  Here’s the list to see for yourself!

-Jay Cormier