Infinite Board Game Review

Here’s more of an overview of a new game/book called The Infinite Board Game. It’s a re-release of the Piecepack system, which is a specific set of components that can be used to play…well…an infinite amount of board games. I created a game with a friend of mine, Don Kirkby and we submitted it for inclusion in the book – and it was chosen! Our game is called Cream of the Crop and the rules for it can be found under the FREE GAMES tab here on this site!

In the meantime – here’s Tom Vasel’s overview of the whole thing. While it’s not his cup of tea, he does think that it will tickle many people’s fancy!

-Jay Cormier

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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

New Free Game added!

CreamCrop-logoWe added Cream of the Crop to our Free Game tab above! This game was designed by Jay Cormier and Don Kirkby and won a contest by Toy Vault to come up with the best designs using the Piece Pack. Piece Pack, in case you’ve never heard of it, is a specific set of components that have hundreds of games designed using its components. Game design enthusiasts can create their own games using these pieces – and a quick Google search will unearth tons of great games!

You used to be able to buy Piece Pack – but now you can simply make your own pieces. All the info is on the Free Games tab above! Enjoy.

-Jay Cormier

Updates on other games

Two updates for you today.  The first is about the contest I won with a friend of mine, Don, from Toy Vault’s PiecePack competition.  We submitted the rules to a game we designed using a specific set of components that we called Cream of the Crop.  The top 5 games were chosen to be included when the game was released – and our game was chosen as one of the five!  We hadn’t heard from them all year – but today I got a response back from an email I sent that said that it had been back-burnered for awhile but is still in plans to hit the stores this coming year!  They are targeting a second quarter release.  Yay!

The second update is that Gamewright has been reviewing the rules to our Jam Slam game (previously called Jungle Jam) and he expressed interest in playing a prototype of it after reading the rules.  Now he did say he’s on the fence because he feels like Gamewright has a bunch of quick reaction games – in fact, when we pitched it we mentioned that this could be in the Slamwich family line – kind of like a spin off.  But he wants to see a prototype to play it – so that’s always good news!

We have had recent thoughts about changing the theme of Jam Slam to a witches cauldron – and we might do it and send both in, just in case he would prefer that it was NOT similar to Slamwich.

So some great holiday news for us!  Huzzah!
-Jay Cormier

Step 3: Be Versatile

Continuing with our acronym, let’s delve into the second letter. Another aspect I attribute my success to is having Versatility.

I like almost all types of games – party games, strategy/Euro games, word games, family games, video games. There are a few types of games I’m not interested in like military simulation or miniature wargaming or collectible card games (though I was a huge Magic geek back in the day).
When Sen and I decided to make our own games, we didn’t really talk about this, but neither of us cared what kind of games we made – as long as they were good ones. Some of our ideas would be kid’s games and some would be serious “Gamer” games. Our goal was to get a game published – any game, so we made a ton of different games, in a ton of different genres.
Being Versatile also went a long ways to keeping us motivated as I mentioned in my previous post. But there are even more benefits to being versatile.
We had one game called Bertolt Lost his Marbles and was a kid’s game that had four animal characters running around a board picking up marbles and trying to avoid a troll. The game wasn’t working for us because it was just too many things going on for a kid’s game.
This lead us to think that we should move this game into a more gamery game. Of course the theme didn’t make any sense any more so we changed it up. We changed the four animal characters into four wizard apprentices and the marbles were turned into Dragon eggs. The Troll was obviously turned into the Dragon and we now had ourselves a more gamery game called Night of the Dragon! We shopped it around (more on this in future posts), but it has yet to get picked up.
Years later I was working on a game design competition (the benefits of these will also be in a future post) for ToyVault’s release of the Piecepack game with another partner. Piecepack, if you’re not in the know, is a specific set of components that can be used to make any number of your own games. Since every game uses the same components, the games are often more abstract and less themey.
We were stuck on a design for this competition and eventually I thought of Night of the Dragon. We borrowed the movement mechanic from that game and fit it into this Piecepack game. It worked perfectly and this game, called Cream of the Crop, won the competition and is coming out in the latter half of 2010.
By being Versatile we were able to leverage our ideas and use them in other genres and styles of games. Think about your game ideas currently. If you’re stuck on one of your ideas, maybe it’s in the wrong genre and you should try seeing if the mechanics would be better suited elsewhere.