Gen Con 2016 Wrap Up

Our second time being at Gen Con was full of hectic fun! I flew in on Wednesday night and got picked up by Sen, Jesse and Scott at the Indianapolis airport. We grabbed a bite to eat and then Sen and I got interviewed for Ludology! We were able to get our badges late in the evening since the check in was open 24 hours – smart!

IMG_4816Every day we spent one hour at the Pretzel booth demoing Junk Art and one hour at the IDWGames booth demoing our new Godfather: A New Don game. While we’re extremely proud of both games, the presence of Junk Art was very impressive! They had a huge booth with 3 tables dedicated to demoing the game. All 3 tables had extra large versions of the game which certainly drew crowds throughout the entire 4 days. It was great demoing Godfather: A New Don as well as it reminded us how cool of a game it is! 🙂

One of our nights was spent with IDW Games where we were finally able to show them our Powers game. The game played very well and Nate from IDW caught me because I was too greedy! 🙂 We spent the rest of the night pitching other games to IDW Games with many of them generating interest!

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Matt Kindt winning at Junk Art! Years of illustrating comics must have given him a steady hand!

Another one of our nights was spent with our comic book hero – Matt Kindt! I love his Super Spy comic a ton as well as his Mind MGMT and we played Knit Wit and Imhoptep together and then spent a few hours brainstorming a project that we’re collaborating on together! So fun!

The rest of our waking hours was spent meeting with publishers and pitching them games. Here’s a high level summary of what went down:

Breaking Games – they had a mock up of our Clunatics game but we all want to tweak it a bit so we chatted about a game plan.

USAopoly – Daryl Andrews and I were working on a game that we specifically were making for them. It was still in development so it was just a sneak peek! They also liked a game I designed with Shad Miller called Skirmishes. 

They were also interested in a party game that I came up with – the day before leaving for Gen Con! Crazy story! I came up with a game on Monday night in bed, then Tuesday I made the prototype and was able to test it Tuesday night. I had time left to tweak the prototype and then take it with me to Gen Con! Every publisher I showed it to expressed interest in this game! Grey Fox, Bellwether Games, Renegade Games and CSE Games all liked the game and one of them currently is looking into pricing and sourcing!

Pretzel Games already has our Junk Art but maybe they want more Bamboozle Brother love? We showed them our outdoor game, SimpliCITY and Rack Your Brain – and he expressed varied levels of interest for each of them.

Renegade Games is hot right now with Lanterns selling tons and Lotus looking to repeat that success. We have a game coming from them next year but we also really wanted them to check out our SimpliCITY. He took a prototype with him!

Marbles was there – not in a booth, but as a happy wanderer – and we were able to meet up with Tanya. She really liked our game, Lost For Words and showed a bit of interest in a game by Shad and me called Rack Your Brain. Then we showed her an alpha prototype of a single player game that would fit in the same kind of line of games like those Rush Hour games where you’re trying to slide cars around to get one of them out. Tanya was really taken by that game idea and she took a video of us demoing it. That has a high priority for us!

CSE Games was a lot of fun! Fabio has had a lot of success with the games he’s chosen to publish and we’ve only heard good things about working with him. He seemed genuinely excited by 4 of our games. Rack Your Brain seemed to be the most interesting since it would fit in with his high-selling Quartex line of games. He also liked Lost for Words, Word Bird and Draw Your Own Conclusions. 

Repos Production is a publisher we’d really love to partner with as they always have high production quality and seem to really support their games a lot. He expressed interest in Skirmishes, as long as we can support a team play – which we know we can!

Bellwether Games liked Draw Your Own Conclusions and SimpliCITY – as well as Rack Your Brain. We’ve sent him rules for SimpliCITY.

On our way out we almost got to meet with Haba, but we couldn’t align schedules. We did get to meet with Upper Deck for 10 minutes and learned about the kind of games they’re looking for! Win!

So all in all, a fantastic time and very much worth going for me. While we know many of these publishers and could send them any game in the mail, the opportunity to pitch it live in person is 10 times more effective. If you’re a board game designer who’s starting to get into game design and has a couple of games ready to pitch, then attending a live convention like Gen Con is highly recommended. Remember to follow our steps for optimal success!

-Jay Cormier

Overview of Godfather: A New Don video

Godfather-boxWhile at Origins, Nate from IDW Games was asked by Learn to Play to give an overview of how Godfather: A New Don works. He does an admirable job going through all the aspects of the game – but there are still some interesting things left to explore once it is released this summer! Remember to pre-order from your favourite local game store!

 

 

 

 

 

-Jay Cormier

Godfather: A New Don Launch Video

To help better explain our new Godfather: A New Don game (from IDW Games), we made a video! I have a starring role in the video and Sen created the cool Godfather-esque music for it! The video gives a quick rundown of how the game works so you have more information about whether this game is for you or not (trust me – it is for you!!). Ask your local your store to pre-order it for you can be the coolest person on the block!

-Jay Cormier

 

 

 

Godfather: A New Don available at Origins

OriginsGoing to Origins in a week and a bit? Want to pick up the coolest game ever? Well you’re in luck my friend because our new game, Godfather: A New Don is scheduled to debut at Origins! Origins is one of the two biggest board game events in North America (the other being the grand daddy, GenCon).

Godfather-boxSo if you’re heading to Origins – check out our game! I’m actually not sure if IDW Games has a booth or not…I assume they do. Hmmm…I should find that out! But I do know that IDW Games has announced that Godfather: A New Don will be available at Origins! Go check it out…do it!!!

-Jay Cormier

Video Preview of upcoming Godfather: A New Don

Well, it’s a bit of a teaser header – but we do have a video of Nate Murray from IDW sharing all the cool info about our new game with The Dice Tower. This just popped into my radar now but has been available for a couple of months. Nate talks about the mechanics and how excited he is about the game that Sen and I made – yay! Fast forward to 5:57 for the magic!

-Jay Cormier

Godfather: A New Don Press Release

Here we go people! Our new game, Godfather: A New Don has a press release! With it we’re unveiling the box art – which is pretty spiffy. Even spiffier is the board art, done by map artist extraordinaire, Ron Guyatt! Check that out below the press release.

IDW GAMES RELEASING BIG BOX GODFATHER BOARD GAME THIS SUMMER!
THERE’S A NEW DON IN TOWN, AND IT COULD BE YOU

San Diego, CA (March 16th, 2016) Control the streets of New York and bring power to your family in this summer’s The Godfather: A New Don. Designed by Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim (Orphan Black, Belfort), The Godfather: A New Don is a game for 3-6 players that sees each player taking control of one of the major mafia families, each trying to assert their power in the streets of 1950’s New York in hopes of taking the reigns as the new kingpin of the criminal world. The game is playable in approximately 45 minutes.

“I’m excited that we created an area control game that uses dice in a unique way! It’s accessible for inexperienced gamers but deep enough to please the serious gamers!” said Jay Cormier.

“We’ve come up with a special blend of strategy and negotiation mixed with just the right amount of luck to capture the feeling of the crime families vying for control of New York. I really enjoyed tying the facets of the film into the game’s mechanisms,” added Sen-Foong Lim.

The Godfather: A New Don is an area control board game with unique dice mechanics. Each round players will roll their individual pools of dice and decide what area of the city they’ll want to focus on trying to capture. Meanwhile, the current Don will be able to make players an offer they can’t refuse and steal dice from their limited supply. Staying on top proves difficult as every stolen die moves other players up the ladder toward taking over as Don, so the tension rises with each shake of the dice. With multiple ways to use each dice you roll, players will never find themselves at the mercy of the die, instead they’ll use what they roll to make their opponents beg for mercy.

To learn more about the game and to sign up to be notified for updates about this and other titles visit http://idwgames.com “like” facebook.com/idwgames and follow @idwgames.

Godfather Board Final (3-4)-2.jpg

-Jay Cormier

2016: The year of the Bamboozle Brothers

Wow, 2016 is going to be a huge year for the Bamboozle Brothers! Not only have I moved down from Full Time to Part Time at my ‘day job’ so that I can focus more time on game design, but Sen and I have in excess of 10 new games coming out this year! Holy crap!! That will bring our grand total to over 18 games by Sen and I. We’re very excited about each of these games, and wanted to give you a little morsel of each one, in no particular order:

  1. Orphan Black from IDW Games – this one just came out! It’s our first released game based on a license (but not the last for this year!). A social deduction game based on the cult TV show.
  2. Junk Art from Pretzel Games – so excited for this! It’s the second game in the Pretzel line of games (where the first one was the immediately likeable game, Flick Em Up). This one is a block balancing game that has tons of variety in it!
  3. Godzilla from Toy Vault – another license! This one is a card game for 2 players with each player playing as a kaiju trying to defeat the other one.
  4. Godfather from IDW Games – there’s a Godfather game from IDW coming out very soon that’s not by us – but the next one is! The subtitle is A New Don, and it’s a dice rolling and area majority game. I really like it and it really feels like a new take on both mechanics.
  5. Powers from IDW Games – this one is based on the Brian Michael Bendis comic about a detective agency solving crimes committed by people who have super powers. The game is like a beefed up version of Scotland Yard where one player plays the villain and the rest are the detectives trying to catch him.
  6. Pop Goes the Weasel / Monkey Mania from R&R Games – not sure what the final title will be for this game yet. It’s a family game about chasing monkeys around a tree, trying to get more bananas while avoiding the weasel! Happy to have designed a game that is more of a family game!
  7. Top Secret game by Top Secret publisher – not announced yet – a city building game! We love tile laying games!! This one has very low down time.
  8. Rock, Paper, Wizards by Gamelyn Games (co-designed by Josh Cappel) – a social game about making hand gestures and attacking the other players.
  9. Clunatics by Breaking Games – This is a cool party game that involves giving players super tiny clues that, by themselves mean nothing, but when combined with a few of these mini-clues, will hopefully get people to guess the answer!
  10. Untitled game by Top Secret publisher – not announced yet – but a party game that requires the use of an app. It’s pretty clever, if I do say so myself!
  11. Top Secret game by Top Secret publisher – not announced yet – but it’s a quick reaction zombie game that can be used with an app – or without. I like that the game has an arc/story to it even though it’s a quick reaction game!
  12. Top Secret game by Top Secret publisher – not announced – not even signed yet – just verbally…a quick reaction animal game that’s great for the entire family – but also scales in difficulty if just adults want to play.

To top it all off, we’re working with a couple of comic book creators on some games based on their comics! I’m super excited about these three projects because I’m a fan of each of them!

So it’s going to be an exciting year! Some of these might get bumped into next year, but regardless, get ready for a lot more game-related Facebook posts soon from both of us! 🙂

-Jay Cormier

The Bamboozle Brothers’ GenCon Experience

IMG_2556Wow what a whirlwind adventure! This was my first visit to GenCon and I loved it! I hardly got to experience most of what GenCon had to offer as I was busy pitching games almost every hour of every day – but no complaints from me because that was so fun!
Sen and I followed our own steps on how to prepare for a convention (it’s actually been awhile since we’ve attended a convention that wasn’t The Gathering – which doesn’t follow normal convention rules for pitching!). We set up meetings with 10 different publishers via email so that the afternoons of Fri and Sat were packed – back to back meetings all afternoon.
Thursday night
Sen arrived the day before but I flew in and got to the convention just before 5pm…which was good because we had a meeting set up with Dice Hate Me at 5:50pm!
Our first stop was at the Oni Press booth to set up a meeting with Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Charlie Chu as luck fell in our laps when Sen found himself in the right place at the right time and learned that they are looking to make a game out of the comic Sixth Gun. Meeting was set for the next morning – perfect!
IMG_2553Now it was time to meet Chris from Dice Hate Me. We had created a separate folder for each publisher we were meeting with and then put our sales sheets in the order that we thought each publisher would like each of our games. The pitch went great with Chris from Dice Hate Me liking Law of the Jungle, 9 Thieves and a game from Sen and another designer called Burning Rubber.
IMG_2571Then we went to the Nerd Nighters charity event hosted by JR Honeycutt (whom I met randomly on a trip to Texas 1.5 years ago!). We got to chat with other designers like Kevin Nunn and Luke Laurie about game design, which was really interesting. Then we had to head back to help demo our game, But Wait There’s More in hall D. We had a good turn out and since they were all adults, that allowed us to test our new Naughty Version expansion and was ecstatic that it went over better than expected! Yay!
Friday
SpielWe started the day with me trying to get one of the 100 per day copies of Mysterium that Asmodee had but the lineup was too big even though I bee-lined it to their booth. Boo. Ok, next we had an interview set up with The Spiel. If you’ve ever been to a game convention then you’ve probably seen them as they wear white jackets with large coloured meeples on it! The interview was fun and humorous and should be posted soon.
Next up was our meeting with Cullen and Charlie from Oni Press. It was Sen, me and Jon Gilmour (designer of Dead of Winter) in the meeting with them. I won’t go into all the details but it was exciting to chat about the possibilities of a Sixth Gun board game with them! Then Cullen said we really need to chat with Matt Kindt….Matt Kindt!!! For those unaware, he’s one of my favourite comic creators! Cullen took a photo of Sen’s business card and texted it to Matt – who reached out right away and set up a meeting with us.  Cool!
Jon Gilmore, Charlie Chu, Brian Hurtt, Sen, Jay

This happened! Jon Gilmour, Charlie Chu, Brian Hurtt, Sen, Ja

So now it was time to jog on over to our first actual pitch of the day. The exhibitor hall is ginormous that no single photo can do justice and so it can take quite awhile to get from one side to the other – not just because of the size of the hall, but also because of the amount of people you have to navigate through. This place was packed!!
RnRFrank from R&R Games was ready for us when we arrived and we chatted quickly about our game that we already have signed with him and learned that they’re really just trying to figure out the art for it as they want to get it right. Then onto the pitches. I love pitching to Frank because he’s very straightforward and that keeps things quick and still professional. We’ve perfected our pitch process now and so we really know how to use our time wisely with publishers. You never know if a meeting is going to get cut short or not!
Our process now is to bring out the previously mentioned folder (with sales sheets in order of importance for that publisher), and go through all of our sales sheets quickly. We preface the pitch by letting the publisher know that we plan on going through a bunch of different games quickly, using the sales sheets, and then the publisher can pick and choose which ones they’d like to see or learn more about. This is a great approach because now the publisher doesn’t have to feel like a schmuck by saying no over and over again. Instead they can simply say that they want to hear more about this one and that one – without having to say that they don’t like these other ones!
Frank liked our game 9 Thieves and Chrono Chickens! As per usual though we needed to keep the prototypes for the rest of the event to show other publishers. We could always come back near the end to hand over any prototypes.
FoxtrotNext we met up with Randy from Foxtrot who liked 9 Thieves and The Mystery of Mister E! A fan of the deduction game!
ZManWe met up with Zev from Z-Man and showed him our mini Akrotiri expansion as well as the rest of our games. He liked 9 Thieves as well! Martin from Filosofia came over and we chatted about our game Junkyard that they’re going to re title to Junk Art and will be released as the second game in the Pretzel lineup after Flick Em Up. We also chatted through a scenario for Flick Em Up that we were asked to design! He showed us the first expansion for Flick Em Up and it was awesome! Horses and ramps!! What a cool game!
APTravis from Action Phase was next and he really liked Law of the Jungle, 9 Thieves and Pig Goes Moo. He was cool with us sending him Print and Play files for the games though, so that’s cool!
Then we got to meet with Hasbro! We met Dougall at The Gathering this year, and so we were already very Hasbrocomfortable and friendly with him. We pitched our games in the usual way and he was blown away (I might be exaggerating to inflate my sense of self importance) by the quantity of games that looked good! We played 9 Thieves and a couple games from other designers – Snap Shot and Burning Rubber. Then our time ran out but he wanted to see more so he set up a time on Saturday morning to the rest. Fantastic!!
RenegadeWe had to boogie to our next pitch which was with Scott from Renegade Games. He expressed interest in SimpliCITY and Pig Goes Moo!
IMG_2570And thus concluded our pitches for the day though we did a couple hours of demoing But Wait There’s More which is always fun and funny. It’s so great watching people experience the game for the first time and realizing how funny this game is!
We thought we were meeting up with Matt Kindt after this but we rescheduled for the next morning. So I played my first non-prototype game at the con and it was Flip City from Tasty Minstrel Games! Neat game! Then we met up with Level 99 Games and played their new battle game, Exceed. We were joined by Josh Cappel and had some interesting conversations about graphic design.
Saturday
We started the day by meeting up with Dougall from Hasbro again. We only had 30 minutes but it was enough to try a couple more games and for him to express interest in Chrono Chicken – but only if we can come up with a better theme (and we think we have one!), as well as The Mystery of Mister E! That could fit in their Clue line up of games.
Then we shimmied over to meet up with Matt Kindt at the Oni Press booth. This was the highlight of the con for me. Matt, Sen and I talked for about an hour, with Brian Hurtt coming in halfway through to join in on the conversation. We chatted about the possibilities of turning Matt’s comic, Mind MGMT into a board game – and wow, that was cool to just brainstorm with him! We’re going to think about it and see if we can make something happen! How cool would that be??!!?? Matt was a super cool guy who has recently fallen in love with board games. His passion about games was great and we have some good ideas that will do his property justice!! So excited about this – I. CAN’T. EVEN.
Potentially the beginning of something amazing! Sen, Brian Hurtt, Matt Kindt and Jay!!

Potentially the beginning of something amazing! Sen, Brian Hurtt, Matt Kindt and Jay!!

Ok, back to earth and onto our next pitch which was more of a show and tell than a pitch. IDW/Pandasaurus had asked us to make a dice game for The Godfather as well as a Scotland Yard-esque game based on the comic Powers. We wanted to show them our progress on both of these games. First up was The Godfather game and they LOVED it! We’ve spent a lot of time play testing and tweaking this game to a point where we’re really happy about it! So glad they love it! Next up was Powers – which was presented as a Beta game. We walked through the direction we’re going with it and they were in full agreement on our decisions so far! Whew!
BD-TMGWe had to dart over to Tasty Minstrel Games after this to show Seth and Andy our Belfort Dice Game that we’ve been working on. We let them know that this was still beta as well. Normally we wouldn’t show a publisher a game that was beta but in both these last cases they seemed to make sense. It was a good opportunity to show what we’re doing and if they had any feedback that would change the direction of the development then it’s better to know now. And they did have direction! They thought there were probably too many dice in the game. They’re going to price it out, but we’re already thinking of ways to reduce the number of dice needed.
Then I got to meet Ryan from Mayday Games. While it’s great to catch up and meet with publishers we already knew, the big benefit of coming to GenCon for us was meeting new publishers and starting a relationship with them. Ryan was fun and after pitching one of our games and getting ready for our second he gave us a really nice compliment. He said that we’re the most organized and professional designers he’s met! That’s pretty nice to hear! We do take pride in our professionalism and strive to stand out from other designers (damn, why am I sharing this with everyone else then??!). Ryan liked a bunch of our games – Chrono Chicken, 9 Thieves, Law of the Jungle!
Next up? Shari from Ad Magic. Shari had agreed to publish our game Clunatics but wanted gameplay to be smoothed out a bit more. We fooled around with so many different ways to play this game and finally had a great suggestion from one of our play testers and it worked really well.  We showed her how the new version played and she really liked it! Yay! She assigned a project manager to the project and now we’re off to the races with this one! We had enough time so I pitched a game I’ve worked on with another designer named Shad Miller called Rack Your Brains. She had seen the sales sheet before and thought it looked interesting. I walked her through the first few rounds and she got it immediately and really liked it! We were in a rush but we left it with her and the project manager so I’m not sure if it’s happening yet or not!!
So we literally had to jog to a different hotel as we had signed up to give a seminar called, “How to pitch to publishers, the Bamboozle Brothers way.” We had borrowed a projector and we had a PowerPoint presentation to go along with our skits that went through all the steps on how we pitch our games to publishers. We had about 20 people attend the seminar and they seemed really engaged throughout, asking questions and taking notes. I really liked doing it and I think it’s just another thing that Sen and I do to try and give back to this community.
At 5pm we had our last But Wait There’s More demo to run alongside the publisher. Another set of fun people came and enjoyed themselves! Tons ‘o laughs.
For the first time, we got to actually go to a sit down restaurant for a meal! Crazy! Up until then we had been eating from food trucks and from inside the convention centre (dangerous – but the pot roast sandwich was delicious actually). We met up with JR Honeycutt, Tim Brown, The Spiel guys, Josh Cappel, Daryl Chow, Daryl Andrews and more at The Yard for a meal and lots of great conversation. Great stories from everyone about how their pitches went.
On our way out of the restaurant we bumped into Michael Coe and Nathan Hadfield from Gamelyn Games. That was serendipitous since we were on our way to a different restaurant to meet them! We chatted about our upcoming game that they’re publishing of ours called, Rock Paper Wizards and agreed to meet up again later in the evening.
First time meeting! Michael Coe, Jay, Sen, Josh Cappel, Nathan Hadfield

First time meeting in real life! Michael Coe, Jay, Sen, Josh Cappel, Nathan Hadfield

Crash-SCBack at the hotel we had arranged to meet up with Patrick from Crash Games. We really thought that he would like our game SimpliCITY. We were a bit bummed that SimpliCITY wasn’t getting a lot of love at the con so far. It’s our favourite game of the ones we were pitching. I think it has to do with the sales sheet I made. I think the art makes it look too busy and basic. Anyway, we played it with Patrick and everything was humming along and we scored after the first round. Then you could almost hear the click as Patrick ‘got’ the game. He really liked it!
IMG_2614Then it was back to the hall to meet up with Gamelyn Games again. We chatted about the direction they wanted to go with Rock Paper Wizards and Josh sketched up some ideas for the cover. That’s a fun meeting! We’re thinking of aiming it more towards a family friendly type of audience since we know that gamers will like it no matter how it’s packaged. Michael really wants to get this game into mass market so the packaging really needs to appeal to that market. Then we played Tiny Epic West – the next game in the Tiny Epic universe, and had fun playing it and providing some feedback afterwards.
Sunday
Renegade-SC-giveSunday was all about re-visiting publishers to hand over our prototypes. We had some decisions to make about which prototype should go to which publisher. It’s a great position to be in when multiple publishers want your games! So we had to factor many things into which publisher we should give our games to, but their need for exclusivity – that was a big one. Some publishers requested this and that makes it hard for us! We did give some of our games to publishers that wanted exclusivity but usually it was based on their enthusiasm for our game and their promise of how much time they needed. We also found out that Dice Hate Me was also interested in our word game, Lost for Words! Huzzah! I’d love for that game to find a home!
Patrick from Crash won the Bamboozle Lottery! He gets to take one of our prototypes back with him!

Patrick from Crash won the Bamboozle Lottery! He gets to take one of our prototypes back with him!

Some of our games went home with two publishers if they didn’t care about exclusivity, so it was smart of us to bring two copies of each game! We are so SMRT! One publisher was doing print and play and Hasbro wanted us to mail him copies afterwards as he didn’t want to carry all of them back with him. So we got rid of all of our prototypes with the exception of Herdables. Boo. And we had just found a way to make the game even better too. The good news is that Huch and Friends likes that game and was interested in publishing it (and gave us the OK to pitch to other publishers at GenCon). So now we will let them know about the recent changes and that might motivate them to publish it!

So as of right now, we have no prototypes without a home! That’s a great feeling!! GenCon was even more exciting than I thought it was going to be. I wish I was there longer as we had more publishers we could have pitched to if we had the time. Next step for us is to email all these publishers to touch base with them after the con, and to ship out prototypes to Hasbro. Stay tuned if there are any takers!!
-Jay Cormier