Last year, when I was writing about Sunday at Essen I told you about my problems with prototypes and that I couldn’t play them. Today’s post is a follow up to that story.
So as I was saying there was this author who agreed to give me his prototype and…
OK, just in case you don’t remember what I was writing 10 months ago, here is a link… http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/14725/essen-behind-the-sce…
Long story short – I did set up meetings with young authors but it turned out I am very busy and I can not play. I had to say ‘Sorry’ and cancel all playing sessions. I felt like a dick. Guys came to me and I had to say ‘Sorry, I cannot play.’ This sucked. I felt terrible. I promised them I would play those prototypes as soon as I reached Poland. I promised it and I really meant that.
So when I got home, I contacted my gaming friends and gave one prototype to each of them. ‘Read the rules.’ I said. ‘Teach me how to play. I need to play it next week. This is an urgent matter.’
I was resting after the fair, but my friends were learning how to play those prototypes. A few days after Essen I was ready and able to play them.
Wednesday afternoon. My friend Grzesiek came to my office with one of the prototypes. It was a card game. He set up the game. He explained the rules. The theme didn’t sound interesting to me, but well…We played. After a few rounds it turned out that the theme makes sense. And the game? I really liked it.
Finally we finished. It was the 3 player variant. ‘What do you think?’ I asked.
‘I like it.’ said Grzesiek.
‘I like it, too’ said Piechu.
‘It may be a great game when polished.’ I said.
I was excited. I really had a good time playing it. Grzesiek was cleaning off the table, but I stopped him. ‘I’ll take it,’ I said and I took prototype. I went home. I wanted to show it to my Merry.
Here is the thing – Merry hates prototypes. She is sick of them. She has had enough of playing my prototypes. When she sees an unpublished game, she runs away.
But that afternoon I didn’t care. I was so damn excited. I wanted to show her this card game immediately. I brought the prototype home, knowing that Merry will resist but I wanted to play it again and I wanted to play it with her.
So I made Merry play it.
And yes, she loved it too. We played twice that evening. ‘Will you publish it?’ she asked. ‘I will’ I said and I turned on my laptop to contact the author of the prototype.
I log in to BGG. I found the page dedicated to this prototype.
Awarded with Ducosim Boardgame Design Prize Contest 2009. Well, I am not surprised.
High ratings. Well, I am not surprised.
The author just found a publisher. Well, I am… what?! WHAT?! WHAT?!
‘There is good hope there will be positive news with regard to publication in the nearby future,’ said the author in the forum section. I look at the date of the post. Oct 30 2012. That means it was posted the day before. Fuck.
I am devastated.
I stare at the screen of my laptop and I can not believe it. The great afternoon with this amazing card game turned out to be the worst evening ever. Merry sees something is wrong. I look like a ghost. ‘What’s wrong?’ she asks. ‘He found a publisher.’ I say. Silence in our living room.
I mean, I was so close. I had the author at my booth. I had a meeting set up. If I only could have played it that Sunday I would have this game. I had it in my hands and I let it go. I will regret it for years.
Anyway, I write a geekmail to the author. I congratulate him on the great game. I congratulate him on finding a publisher. I wish him success with his great card game.
I go to bed. That evening sucked.
The next morning I receive a geekmail from the author. He writes (and I quote): ‘Thank you very much Ignacy! When I was writing about the positive news in regard to the publication, I was writing about you and your Portal Games. I had this strong feeling that you would like the game…’
If – at this very moment – this guy had been standing next to me, I would have killed him. I am serious. Dead body would lay next to my desk.
Luckily, he was not there, so I did not kill him. And today I can start this series of articles about The Legacy, an amazing card game that Portal Games has the honor to publish this year. But before we go into details about The Legacy and the stories about developing this game, I would like to ask you guys for a favor.
Please. Don’t ever do it again. No gut feelings anymore, ok? A few more young authors with a strong gut feeling and your beloved publisher will kick the bucket.