Thank you for 2015

This is it. 2015 has come to an end. Many months ago I posted on my blog an article called After the battle. Basically, I was convincing you that 2015 would be freaking awesome.

Don’t want to brag, but hell, was I right!

Let me just name three games. Pandemic: Legacy. Blood Rage. TIME Stories. Some pretty nice additions to our hobby.

And I tell you this – I strongly believe that 2015 will be a year we will mention a lot in the future. The year when a very strong accent was put on storytelling in board games. We had these ideas floating around for a while: we had Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective that was some sort of an interactive story. We had Tales of Arabian Nights that were a crazy interactive story. We had the Voyage of the Beagle expansion which is basically some sort of a Robinson Crusoe Legacy game that everybody asked me for.

We had these ideas but they were not ready, not well laid out, not well presented, not well executed. If I can say so, there was Tragedy Looper but we were still waiting for something. We were waiting for TIME Stories.

Now these ideas are well laid out. Now other designers can be inspired. Now our worldwide brainstorming is taking place. Now our hobby is taking a deep breath and tries to discover new possibilities, ideas, directions.

2015 has added a lot of new items to the set of tools we designers have [at our disposal?].

We have new toys to play with.

Having some behind-the-curtain knowledge, knowing a little little little bit about what my friends – designers – are working on now, and knowing what I am working on myself, I can tell you this – I promise you: 2016 will be great.

Happy New Year, my friends. It’s gonna be awesome.

Edited by Piotr

Here is an idea…

pobrany plik

I am reading Troll Slayer by William King. This is an old Games Workshop novel, or rather a collection of short stories, dedicated to one of the most iconic characters of the Warhammer Fantasy world.

Let’s face it – the book is rather stupid. It’s just Gotrek and Felix marching and killing everything they meet.

The Polish translation is rather poor. As in most such cases, it was probably done by some young fan of Warhammer who did it for the lowest rate possible.

I know. There is like a million better books out there.

And yet, I am enjoying it entirely. I devour each page with a smile on my face. I feel my skin tingle after each of these short stories comes to an end.

How’s that possible?

Warhammer was my high school love. I discovered this dark fantasy world when I was a 15-year-old kid and I felt for it with my whole heart. I was running Warhammer RPG sessions, I was playing Warhammer Battle, I was really one hardcore fan. Years later I debuted in a Polish RPG magazine with a Warhammer scenario. Years later I founded Portal Games and Wthe arhammer section was a highlight of every issue of the magazine.

Today I make board games, but the fact is – I’ve lived with Warhammer for most of my life.

Next year I will turn 40. I might be getting sentimental during this holiday season, but I’m telling you this – reading about adventures of Gotrek is freaking awesome.

So here is my idea, folks. Take a book you loved when you were in high school. Buy a DVD with a movie you loved in your teens (yes, I am talking about Willow, mate) and treat yourself to the best Christmas ever. Magic works. Trust me.

 

edited by Piotr

I challenge you!

I challenge you! Honest publisher manifesto!Grant Rodiek in his recent interview said: “You can make a game that is functional. It is relatively easy to make a game that works and is balanced.”

These are the most honest and true words about game designing I’ve heard in a long time. Let us talk about submitted prototypes today.

***

I have my reputation. The Trash Guy. The Delete Man. The Mad Man. The guy who will play your prototype and tear it to pieces in no time. That guy.

How did I  get myself* this reputation? I receive prototypes every single week. Every single week I find in my Inbox new messages from designers who  have a prototype and are looking for a publisher.

It’s 50+ prototypes a year.

It’s 50+ designers looking for their chance.

It’s 50+ authors who contacted me and got a ‘Thank you, we are not interested’ reply.

It’s 50+ prototypes I throw in the bin every year.

Sounds drastic, huh? Well, I prefer to put it this way – it’s 50+ prototypes that failed me. Prototypes that were functional, balanced and boring as hell, prototypes that introduced nothing new to our hobby. They worked and that’s all I can say about them. There was no reason why I’d choose these prototypes over playing Bohnanza (published in 1997), Tikal (published in 1999), Tigris & Euphrates (published in 1997), Race for the Galaxy (released in 2007), Dominion (released in 2008)…

Among all prototypes sent to me in 2012 I found only one that was good enough. It was called Nobles of Paris and it was released in 2013 as Legacy: testament of duke de Crecy.

Among all prototypes sent to me in 2013 I found only one that was interesting enough. It was called Battle of York and it will be released in 2016 as Cry Havoc.

Among all prototypes sent to me in 2014 I found only one that was freaking good. It was called Tides of Time and it was released in 2015 as Tides of Time.

I looked into 50+ designs and most of them were functional. Most of them were balanced. Most of them worked. None of them had anything to offer.

***

Stop doing functional prototypes.

It’s not f… enough.

I challenge you. Surprise me. Deliver something exceptional. I want your best. I want your prototype to make my skin tingle. Give me more than a functional prototype.

Or leave my Inbox alone.

edited by Piotr, thanks!