- GenCon is, as ever, exhausting.
- I did not get a chance to step into the exhibit hall, even for five seconds. I knew that once I was in there, I would lose four hours of my day to it.
- Spent most of my time in the Tasty Minstrel Games demo room. Having it was a great idea. Teaching and playing a game like City Hall in the exhibit hall would have been difficult, given the crowd and the noise. Playing in a separate room gave me and demoees a chance to take our time and have fun.
- Unfortunately, there were no copies of the game for sale at GenCon. It hurt to have to tell people that when they asked where they could buy it in the middle of playing the game.
- Biggest surprise of the convention was when I turned around and a representative from Panda was standing there with the manufactured proof copy of Captains of Industry. My heart skipped a beat. With City Hall, I knew the advance copies were coming. This was a total surprise and all the more amazing for it.
- Captains of Industry turned out far better than I had ever hoped. I knew the gameplay is excellent </totally unbiased opinion>, but the box, cards, and board are a sight to behold. TMG and their graphic design team did an amazing job with my baby.
- The people who attend seminars at GenCon are much less interactive than those who attend the seminars at Metatopia, despite being more numerous. I need to have different versions of my presentation ready for each audience.
- The First Exposure Playtest Hall is unbelievable. It has 10 times as much activity as when I used it two years ago. Unfortunately I had no games to test, but I did test someone else's prototype there. Must-do for designers at GenCon.
- Giving a seminar is a great way to market yourself. Several people came up to me afterwards to say they found it informative, and those people were the ones most likely to come by the TMG room to play City Hall (I made sure my last slide had a map on it pointing out where to find me).
- Speaking of marketing, Battle Merchants (by Gil Hova) is a great game that has not received any. If you like economic games, check it out.
- It was heartwarming to have people come over to congratulate me on my first design. It's nice to be part of a community of people who create things for others to enjoy. I won't name names, because I will forget people if I tried to construct a list, but it meant a lot to me.
- Quixotic Games celebrated it's 10-year anniversary with a dinner at GenCon. Andrew Parks is the person who both introduced me to modern board games and sparked my own desire to design with his prototype of Ideology all those years ago. He also provided feeback and industry contacts over the years and I cannot thank him enough for his help.
- Every time I've ever flown anywhere, the moment I see NYC outside the plane window on my return I've felt a deep sense of relief and comfort. Even if I enjoy a trip, I love coming home. This time I actually felt disappointment in realizing that GenCon was over and I wouldn't get to wake up in the morning and do another 8 hours of demos. I didn't want it to end.
Aug 22, 2014
Aug 11, 2014
It's finally here! City Hall will be available at GenCon. Not only that, it will be part of Tasty Minstrel's Play to Win program. Just playing it gets you a chance at taking it home for free. Just come by the TMG demo room 137 (circled in the picture).
While I'll be spending most of my time there, at 10am on Friday, I will be giving a seminar on Cognitive Biases in Players and How to Leverage Them (SEM1454346) in the Westin's Chambers room.
If you'd like to get together for a game at the convention, send me a messge on Twitter (@vhgames) or email me (email@example.com). In addition to City Hall, I'll also have my Captains of Industry proto with me if anyone would like to try that out.
I'll use Twitter to update on my whereabouts during the convention.
Aug 1, 2014
Jul 21, 2014
For those of you waiting on delivery of the game, it got help up at customs for while, but passed inspection last week. This means that you will hopefully be receiving your games soon and that they will be almost certainly be free of narcotics and uranium. I cannot thank you enough for being part of ending my Wannabe status. However, being the gift-horse-mouth-looker that I am, I would ask for one more favor. After you've gotten a chance to play the game, please take a moment to rate or write about the game on BoardGameGeek (if you're a member).
The first few months after release are critical for a game's ability to reach a large audience, so any assistance in getting people to give it a chance will be much appreciated.
Captains of Industry
More information on this should be coming your way soon.
Gaming the Design
The next episode of the series is now up. I take a look at Gil Hova's prototype for Prime Time.
Tomorrow, July 22, at 7pm, I will be at The Uncommons in NYC with my copies of City Hall. Come by at 7pm and get to play the game early.
Jul 7, 2014
Pictures from my DexCon trip at the end of the post, but some quick hits here:
- My new game, FX, has a great central mechanic for simulating currency exchange rates. However, the pickup-and-deliver game I built around it is awful. I need to play a few more of those types of games to figure out the core essence I can boil them down to so it will be interesting without distracting from the central element of my game.
- FCOJ is not good as a turn-based game. It was worse than the TTR card game.
- FCOJ is still incredibly confusing for new players. I'd forgotten about that because I've been playtesting it with mostly the same 8 people for a year now. Getting new eyes on it was a good kick in the shin to remind me.
- It is fun to pronounce FCOJ as "fikozh".
- I am incredibly grateful for all the support that the Double Exposure team has given me over the past decade and was so happy to be able to premiere City Hall at DexCon. Giving me a private room with a good wireless signal for the final match of the City Hall tournament was also very nice of them.
- For anyone who is reading this and has played City Hall, please take the time to write a forum post or even just a ratings comment on Board Game Geek. It would really help me out, even if it is marked as provisional. I am afraid of it being drowned out in the crazy atmosphere of GenCon and would like to get people's notice ahead of the convention so it is on their to-do list.
- DexCon was a great start to my first convention season as a published game designer. I can't wait for GenCon and BGGCon!