My Essen Spiel 2017 Experience

So what happens when you take my last two Gen Con trips – one where I had a massive amount of games to sell to excited fans, and the other where I was a legitimate board game celebrity – roll them up together and then combine them with my previous Essen experience where I am overwhelmed and lost in a foreign land?

You get me absolutely losing my mind, pinballing from one disaster to the next, but yet somehow still having a good time and selling a lot of games in the process. Once again, I come back from Germany with very mixed feelings about the whole thing. I may have experienced some psychotic break around Saturday evening, but, looking back on it now, most of what I remember is the pleasant stuff (more…)

I think I might have a new favorite video game

So I was planning on spending some time today talking about PAX. If you are not aware, PAX is a more video game-centric convention that is on a scale more grand than anything in the board game world.

I went to PAX a week or so ago and had a great time. I sort of went on a whim with my wife after a fan invited me to go. The exhibit halls were overwhelming, but we eventually found our bearings and navigated ourselves to some games that suited our interests.

The most monumental moment, however, happened outside the main hall (more…)

My Gen Con 2017 Experience

So the big 50th anniversary of Gen Con finished up a little over a week ago, and it was, well, another unique convention-going experience to me. The closest experience I could compare it to, predictably enough, would be last year’s Gen Con. But instead of manning a booth that was being non-stop slammed because I was selling someone else’s popular game, this time the booth was non-stop slammed because of my own game.

Since I wasn’t selling anything, I made a lot less money, but at the same time, the booth led to a lot more personal satisfaction this time around, because there were throngs of people interested in my stuff (more…)

Unlock, Exit, and the allure of solving puzzles

I don’t know about you, but I love solving puzzles. Puzzles have a constant theme throughout my entire life. Most of the earliest memories I have involve literal puzzles with physical puzzle pieces. I remember one with Easter bunnies that was maybe 30 or 40 pieces. I loved that puzzle.

Anyway, as I grew up, that love spread into puzzles of all forms – anything that required logic and problem solving. My mom would buy be these “Mensa Mindbender” puzzle books and I would just spend hours going through them, solving everything front-to-back. It’s what I did for fun. I didn’t have many friends (more…)

After Gloomhaven

So let’s say you make a game. Let’s call it “Forge War.” You make this game, and a lot of people really like it, but a lot of other people really don’t. And while it pushes some boundaries, ultimately, it is considered to be just another Kickstarter game, and it is forgotten. Not by everyone, of course. It still has fans, don’t get me wrong, but it sits in the 800s on BoardGameGeeks’ rankings, one small game among a sea of them.

So you say to yourself, “I am happy I made that. I learned a lot from the process, and I am proud of it, but if I want to continue doing this for a living, how do I make sure my next project doesn’t suffer the same fate? I need to make something so monumental and epic, that it could never be lost among that sea.” And then you make that ridiculous, monumental game. Let’s call it “Gloomhaven.” (more…)