Well, it’s that time of year again. The orange-colored candy in the supermarket makes way for pumpkin-related paraphernalia, and I find myself with a desire to write. Last year I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time because I was under a lot of pressure to get all the story text for the Gloomhaven scenarios written, and I needed some motivation to get it done.
I didn’t get it all done, but the process was still helpful, and I felt I succeeded in my task, despite falling short of the 50,000-word goal (more…)
As production finishes up for Gloomhaven, I find myself returning to the game to complete some unfinished business. It has always been my plan to release some extra content for the game online once it is finally released, but that day has been so far off for so long, those plans seemed perpetually stuck in the back of my mind.
As the release of Gloomhaven grows ever nearer, however, it looks like I should actually put in the time to get the extra content finished and make it special.
One of the main reasons I want to provide additional content for a game that already has a stupid amount of content is that I still feel beholden to my backers and supporters. We raised almost $400,000 during the Kickstarter for Gloomhaven, constantly unlocking crazy stretch goals, but in the year since then (I know, it’s been a year…), I’ve received over $100,000 in additional pre-orders. It seems to me that that is deserving of at least one more massive stretch goal.
Equally important, though, is my hope that releasing more content for Gloomhaven digitally will encourage other people to do the same. It’s the same reason I ran the contests for fan-made scenarios during the Kickstarter. I wanted people to see how easy it was to pick up the game system and run with it in new directions, either within the campaign world or in an entirely different world of their own creation.
I really hope Gloomhaven will attract a vibrant, creative community that will come up with stuff I never imagined. I think I was the right person to build the system, but I will be the first to tell you that there are better story-tellers out there than me. I think people will be pleased with the campaign and the world I created, but the systems full potential has yet to be explored creatively.
Of course, there are some inherent issues in releasing digital content. Gloomhaven is not a video game after all. It is a physical product, and its physicality is a large part of its charm. When I offer you a PDF of new item cards you can download and print out, there’s no way they’re going to look the same as the item cards that came in the box. Since you don’t have to randomize your items at any point, the difference isn’t game-breaking, but it can still be disappointing.
In the grand scheme of things, what I’d like to do is, after a year or so, possibly round up all my favorite digital content for the game, and actually get it professionally printed as a mini expansion. As for bigger expansions to Gloomhaven, well, that’s a discussion for another time.
I am not an expert at auction games by any stretch of the imagination. I enjoy Vault Wars, but, other than that, I can’t even think of another auction game I have had a good time playing. I guess Castles of Mad King Ludwig was all right.
So how was it that I decided to throw an auction mechanic into my new project and ended up really liking it? It certainly wasn’t my intention at all. (more…)
Now that I’ve had sufficient time to recover from Gen Con and shoot some videos of me killing skeletons, I have finally returned my gaze to the latest project, lovingly titled “Nameless Factory Game, except not actually about building factories.”
Last time on our intrepid adventure, I had just gotten back from a failed play test session in which my carefully thought-out plans to stop players from being complete dicks to each other had totally failed (more…)
I was finally able to test the new design for the game I’m working on last night, and…it did not go very well. Before I talk about that, though, I should probably take some time to better explain what this game is all about. Sometimes when I write these posts, I feel as if I am coming across as unnecessarily vague. Of course, it’s hard to describe a game when so many things are still in flux, but I figure I should be able to describe the basic framework in more detail.
Okay, here goes (more…)
Nothing works the first time you try it. Even the best ideas require a lot of iterations before they turn into something remarkable. When people ask where the idea for Gloomhaven came from, I tell them that the game started as dice-less tactical game where players controlled an entire squad of characters. It was clunky and slow and I threw it away for a long time until I hit on some new ideas that allowed me to take some aspects that I liked out of that game and evolve it into something completely different and more streamlined (more…)