Thursday, January 31, 2008


This week has been a whirlwind of suck at work - I'll try to get a post up this weekend.

Monday, January 21, 2008

HellDorado, Age of Gods

Hell Dorado is creeping closer and closer to its English release.

The official rules are now available in English. This file doesn't include background, setting, or any units. But it's a sign that the game has advanced.

And you can get the unit stats on the basic HellDorado site. You just need to do a bit of work to figure out what is what.

I'm really excited about this. Ever since I helped run demos at GenCon '06, I've looked forward to this one.

I'll do a more in-depth post on the game when it gets a bit closer to its English release.

In other news, my copy of Age of the Gods is now on its way.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

BoardGameGeek for Beginners, Part One

Originally uploaded by GameThyme
I know I reference BoardGameGeek (BGG) an awful lot, here. It'sbecause it's the single best boardgaming resource on the web. No question, no contest.

Unfortunately, it's not always very user-friendly.

I learned this after recommending the site to Ron, who games with us on Wednesday evenings. He came back the following week, and asked for help because he'd struggled with the site.

I figured it'd only take a few seconds to show him, but there's a lot to cover on the site.

And I sincerely doubt that Ron is the only person out there who has struggled with it. So I'm going to be (in and around other entries here) working on a series of entries to help you learn to navigate parts of BGG. "In and around other entries" means that my goal is one entry per month on using BGG. I may do more, but I may occasionally miss a week.

To start with, I figured I'd just post an image of the front page as it appears with me logged in.

My next BGG post will cover some of what you see in this image.

Just watch for the BGG for Beginners tag.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


For the last few months, I've had the opportunity to play a friend's prototype game. It's a lot of fun - and I'm learning a lot about what's involved in playtesting a game. I have a lot more sympathy for the team at Wizards of the Coast that has to decide what's balanced and what isn't for their Magic: The Gathering collectable card game.

My friend's game has significantly fewer abilities to balance, and already there have been long discussions on timing issues and the interaction between abilities.

With each revision of the rules, some elements get simpler and the game itself becomes more elegant.

It helps that it's a really fun game. He's thinking about entering it into the Seventh Annual Game Design Contest at KublaCon.

I also have a friend who is a publisher who asked me (totally out of the blue) if I knew of any game projects worth publishing.

I've previously discussed some of the magic of holding a prototype in your hands. And I've played some mediocre prototypes. This isn't one of them. I think that, if a publisher gives it a shot, it'll likely make it a good long ways. Even if it's not eventually published, it'll mark my friend as a designer to watch.

I don't want to say too much about the game itself, because I don't want to endanger its chances of publication in any way. But I'll keep you in the loop on its progress.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Diplomacy: An Update

Not two days after my recent post about what's up with Diplomacy, my FLGS posted this, and Funagain posted this.

I asked Brian at Phoenix what he'd heard - "It appears to be getting some 'artistic treatment to game components,' but beyond that details at this point are sketchy..."

Armed with more information, I headed to one of my WotC friends to ask some questions. Now, my friend has a great sense of humor and may have been pulling my leg, but it sounds like this won't be a 50th Anniversary set. In fact, this set is expected to have cardboard and paper components.

Again: My friend may very well have been kidding.

We'll know for sure in a few weeks when Avalon Hill/WotC formally release their 2008 schedule.