31 October 2012

Website Development

In order to save money we've been looking at utilizing 99Designs.com for our website development.  With that said we would like to request our followers assistance with helping us to determine how it should look/feel.   We've been looking at other game publishers sites and some we like and some, well, not-so-much, but it's really about what our followers would think and for this reason we would like to get you to look at some others and provide us some input.  We listed a few below (with links) to help get something started and if you could take a look and tell us what you like and what you don't it would be incredibly helpful for us to have your input.  If there are other websites (game related or not) that you would suggest to us please feel free to comment on that as well and just tell us what you like or dislike about it.

Let us know which one you like best in our survey at right.

28 October 2012

Generals Revision Playtesting

In case you didn't see it coming, the news just wasn't getting better.  Every time we thought we had a bright shining light at the end of the tunnel it turned out to be a train called "Tooling Cost."  We had the capital to easily cover the cost of making the game components but tooling has proven our folly.
That said, our attendance at Phoenix Comicon seems to be paying off in a big way because of my discussion with Ken St. Andrew (in case you may have missed it you can look at our blog posts from late May and early June to catch up).  He was the one that planted the seed for the idea of Generals of the Revolution even further into the future and we think we have a way to make it work with a 'dumbed down' version of Generals where we would only have to manufacture the Caltrops (tooling cost was still $12k for that one) and with the extra capital available we could potentially have a larger first run of the game.
Then, for those who purchase the game, we could offer the other pieces as expansions of the game, or when the game gets popular and we have more capital we could offer the whole game as intended originally as a stand alone as well.  We already have expansion ideas for the whole game.
So this is where we now stand and this brings us to the main reason for the post.   WE NEED PLAYTESTERS :)
The more we get the faster we can get the rules written for the new game and hopefully get Mark started on some players aids, etc.
Who's in?

29 June 2012

Revolution Currency

Double Goodness tonight.

We got a follow up call from Ian to catch up on his trip to Origins and he wanted to let us know that while things have been a bit quiet between us for the last couple of weeks that he is working on concepts for us.  Something new that he has run across and started is a new website called IZombieU.com where he takes pictures you send in to him and turns you into a Zombie.
Ian Rosenthaler
If that is something you are interested in (i.e. like zombies, think you might want something for a Halloween Invitation, etc) then please visit our friends website to learn more or his Kickstarter page to help him out and get a picture of yourself zombified.
Also we got currency concepts from Mark for Generals of the Revolution which we hope to also use for the whole Revotution series (thus the 10 amount was thrown in as well).
We'd love to get your comments on what you think of the concept so help a brother out and post a comment with your thoughts.

25 June 2012

Caltrop Art Designs

Ian has been working hard on conceptual designs for the game pieces and recently submitted a 2nd Caltrop Design.  We're a bit partial to one over the other but would like to here input from followers of the blog:

13 June 2012


While we have recently seen an increase in the number of blog views and are greatly encouraged by that, it has been somewhat surprising that our Facebook likes have not increase at all.  We thought with the reception that we received at the con that we might see a small jump and it hasn't really been impacted to speak of.
Any thoughts from followers of the blog as to why?

01 June 2012

Phoenix Comicon

Comicon Day 3 Saturday May 26th

We had a large number of people stop by today.  Not many more were there to actually play but we got to talk about the game a lot more and mad many more contacts and expanded our network considerably.
The list in no particular order:
Ian, our artist, stopped by early and brought us quite the welcomed surprise.  He had put together some rought sketches and not so rought sketches of our playing pieces and put them into one nice display which we gladly put on display with the game.  It was certainly a great addition to the table.
While Ian and I were talking a photographer asked if he could take pictures of the game and after providing him with a pen we got to talking and it turns out that he did the video work for Crash Games website and Kickstarter presentation (a future blog post unto itself).  Indeed a small world.
Jesse stopped by while I was away and Rosie got to talk to him a bit about teh game and he later returned while it was being played and I was ablet o talk to him a bit more.  He's an artist and we have been impressed with his map capabilities on his website rivengard.com and he led us on to the Consim Expo in June.  He is just starting to build his portfolio and we look forward to future meetings and opportunities to maybe work together in the future.
Patrick and Codey from Combined Multimedia who stopped in long enough to play a game which drew other folks to look in and request information about the game. They are video game developers trying to start their own company as well and they do some webiste development as well.  Somethign we may put to use in the near future.  Patrick reemphasized the idea of utilizing 'baseball' cards for advertisement rather than the fliers we are currently employing much as Jay had mentioned previously and it will be something we will implement in the future.  People are more likely to hold on to them longer.
While Patrick and Cody were playing Generals of the Revolution, Ron, who lives and works in Mesa for Boeing, also stopped by and joined the game.  He seemed quite impressed with our game.
I talked with another board game developer, Ian (not our artist), who led me to others in the valley as well as potential manufacturers.  He told me about a local company that was exhibiting in the convention center whom I wanted to go visit but could never find the time to do so.  As it turns out it may not have mattered becuase I think I misunderstood the name of the company because I wrote down Iconica, but found no such exhibiter in the program and never was able to break away and make it over to the convention center.
Jordan requested that I show her and Rosie how to play the game and while doing so it brought a 7 year old boy to the table to play.  I had to inform him that the game was for older people, but with Jordans request it helped spark interest in other, older folks as well.  In fact that was the time when Patrick and Cody stopped by.

While strolling through the Con, Jordan and Rosie came across some other tools and contacts too numerous to mention here, but needless to point out at this time the convention was definitely time well spent.
While typing this up, it occurred to me that I should summarize some of the key learnings and contacts for future reference and that may also be a future post on the blog.
We have also since found out that the convention drew over 32000 people over the 4 days it was held.

We look forward to the opportunity to exhibit Generals next year and think we will likely be granted the opportunity again.

I thank everyone who provided input and for the great support from all including family and friends who have watched us with eagerness and interest.
THANK YOU once again!

29 May 2012

Phoenix Comicon

Comicon Day 2 Friday May 25th
Comicon Day 2 was pretty great.  For one, I didn't have to spend it alone all day without eating, for fear I would then have to go to the bathroom and leave all my stuff, because Rosie and Jordan, a girl from our church, attended with me.  While they spent a bit of time at the convention center seeing all the goings on they were there to spell me from just sitting all day and they brought me food.
First thing, almost immediately after setting up, Ken St. Andre stopped by to play the game and find out more about it.  I first saw Ken at Randomcon a couple of years ago.  He is the inventor of Tunnels & Trolls and he had some criticism for the game and much of it was quite constructive.  I didn't agree with some of it and likley won't do anything with what I disagreed wtih because some of it was influenced by his RPG background and that for the most part doesn't transfer to wargaming.  Like his argument that defense doesn't give you a strategic advantage.  I agree that it doesn't in hand to hand combat but in war I tend to think it very much does.  Look at the Alamo where a small number of men were able to hold off Santa Ana and his thousands.  Anyway, I digress.  He also commented that he doesn't like balanced games and that Generals of the Revolution was too balanced.  We will talk more about this in a bit.  With the negative were some constructive items.  He also had some input on how to make the game more accessible to the masses and reduce cost by making the game a battle of only infantry.  This really got me thinking and it opens up a lot of possibilities.  I opined making it a game of the past (ie. Generals of the Revolution 1800) and he said, "Absolutely not.  It's a game of the future."  Then he proceeded to take the introduction/story of the game, which I had told him earlier and expounded that 'after or due to that war the land had become a wasteland with resources very difficult to come by and on and on (I can't remember all of it and wished I had taped him going on.  He's a good storyteller), therefore building armies has become difficult.'  It will take elaboration on my part but I liked where he was headed and it makes possible the option of having a game with the same board components but with only the caltrops at a cheaper price and then people who have that game and want the full original version would merely need to purchase the expansion later and players who just want the original could by it that way.
Second, 2 more players came a little while after Ken left and they had some input as well.  One of the players, Jake, said that he liked balanced games and thought it played well.  When I told him about Ken's suggestion he simply stated, " Ken is unbalanced."  Apparently he knows who he is and suggested I take that input with a grain of salt.
There were many more people who stopped by to check out the game and we got to talk and polish my game description a bit more.  My enthusiasm for the game and my purpose for attending the Con started to brighten as well.
That night, four friends (Aaron, Michael, Ben, and Zach) stopped by and inquired about the game.  After hearing about it, they all decided to sit down and have a go.  It was a good time and even after I suggested they play a few rounds and then if they needed to move on to other things, one of them, Aaron, said, "No, we'll got until someone wins it."
They played for a while and then when Michael made a strategic move that went against an alliance that had previously been in place..  After that the game was on.  Ben made some rapid moves to shore up his defenses and then Michael made a move that pretty much was the writing on the wall and 4 hours into the game they all agreed that this game was going to take a lot longer and the only person that didn't appear to have a chance to win it was Zach.  They determined at that point (almost 11pm) that it was time for the nuclear option.  All four players rolled a d4 for the win and the high roller, Aaron if I remember correctly, was declared winner.
For documentation sake, it was the first time in all the playtestings I have viewed that a Level III Fight Kite lost to a Level I Caltrop.  Poor Zach little luck going his way up to this point and roled a 1 for his Fight Kite a d4 roll of 3 doomed his highly armed Fight Kite.
Jordan took a picture of the Crew and I need to get a copy to post here.
The Crew (Zach, Ben, Michael, and Aaron)
Afterward they all stuck around to provide their input abotu the game and volunteered their home for future playtesting if was ever down in Tucson.
Because Rosie and Jordan were there, I had the chance to go over and visit Michael of Crash Games over at their booth on Industry Row.  He is where I want to be by end of year and that is with one game on its way to market with a few others to follow.  He has a lot of knowledge that I would like to leverage going forward and he used to manage a game store, Game Daze, that a lot of people here in the valley would be aware of.  Later in the day he came by and took a look at Generals.  Immmediately he could tell cost was going to be a concern.  We discussed several options and he offered to meet with me in the future to enlighten my path goind forward.  And something as simple as a value meal would open the vault.  His words summarized.  I got a chuckle when he said it.
Michael from Crash Games and I discussing Game Designing
THANKS AGAIN to all who stopped in to play and inquire about the game. And Michael (the one from Crash Games) you can plan on a value meal some time after you get back from Origins.  We look forward to future correspondence with many of our visitors this day.
Thank you Jordan for the pictures