Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Millennium-The Board Game will be Available December 2017








By hook or by crook, as they say. Here's an update on Millennium. After a lot of consideration I revamped the entire game based on the good feedback from the Art Test conducted several months ago, which scored 70+, which I consider a bit low.

Understandably, the score was accurate because it was after all just a test for the preliminary artwork. So after the test I really took to heart all the good as well as the not so good criticism and revised every card in the deck.

Not to mention, I totally redesigned the box, which is the one you see above. I came across this artwork and couldn't resist using it as is and I think it totally works better than the first box.

As everything stands now, I hope to finish all the new artwork no later than the middle of June, but hopefully sooner so I can order my first prototype. I can hardly wait for that because I really don't know what to expect. Before I order the prototype I plan to run another Art Test and a Sanity Test, which I'm confident both will do much better than the first.

Stick To Your Goals!

My next goal following these two tests will be to fine tune the game in its entirety. Hopefully I won't be too far off but you never know. After revising the second prototype I can finally publish Millennium on The Game Crafter website and plan to send at least 3 boxes to reviewers, including, Father Geek, Boardgame Geek, and maybe Unboxed-The Board Game Blog.

These reviewers are all tentative and can change at any given time, but I'm shooting for these three first. If anyone has better suggestions, by all means please let me know and I will gladly post and link your game or website here.

As all game designers know, nothing is ever set in stone. The most important thing is the concept of your game and that its game play is interesting and yes, exciting. Right after the Art Test I rolled up my sleeves and really ramped up the overall design of this game.



Sometimes you get stuck along the way with one thing or another and try to find the best possible solution so you can continue moving forward. Other times, you just get bogged down with other design work and can't get back to your own game. A little of both happened this time and I was away from Millennium for almost 3 months. To the point I thought I'd almost given up on it.

Never Give Up!

I know that sounds insane but I think everyone second guesses themselves sooner or later. The thing is that as got back to the game, I was more excited about it than before because I had several small breakthroughs that unlocked certain obstacles for me and I think I'm over the hump at this point so it should be smoother sailing from now on.

I can finally see the finish line for the first time and that's a great feeling. You just never know how these things will turn out but you must have some level of commitment to begin with. Some level of belief that will carry you through to the end. Otherwise in all honesty you might never get started.

Posting the progress of the game is very helpful because it breeds inspiration and even deeper desire and commitment. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, folks. Let's face it, if everyone could do this, everyone would be doing this. It takes quite a bit of focus and determination to get through it. I'm claiming this game will be out in December and I intend that will be the case, but who knows if I'll be dead in the morning.

Believe In Your Dream!

Or if something else comes up among my other dozens of projects that demands all my attention for much longer than I expected. There's always a reason to quit something but if you really believe it can make a difference and of course make a buck or two, then those are two very good driving factors to keep you on track and moving towards your goal.

It's very exciting to me even if I sell one game. However, I realize unless something goes viral, you may not sell one box because sales are all about jumping on the band wagon. If many people are enjoying something, that tends to inspire others to join in on all the fun and be a part of the conversation.

Sometimes we just can't stand missing out on a good thing. Getting your game or any product to that point is not as easy as it sounds unless you hit the right chord at the right time. We'll see how it all pans out soon enough.

I can hardly wait!

To learn more about Millennium - See the game here:







Saturday, February 25, 2017

Get Your Board Game On With MILLENNIUM - Trains After The Apocalypse?

Jumbo Story Cards
Who has seen trains run after an apocalyptic event? Not sure but who cares because anything is possible after all.

I've designed 3 new Jumbo Story Cards, which help move the story narrative along at a nice pace.

In this scenario, players come across a partially disabled Amtrak Train, which turns out can still run because a small portion of the electrical grid is still intermittently functioning. (Go figure)

I'm working on re-designing all the cards so they match these so it'll be a while before I can say the main deck is finished. So far I've added a total of 6 Jumbo Cards and I hope to finish the Bridge Deck with 54 cards soon.

The reason for the trains is simple enough. Guys especially love trains and there's always a certain romanticism and a sense of freedom that goes along with trains so they're a natural fit for this game.

My goal is to design a game unlike anything or at least unlike most mainstream games on the market today.


For me board games are much more than games for the sake of gaming and cheap thrills. As a writer, I like to incorporate stories into my games with a through-line that has meaning above any conceit the game concept has to offer.

Let's face it, without a meaningful story behind these games, there's not much left except going through the motions of getting somewhere without any purpose whatsoever. That doesn't make sense to me.

I want players to feel this game and to experience it at a higher level than they're accustomed to and the best way to achieve that is to get players emotionally involved in this amazing journey from a decimated land in New Orleans to a more hopeful place up north in New York City where they were more prepared for an event such as this.

Despite the common belief that Doomsday Preppers only hail from the midwest, New York's subway system turned out to be a haven in troubled times.

Why Use Jumbo Cards?

Hey, when it comes to images, bigger is always better, especially when it conveys a sense of winning and accomplishment for players. Sure it's the Apocalypse and that's a very down and out event. However, contrasting and overcoming these dangerous and evil happenings is exactly what makes this game so hopeful, so positive and triumphant in the midst of such turmoil. Each player must struggle to survive during the most dire circumstances imaginable and that's what it's all about.

Imagine if you could learn to survive such an apocalyptic event. It's epic to say the least. But that's why the game begins with learning survival skills before you begin your journey northeast.

Back Image for Jumbo Cards


Final Destination Card

I think for the most part I've got this whole game figured out. At least from a wide angle POV it's all clear to me. It's the details that slow me down and take time to develop. Although I know exactly what I want to accomplish, there are always obstacles that keep me from getting there.

It's almost always about keeping costs down and finding a way to manufacture this game at the lowest possible price without sacrificing the quality of play. Easier said than done but since this is a prototype and basically a test edition, for now I have to find ways to deliver a full version experience on a smaller scale.

Some gamers put out a cards only version to test their concept. It's a good idea but for me I don't think card games are the same thing and are a different market altogether so I decided to include the board and that's really where things get complicated.

But hey, nothing is ever that easy. You just have to take a deep breath and dive in. Hopefully you'll figure it all out and make the numbers work.

Nothing is ever guaranteed in life but we can't let fear and uncertainty lead the way. I've said it before: This is not rocket science, but hell, it sure feels that way.

ONWARD!

I'm at the point of no return.
This game is on schedule to be released for this Christmas season (2017)

Follow the Millennium Story here:
<a href="https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/millennium" target="_blank">Follow the Millennium Story here:</a><br /> <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
New Millennium Game Box




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pixabay.com - A Great Place for Free Gaming Artwork

New Millennium Box Artwork
While I take pride in my artwork, I know a better option when I see it.

I found this artwork on Pixabay.com, which is a good place for free images under CC0 Public Domain. Although the site does have some limitations. And while no attribution is required, I like to include credits in my designs.

My own design on the previous box just wasn't the best design for the game so I took a shortcut. This new artwork (by ActionLiz) conveys the look and feel of most board games and gives the feeling of being inside the action as opposed to looking at it from a distance.

It fits Millennium's central theme and it adds a bit of curiosity to the game, which is what you want in a good design.

I thought of digitizing my own city on Photoshop but that would take time I don't really have at this point so I'm lucky to have found this artwork, which happens to be just what I wanted all along. I did modify it somewhat by adding ominous clouds and a flock of birds over the logo. Otherwise, most of the original artwork is intact.

What are the chances that I change this artwork again? Not likely but I know I'll tweak it a bit more even though I think it works as is.

As you can see, the first version of the box is bluer and features a flat skyline, which doesn't work as well as a view from above or inside the city streets on the new box, which offers a better perspective overall.

If I ever manage to sell enough games and Millennium becomes a commercial success, I'll certainly invite the artist for an interview.

As of now, this game is just in my imagination and I'm slowly teasing it out into the world, one frame at a time.

Right. Good luck with that.

One thing I can say about that is if your game is engaging and fun and meaningful to players in some way, your marketing will be much more likely to go viral (at some level) that can hopefully generate orders through word-of-mouth referrals.

It's all about strong publicity but your product has to be great or exceptional and even controversial. Controversy about the game or its designers never hurt anyone as far as I know. As they say, even bad publicity can convert into sales.

And for what it's worth, that's mostly a good thing.

Play on, Dream on!

*********************************

Aside:
My main struggle with any game design is to make it engaging, fun, and meaningful. That's the perfect trio in my book for any game (for adult audiences) to succeed at some level. And it's the hardest thing to accomplish because everyone's interpretation of these three ideas is different.

But you have to cover all your bases. That's the challenging part and if you can get through that (and dozens of other criteria) you're on your way to launching a popular game.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Millennium Board Game - Build it Up. What's in it for You?

Unfinished Millennium Game Board

Several weeks ago I conducted an Art Test on The Game Crafter website and wound up with some pretty good scores, despite a few valid criticisms, which I've taken care of.

One of the complaints was that the game board was too chaotic and too dark. You can see the new and improved (unfinished) board here on the left and judge for yourself. It's basically the same board but much brighter.

It's a fairly simple design but I did brighten the colors a bit and tweaked the grid artwork to emphasize it. Other than that, this is the almost final board I'll print and play test the following weeks and months.

Who's to say how this game will be received but my main focus is to make the game a challenge by allowing strategic decisions with every move.

Every time you roll the dice or pick a card and land on a grid you have the option to keep your position or to venture into the unknown and select a Wild Card that might place you in a better location on the grid. Although, wildcard dangers can be daunting if you encounter a bear or a hungry croc instead, for example. That will set you back several spaces on the grid and cost you about 500 points.

The coordinates are straight forward and work like any coordinates grid system you learned in junior high school so it should be familiar to all players.

New Millennium Box Concept

This board also works with 4 main Quadrants which are similar to levels that get you closer to New York City where larger groups of people have survived the nuclear blast. The object of the game is to escape Ground Zero in New Orleans and hike to the East Coast where your pregnant wife, Mary and a small group of Preppers has managed to survive, at least for the time being.

Of course, there are plenty of obstacles along the way, including errant Cyborgs (the year is 2158 after all) hungry wolves, bears, and bands of marauders, just to mention a few.

I'm also thinking about including a hospital in the New York portion of the board with Game Crafter's Custom Medium Punch-outs for future games to make the experience more visual and more interactive. This 3D device works well towards the end of the game.

Medium Punchout
What's in it For You?

As a game enthusiast there's plenty of uncertainty and there are a lot of decisions for you to make along your long journey to the east coast. Leaving the Bayou is no easy task, as many of the main roads are blocked and reduced to swamps now infested with hungry crocs along the Mississippi River, which you must navigate to get out safely.

Millennium Card Deck
So as far as production there's lots to do after 6 months of steady and almost full time work. That's scary when you think about it but if it all works in the end there are plenty of accomplishments to appreciate after so much work. Especially if sales are good, which of course is the ultimate goal after personal satisfaction.

When a game fails I believe it's because of a weak concept. Let's remember that your concept is the foundation of your game. If you have a weak or fuzzy concept, anything you build upon that will not stand.

Millennium's concept (The Apocalypse) is rock solid because we have proof of concept after so many years of similar movies, books, and board games built on this same idea. So while the core concept is not original, the game's themes and motifs must be fresh and stand apart. A strong concept is never enough. You must also incorporate a strong central theme to go with it and sprinkle in a bit of this and that to play up the emotion of the game and then you stand a good chance at succeeding if your marketing is in place. Meaning exposing or presenting your product to the right audience at the right time.

Cry me a River - Okay

These days you have to think of viral emotional elements that can catapult your game from mediocre to extraordinary. Nothing less will do. Nobody cares how many midnight hours you burned getting there or how much blood, sweat and tears you poured into your game. Cry me a river, ok. Does this game excite me and give me a feeling of belonging to its world and the culture you've built around it?

Does this game challenge me and make me think in ways I haven't considered before. Does it move me? Because sometimes entertainment is not enough. That's my two cents and my take on board games, for what it's worth. I'm a big believer in innovating and not following the crowd so that also comes with plenty of risk by itself but as they say, no risk, no reward. Very true.

video


Many times successful businesses are built on layers of failures along the way, which are also known as learning curves. It's just the way things are. As long as you know the fundamentals of sales and marketing and you are mindful of integrating those principles in all your products, you should be in fairly good shape.

Everything counts, though. Your artwork must be also be intriguing and fresh if you can get it there. There is much to consider at every turn and each element builds and depends on the other if you want your game to be successful.

All Green Lights

At this stage of the game I think I've got everything under control so far. I'm about half way there because completing the game as far as production is only half the equation. Marketing, publicity and sales are something else altogether and it helps to be well-versed in each of these disciplines and the subset of disciplines each encompasses. Branding is a big part of marketing, for instance, and something you must be mindful of at the outset. This is all about positioning in the marketplace.

So all the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle must fit in order for things to work and run smoothly. All green lights, as I like to say. Everything must be in place and on time. If not, we then have to see where things broke down in the chain of sales events. What was the weak link that broke the chain? Figure that out and you'll have a second chance to try again and improve your sales next time around.

The good thing about marketing board games is that it doesn't take a lot of money to get started. If you're a designer, you should be able to bootstrap a marketing plan to launch your game in no time because artwork is probably the most expensive part of getting a product together into production runs that are affordable.

Folks, let's face it. It's a long and winding road and usually it's littered with small failures that lead up to a successful product in the long run but you must remember to build your game on a strong foundational concept or global view that players can relate to.

Everything else is just curtains and window treatments.

Play on.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Millennium - The Board Game - A Dystopian Story Wrapped Around a Game

Millennium Box Concept
I'm almost finished with another game, (check out the ToughLove! game on the right column and its Trailer below.) although before I commit to ordering Millennium, I decided to test the artwork first. I know that's something I should've done sooner but I'll have to admit I wasn't aware of this feature on The Game Crafter website until I started to order it and I saw the Testing Button under the Management Column.

There's so much to learn about that website and it's easy to miss everything they have to offer. I have clicked on the Contests and Crowd Sale buttons to see what those links are all about too.

After several weeks I've gotten familiar with most of  The Game Crafter website and all it's offerings. So far I'm impressed with their site, although I've been stuck in several areas, which I have figured out by watching some videos. For a while I couldn't figure out how to manage the Decks section for designing the cards.

They do have an extensive selection of different cards to choose from. Everything from standard Poker decks to Tarot cards and beyond. The tricky part is figuring out how to order different Backs and Face combinations. But after watching their video several times, I was able to finally get the combination of Face and Backs the way I wanted them for the same deck.

It's fairly easy once you get the hang of it if you click on the Deck and Card pull-down menus to make your selections. I'll leave it at that for now. Maybe later I can expand on that if anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to help explain how it works. Although, I'm still not sure about the Random Cards so if anyone can explain that to me I'd be very grateful.

video

"Okay, so the learning curve is not all that steep but there are still some challenges."

Okay, so the learning curve is not all that steep but there are still some challenges. And I'll talk about those some other time. Overall, the site is fantastic and my only question is the profit margins, which seem low. I know we can set the margins however we want but one must keep in mind the retail price consumers are willing to pay for a particular game and factor that into the final price.

Standard markup being 50%, I can't charge $60 for a game (if my cost is $30) just to meet that markup. A more realistic price point is $35. That's about a $5 profit for each game or about a 15% markup at the $35 price point. Not exactly a killing but let's remember that prototypes for $35 are also unheard of in this industry.

So the bottom line is that even a 15% markup is still a fair deal, all things considered, and that margins will go up a bit depending on the sales quantities and discounts that come with it. If anything it's a great place to test game concepts, which I suppose is one of The Game Crafter's primary objectives.

"Just ask movie producers of films such as
The Road, Elysium, and The Book of Eli."


Okay, so on with the new Millennium Game concept. I'll post the Art Testing results here next time when I get that going and all done. I'm happy with the artwork so far but I'm open to anything and willing to change it if people don't strongly respond to it or identify with it on an emotional level.

Right now the art is standard Dystopian fare, if you will. At least in my mind. If you recall Cormac McCarthy's book and movie, The Road, that's somewhat the inspiration for Millennium.

Scene from the movie, The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I mean Dystopian themes are nothing new, of course, but they are trendy because of the times we live in. So in that sense it's a no-brainer. My main challenge is to put my own spin on it and my own sensibilities that evoke all those human emotions that tap into this kind of scenario for so many of us.

If you're wondering where any of the fun is in a game like this. Just ask movie producers of films such as The Road, Elysium, The Book of Eli, or any number of related stories, which have all been very successful at the box office.

"After all, you can only deliver so much fun with death and disaster."

Of course, we can't equate movies and board games on the same level, but the interest in similar themes is quite obvious and apparent. So what's good for the movies, hopefully is good for board games. However, that does remain to be seen or proven. That's why I'm here. If anyone is willing to take a chance on anything at all. I'm the first to raise my hand if it feels right.

That being said. There's always a tinge of doubt in just about anything we endeavor to accomplish or at least there should be. It's not negative thinking, it's just a healthy observation that nothing in this world is guaranteed, except that we're all going to die some day.
Bottom of Box

Great. That brings me back to my Dystopian game and whether it will succeed or flop entirely. Who's to say? In my view, the main theme, End of Days, and all the other themes laced within this story, this board game, are relevant, trendy, and sales-worthy.

The real trick is to design the game so it is challenging and full of surprises. That's what makes it "fun" so-to-speak. At least that's the idea. After all, you can only deliver so much fun with death and disaster.

Okay, hopefully the masses will feel the same way and order Millennium in droves. That is the idea. That is the objective. Otherwise to design a game that makes people think and takes them to a place they're probably uncomfortable with and open them up to a deeper meaning or understanding about the world around us.

But let's not kid ourselves. Sales and marketing is difficult and expensive at best. If we're clever enough and lucky enough to get our product in front of the right audience at the right time, maybe we can make a sale or two. Yes 1% to 5% is not much unless you're dealing with numbers in the millions. Let's also realize that many other factors are at play at any given time during the marketing life of a product.


"It must mean something important to buyers--something almost personal."


People have to really like your product for it to generate valuable word-of-mouth mentions and reviews alike. The word provocative comes to mind. And so, one can only hope to design and market the next Monopoly, Scrabble or Scythe game. The game and its concept alone is just not enough to catapult it into the sales stratosphere.

A new game must tap into a player's consciousness and provoke their emotions on a higher level. A game for the sake of gaming and entertainment alone cannot produce massive sales numbers without having a wow factor that transcends the object of the game itself.

Aside from the game's themes, a sales-worthy game must reach into the hearts, minds, and souls of prospective buyers. (yes, I just said that) It must mean something important to buyers--something almost personal.

Right. Enough of that. Here's a link for Millennium where you can get a better feel for the concept and all the artwork that goes with it. (A work in progress.) Here you'll find most of the Action Shots and a short game summary plus you can download a PDF copy of the Game Play Rules.

That's another thing. I don't believe in complex games and rules. The simpler, the better. I think most gamers feel that way so that's nothing new but my point is that gamers shouldn't expect a long drawn out novel or even a short story version of Millennium to permeate the game in any way.

If anything, I can equate the concept, its execution that is, to a short poem of sorts. Although, I have to say--that's something still up in the air because I think a short story about Millennium in the rule book is probably a good thing.  It certainly appeals to me because I've written several novels but I don't know how gamers feel about it.

Again, that's easy enough to find out in the upcoming play testing of the game where I might include a very short survey to find out just that and several other things I think are important to the design of this game.

Your comments are welcome.

Next time I'm going to post another game I'm about half way finished with. It's a time-travel theme and unlike Millennium, Warpd! is actually funny.

Until then ... Game on!

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Board Game Nerd Alert! - Nerd Alert! - Nerd Alert!

I'll get you suckers!
The real story starts here. Way back in the darkest corners of my mind and the darkest corners of my dingy basement too.

When I opened my long forgotten idea box I expected heavenly angels to sing and those Italian opera ladies in the Shawshank Redemption to blow me away with a mighty rendition of The Marriage of Figaro?

Scratch the vinyl right here folks! All I got was a chorus of rats that had gnawed everything inside to kingdom come.

What was I thinking? Steel vaults are the only sure thing against mangy rats. But the genesis of this story is much more sinister than that.

It all started when I met my first wife. And yes, that's how it all came crashing down in Florida 10 years later. Somehow I've survived.

"Something good has to come of this, I thought."

This was not the plan. But it's all I've got so I have to run with it. I'll spare you the fascinating details. Well, sort of because that's where ToughLove! comes in and takes over where my unfortunate marriage left off.

So I took all the lessons and all the hate, and all the contempt and even some of the forgiveness (tear drop) I could muster and I boxed it in the form of this whacky new board game.

Really? Is that what it takes to finally find my mojo and get my life together? Uh, no, but it sure feels that way. What else do I have to show for it? Other than nothing at all. Except for my improving health. Thank you for the heart attacks my good Lord.

Okay, this is supposed to be funny. That's the point so I'll try my best to keep it that way. Three nervous breakdowns and two heart attacks later and I'm still here. Now that's a miracle to sing about. (Get a clue dumb-ass. This is real life. What did you expect the life of Caligula?)

Uh, yeah but I fell a little short. Right. Haven't we all? Get over it. (Didn't your daddy...!)

The Bottom of the box. (So far)
Okay... deep cleansing breath... flashbacks from Full Metal Jacket scene... count...1...2...3.

Where was I?

Oh, right. That reminds me I'm also thinking about a  military themed game.

Still tinkering out the kinks for the concept but I think it's going to work. Bare with me. I'm supposed to be working on it now but I decided to take a few minutes out of my 18 hour day to get something off my chest. Gotta mix it up a bit or go crazy, you know.

O...kay, I've enlarged this box so you can read the cards. I'm only about a third of the way with the deck. It's really the easiest part of the whole process for me but it does take some time. No rush. I'm only 10 years behind the times. Well, most of the time I'm ahead of the curve, which can be a double-edged sword, if you know what I mean. Timing is everything. And that's a cliché you can believe in when it comes to marketing.

"Everybody wants something for something."

Okay, marketing, that's a whole "nother" book right there. I won't unpack that right now but I've got volumes to say about that for another time. I just wanted to jot down a few ideas and get this blog rolling. I can't even put ads on here for another 6 months. What a gyp!

Right. Hard-knocks rule #1:

You gotta prove yourself first. Got it. There are no shortcuts. Well, there are some shortcuts but only so many. You always have to pay the piper. In this case, Blogger.

I've taught this to my kids religiously. There's only one thing you have to know about life. Everybody wants something for something. (I know, I know. Who's Who won't feature me with that one.) There is no free lunch. Well, again, there are free lunches out there but they're horrible and you wouldn't feed them to your dog.

Okay, enough nonsense and negative talk. Let me channel my worse half and practice positivity for a change. (Good heavens.)

Let me tip-toe through the tulips for a nanosecond.

Now let's get on with the real show. Let's bang out the meanest and most derelict board game ever devised in the history of all board games. Well, kinda. It's a lot like screenwriting. No one really knows what's going to turn into a big hit. That's what they say but I'm betting Michael Bay knows exactly how to write a hit just about every time.

Okay, meanwhile, I've got to get to designing my other games. And I'd like to see what you have in mind. Don't be shy. Our secrets are safe here. You're welcome to promote your games on this blog and if I like your game I'll be happy to feature it and write about it.

 There's a method to all this madness and that's what I've got to put down here. One blog post at a time. Totally off the cuff. I don't write any other way. If I planned these posts they'd never get done.

It's all in good fun, folks. We're not trying to find a cure for cancer. Just trying to capitalize on trends and make a buck or two. That's still the American way.

Urah!

Don't be a stranger. I'm here for you too.

(mic-drop)

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Game Crafter - Board Game Nerds Rejoice!

Newsie 1930 (Could be my long lost boy?)

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Imagine the Newsies of the 30s touting their headline newspapers for a few pennies. What a gyp!

Okay, that doesn't fit in with this story but it sounds funny (I think). Do Newsies go as far back as the 1800's? Because that's when this board game story really begins. And they sure had plenty to shout about in those days too.

Far from the days of Newsies, today's internet can and is usually tailored to each individual taste. I'm often amazed how my home page features so many things I'm interested in. How do they do that, I wondered? Oh, I forgot. I had subscribed to those stories a while back.

No wonder I keep seeing articles about antiques, science, and board games, just to name several of the dozens of topics I hand-picked off my news feed months ago. Go figure. I thought it was magic.

Okay, okay. Let me get to it. Zoom in to present day and now we can all geek-out on board games and all things about the wonders of making board games and card games too. No, this is not your grandfather's board game machinations. Although, some of them haven't changed much since. Uh, just for the record, ladies, I'm not really a nerd, I just look like one (a lot) and I play one on blogs like this.

I am a connoisseur (at least in my own mind) of all things antique and often nostalgic for the past. Well, not too far back, I'm partial to the Civil War era and I'm the love child of a 60's Flower Power chick so that explains a few things.

"Blogger is not being nice to me!"

Point is, most of us grew up with good ole' Sorry! The Game of Life and Monopoly, among others. Take a look at one of the first prototypes for Monopoly going back to the early 1900's. (Yeah, I really did my research on this one, folks.)

At least that's the claim about this cardboard mock-up below. For all we know it's a bad imitation someone cranked out on a drunken stupor. It looks legit, but who's to say. The Shroud of Turin was also believed legitimate and look how that turned out. Now that's funny!

Monopoly Game board, circa 1903?
I came across another round board game from the early 1800's. They seemed awfully fond of that shape. Take a look at this beauty. (below) I dug it up on one of my favorite online antique shops (Ruby Lane).

Published by the McLoughlin Brothers, they called the game, "A novel and fascinating fame with plenty of excitement on land and sea."

Imagine that. The game follows the adventures of Nellie Bly, which is a pseudonym for the American journalist Elizabeth Cochrane. It's said that in 1889, she sailed around the world in 72 days, breaking Phineas Fogg's record, the character in author Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.  Yes folks, Women's Lib (the real story) was alive and well back in the day too. Priceless folks.

Check out these detailed images

Center of the Board. Notice the red fold mark!


Detail from Nellie Bly's Board Game. Notice the 17th Day. Stormy and if you landed there, GO BACK 5 DAYS!