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.


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


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!

Friday, October 7, 2016

District-Z The Zombies Are Coming!

The city is overrun with undead and you are one of its last survivors. Kill the zombies, stay alive, and escape while you still can! But be careful, zombies await around every corner. They are desperate and eager to sink their teeth into you and make you yet another member of their growing legion.

DISTRICT-Z is a zombie-killing card game for 1-4 players in which you must survive and make your way to the safety of the City’s Edge. Each game takes about 30 minutes or less to play. The game “board” is always randomly generated and determines the layout of the city at the start of each game. The game is easy to play and easy to learn and allows players to get into the action right away.

During the game, you play the role of one of the six Survivors. Each one of these Survivors has a special ability that helps you on your way to the City’s Edge.

During your turn, you must visit different Location cards. Each Location card has an Event Table at the top of its text area. This table is used to determine what happens as you make your way to safety. When you find a Location Objective, survive and make your way to the City’s Edge. A multi-player game is semi-cooperative, however, you must be the first to escape the city to win.