GameStorm 14: Weekend in Review

Kickstarter Places Tabletop Games

gamestorm prototype testinggamestorm prototype testing

Showing off our game prototype at the Game Lab. Photo: Erik Wecks

The biggest reason I didn’t play as many games as I thought I would was that my own game ended up taking a lot of time. Years ago Erik Wecks and I started designing our own board game inspired by Watership Down. Erik had just read it for the first time and he said, “This would make a great board game!” So, not knowing much at all about how to design a board game, we plunged headfirst into it. The first iteration was entirely unplayable and we scrapped it. I can’t even really remember what the second through sixth versions were (though I might still have the rule sets on my hard drive somewhere). By version seven, we had a nice tile-laying, resource-management game with battle mechanics and cards and bunnies … and it took three hours to play.

That was about the time I moved away to western Kansas, and we all but shelved the project. This weekend, though, we discovered the Game Lab, which is all about designing and prototyping and playtesting board games. We thought, heck, let’s pull it out and show some people and see what happens. Lo and behold, we got some terrific feedback, did a massive rules overhaul, and playtested even more rules changes on Sunday, and I think we’re finally on our way to a pretty cool game.

There’s still a lot of work to be done, for sure, but I think we were both inspired to finish the game now. Erik will be writing more about the Game Lab itself and we’ll try to collaborate on a game designer diary. (Though we can’t tell you all our secrets yet, of course.) Hopefully sometime in the not-too-distant future we’ll be telling you about yet another board game on Kickstarter, only this time it’ll be ours!

So, that was my weekend. As always, there were too many things to do and not enough time to do them. I missed the screening of “Going Cardboard” (but only because I got my Kickstarted copy of the DVD the week before and watched it ahead of time) and I also missed The Doubleclicks concert (but am hoping to catch them at a concert next month). I’m definitely planning to attend GameStorm again in the future.

Many thanks again to GameStorm for providing press passes and a fantastic weekend, and to K.C. Humphrey and the Game Lab folks for re-igniting the game designing spark!

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