Topic: Design Diary
Happy 2015... here is what I have been up to since my last blog post:
If Churchill was a ship launching, we have hit the hull with a bottle of champagne and we are fitting it out. As I write this I just sent Mark Simonitch the final counter corrections and all of the cards, map, etc. are in final form. For those who like to clip counters you will be disappointed as all of the counters punch out individually with rounded corners. The last thing to do at this point is finish the final edit of the rules and this one goes off to the printer allowing me to move onto my next project. Watch Gene's GMT update for shipping dates.
RIBBIT: the Jump, Move, and Block game
My first self- published game is a deceptively simple classic strategy game whose closest cousin might be checkers. I have been testing it for a couple of years and since it was so different from anything else I have ever done it only made sense to publish it myself. The game takes about five minutes to play, so my experience is folks play out several matches in one sitting. It should take anyone who reads this blog about one minute to learn or you can go over to You Tube at the following link where you can learn to play in less than 4 minutes:
If it strikes your fancy you can find the game for purchase on Amazon at:
It has a DTP mounted board (8.5x11") with 16 wooden pieces (no counters). My young nieces and nephews play it all of the time yet it still generates tight competitive play amongst adults. It also has the virtue of being very light, so it travels well. All profits for the first thousand games are going to a charity for disadvantaged children. Lastly, if you do get a copy, please post reviews, as I have no advertising budget beyond what I can post through twitter and the various game forums.
FTP, WW, EOTS Reprints
What do you get if you cross the famous Brando movie, "On the Waterfront" and Otis Redding’s, "Sitting on the dock by the bay"? You get delayed shipping of reprints coming from overseas. The good news is the reprints for FTP and Washington's War plus a few others are done and somewhere on the US West Coast. The bad news is port delays are slowing things down, so hopefully we will all have our reprints sooner than later.
The good news is the 2nd edition of Empire of the Sun is at the printer, so without any shipping friction we should all have our copies by the spring. I am very excited about the solitaire system that comes with the second edition. I think it will allow folks to climb up the strategy learning curve more quickly. Expect to see the 2nd edition at the WBC tournament.
The reprint is in the graphics phase. I have one of the two maps and hope to see the second one shortly. All of the counters have been redone into their new format and they are gorgeous. Once Olivier completes the new graphics for the game the pace for finishing the rules will pick up. I do not have anything approaching a shipping date other to say that real progress is being made and after 30 years I am focused on getting it right not going faster.
War is Hell
I recently set up one of my favorite Napoleonic battle games, GMTs (Berg Billingsley) Battles of Waterloo. The reason I bring it up is I rediscovered an old brochure that talks about a large Herman/Berg ACW game, so here I am talking about this game 20 years later. The short answer is some research progress has been made, a map exists, and their is a set of rules, but progress is slow given my other projects. Just know, that this one will see the light of day, but dawn is a bit off.
I am in the early days of my design for a tactical WWI system. The focus is on the early career of Rommel as described in his book 'Attacks'. The first game of this series will feature scenarios that cover the western, eastern, and Italian fronts. Look for information on this new title in future blogs.
My good friend James Pei has done some awesome research on the Warring States period and I am starting to integrate that information onto the extant card set and work it into the scenarios. The v1.0 system exists, but I am now in the process of streamlining the design, while deepening the period theme. Look for more information as this title progresses.
I think I will leave it there for now, but very excited to see Churchill heading to the printers, Empire of the Sun at the printers and anxious to see how RIBBIT is received by the gamers.