“Oh yes, Master of Olympus,” said Jim a few weeks ago, “A game I’ve still not played”. This was an oversight on my part: as Test of Time’s longest-serving playtester, his views on the game would be very useful. A chance trip down south gave us the opportunity we needed; Jim hoped that, in this… Continue reading Diary #46 – How Did That Happen?
“Meet by the entrance to Hall 3, 6pm” is not something you typically associate with a Discord channel. Once again the gaming went on late and we cast our critical (if that’s the right word) over some published games as well as prototypes. Under it all was a sense of moving the hobby and industry… Continue reading Diary #45 – The Not-so-virtual Playtesters
Not the most original title but standards change when you’re slumped in a chair with a McDonald’s. The gaming is still going back at the NEC but, after 12 hours, a lift back now was a better bet than two buses later. UKGE was easier when I lived in Birmingham. Two shifts with Playtest UK… Continue reading Diary #44 – Playtest Zone and Speed Dating
Why, if I believe games are about peer-to-peer interactions, have I been designing a solo mode for Test of Time? And why, if I have so little interest in the board game industry, have I been looking at vast publisher databases? The answer is simple: publication. Designing the solo mode has also pushed me out… Continue reading Diary #43 – Branching Out
“I’m not going to invest in making Test of Time eye-catching, that’s the publisher’s job.” Nice idea, but in today’s crowded marketplace even publishers need to be wooed. But could I do so without paying for professional graphic design? I decided to imitate the ancient-looking letters in the film poster above (Handmade Films/Python (Monty) Pictures… Continue reading Diary #42 – BIG GOLD LETTERS
I didn’t manage to spend 2020 travelling the world – two months in Europe was the next best thing. The last photo I took was this view of Mount Olympus: On returning home I decided to take my hobby back to basics and got some cardboard and building blocks out. First up was a game… Continue reading Diary #41 – Simple Pleasures
This photo shows the outcome of five years’ gaming and designing. It’s a bit of a mess: those chocolate boxes and biscuit tins contain prototypes, components and Lego, but I couldn’t tell you which is which. My various designs are in a similar state of disarray. Test of Time was rejected from the UK Games… Continue reading Diary #40 – Debris
The title of today’s diary entry comes from a book of the same name (publisher: Penguin, 1985) by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake. It tells the story of a boy who moves to a new town and meets a giraffe, a pelican and a monkey who work as window cleaners. In this analogy I am… Continue reading Diary #39 – The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me
My recent adventures left me with a huge to-do list: everything from fundamental card design to promotional material needed tweaking. I despaired of ever knowing where to start, until a couple of Gweeples came to my rescue. David and Pushpendra were keen to playtest the game a second time; this necessitated updates to the cards… Continue reading Diary #38 – How’s My Island?
It’s interesting how pressure can be motivating: virtual games lead us to download new software, conventions to refine prototypes and competitions to celebrate and share our work. I’ve just flirted with the third of these and the result has been some useful insights into the industry. Of the 124 entries into the Board Game Design Challenge… Continue reading Diary #37 – Pressure Point