2010/2011

2010

2010 was a big year for Championland. Most of the year was spent developing a video game version of the card game Pixel Lincoln. This is still in progress and very time consuming, but at the same time it’s really exciting. We also had our big Kickstarter campaign for Lines of Fire. We received the funding needed to produce the game in just 4 days, and by the end we went well above our goal. We shipped about 50 copies out to the Kickstarter backers and sold others at a few conventions since. The response has been very positive and I’m itching to make some additions/expansions to the game. Other than that, I worked on ideas for a handful of other games. Some are ready for production, some are still being developed. The usual issues of time and money have stood in the way, but it’s a new year and time for a new plan.

2011

In 2011 I would like to try out some new things. I’ve been working hard on learning both C++ and Objective C programming. Ultimately, I’d like to create some iPhone/iPad/iPad/iOS/etc versions of some of my board and card games. Why? Because the production is very inexpensive compared to a physical version of the game. These will not replace the physical versions. I’d like to be able to offer both. An app version for free or very cheap, and the limited collectors physical version. In order to fund a physical version, I may go back to Kickstarter or see if anything comes out of the apps. Just like the Kickstarter funding, any money that I receive from these games is going right into the next one.

As for the actual games, here are the ideas I have. I’d like to see an app version of Lines of Fire, Famous Missions, and Starts With/Ends With. I’ve been working on unreleased games like Cafe Catastrophe (100% done) and Wasteland (75% done). And I have ideas, sketches, rules, and notes on about a dozen others. I have a spider themed roll and move game that I’d love to do something with. The next step is a really nice prototype. That leads me to something that I need to do in 2011 that I’ve never really done before.

I need to take my prototypes and actually do something with them. I’ve never really pitched a game to anybody and I still feel uncomfortable with whole idea. But I need to make some connections and take some steps in that direction.

And finally I would like to get this website in order. It needs an update and some format changes. I’ll be working on it very soon.


This weekend: TooManyGames in Reading, PA

On Sunday April 18th, I’ll be an exhibitor at TooManyGames in Reading, PA. It’s a growing East Coast gaming convention that’s mostly based on video games. There will be some card and board gaming too. I’ll be at the Faux Robo table, showcasing our upcoming video game projects (we’re announcing a super special / super secret project at the show) and I’ll have all of the current Championland games for sale. Also, I’ll have my in-progress games Lines of Fire and Cafe Catastrophe available to check out.

A few related links:
TooManyGames – The convention’s web site.
Faux Robo – The video game design group that I am part of.
Island Officials – Our studio-mates.


Catching up.

Things have been really busy lately. Been working really hard on the Pixel Lincoln video game. Also playing lots of board games. Smallworld, Catan, Ticket to Ride, Chrononauts. All have been a lot of fun over the past few weeks.

As far as any designing goes, I’ve been working mostly on old unfinished ideas. Had a few moments here and there to work on things, but time has been flying by. January was kind of a big blur.

Hoping to attend a local game convention in the next few months. Working on a few new ideas and ways to really make a convention work for these silly games I make… but it looks like it may happen. I will keep you posted.

Sorry for the brief update. Just wanted to touch base. I also wanted to post these.

Famous Missions review.
http://www.bengarvey.com/2010/01/famous-missions-review/

Pixel Lincoln card game in action 


Thinking outside of the box.

My obsession with boxes has quieted a bit. It was starting to make me crazy, so I stopped stressing about it. I found box that will look pretty good once decorated. It’s a nice thickness, the right size and a somewhat affordable price, at least in short run. It’s not quite the box you would see on the shelves of a store, but it’s not entirely homemade looking. Hopefully this one will work out.

The box is square and 4″x4″x2″. It’s a solid color with a foil imprint on the top. We’ll be adding some extra imagery for the final games, but these are cool. They’re a little different, but might help set us apart from others. Especially if we do some conventions. I have at least two games in mind for these boxes.

So… other than worrying about boxes, we’ve been working on other projects. A few are game-related, but also kind of not game related. Last night a few of us show some Famous Missions live game show segments. They will eventually all be released online, and so far one is viewable on YouTube.

Also getting ready for the Pixel Lincoln video game. Woo!


RECAP: October NJPA Board Game Meetup

Yesterday was the NJPABGA game day and release party for Famous Missions. It was one of the most interesting days yet.


Championland games
The game day doubled as a release party for Famous Missions. We debuted the game, sold a bunch of copies (thanks guys!) and had cupcakes and  goodie bags for everyone. The first 10 people received famous people heads-on-a-stick, and everyone received the XXXtra special promo card. A few games of Famous Missions were played, but I was 60 minutes deep into another game so I missed out.

We also tested Cafe Catastrophe and VolcaNOOOOOO! Cafe Catastrophe is nearly complete and the two times I played it went pretty well. It’s a fairly easy game to pick up, and everybody really liked it. But VolcaNOOOOOO! still needs some work. It was initially a tile based game and now it’s a board game. There are some weird bugs to work out. But even being super buggy, everyone stuck it out until the end and said they enjoyed it. Got some great ideas and getting ready for version 3.0.


Other games
I started out the day with a long game of Heroscape. Most of the time was setup, but we played with 5 or 6 players so it was long between turns. Alex developed an insane scenario (computer generated vikings that fight for God, but also the devil… trying to remove the other dudes and their dragon from the castle) and we jumped right in. I went on a semi-suicide mission and successfully slayed the dragon. My mission was accomplished, but I was killed before I had enough time to really celebrate. My team went down and the dudes kept their castle.

The dragon slayer:

After that I played a quick game of Zombies. We thought it would be quick but it went really long. The last few rounds were a little repetitive, but we battled until the end. I was (this) close to winning, but wound up killing myself. I take too many chances..

Next up was Cosmic Encounter.  I was really excited to try this out. It was Joe’s game so he kind of taught/referee’d. We needed it though, because none of us had ever played before. This game was really cool. I played really conservatively after the last few games. I also thought I was going to win this, especially after a few rounds of George and Alex messing up in my favor, but I thinned myself out enough to lose in the end. Nick won this one. I had a card in my hand that basically resets the game, but I didn’t want to be the one to go there after a game that lasted almost 2 hours. I already want to play again.

The last game I played was Scotland Yard. George has been talking about this since last month. Im Scotland Yard a team of players moves around the map trying to find an invisible opponent. George played the invisible guy, and Alex, Nick, Joe and I tried to catch him. I don’t know what happened but halfway into the game we lost Alex and Nick. Maybe it was because it was getting late, but both managed to use all of their movement cards and they were forced to stay immobile for the rest of the game. Neither were in a position of any help for our team. Joe and I came really close to getting George, but we couldn’t do it without another player. George slipped away and the game (and the night) was over.

There were a few games that I didn’t get to play. Alex tested Go Pound Sand and others played Wings of War and Save Doctor Lucky. A very light day for games, but somehow we played longer than ever. As always, looking forward to next month.


Waiting for Famous Missions…

It’s been quiet because I’ve been waiting for Famous Missions to arrive. Super excited for it and it should be here soon enough. Next Saturday, October 17th, we’re having a launch party for Famous Missions at The Loft in Audubon, NJ. There will be some real cool giveaways, etc.

Other than Famous Missions, I’ve been working on a whole bunch of other games. A few are almost complete.

Cafe Catastrophe – A tile-based game where you try to seat and feed your customers before they walk out, or the food goes bad. This one is almost complete. Needs final artwork and a few rules tests and we’re good to go.

Lines of Fire – A tile-based defend your castle / head to head battle game, with lots of room to build. This one is finished, just needs completed artwork. The name isn’t final.. yet.

Volcanooooo! – A board game where you risk everything by building houses next to a volcano. The bigger the risk, the more points you get. When the volcano erupts, the houses will fall. This is another name that may or may not stay. Waiting on parts to arrive to continue testing this one.

That’s just about it. Those are the big three. Have others waiting on art (if anyone is up for doing some art, help is always appreciated) and others just waiting on ideas.


RECAP: September NJPA Board Game Meetup

Yesterday was the September meetup of our game group (NJPA Board Game Alliance). It was the biggest crowd yet and loads of fun, as usual.

Championland games
The day started off with a test copy of Famous Missions. It was the basic deck with very little artwork and one or two cards that were switched out before production. Charles was a great judge, really getting the most out of the players. Alan, Steve and Molly fought to the end until Alan broke the 3 way tie with his good cop / bad cop duo of Oprah Winfrey and Ozzy Osbourne.

More Famous Missions games were played, but I was playing other games at the time. I did hear someone yell “I’m gonna vomit!” while they were playing. Good stuff.

George, Marty and I tried out the new unnamed battle game that I’ve been working on. It’s simple and pretty fun. George has about 100 expansions already planned out to add depth and strategy. I’m testing out a different format for this game. It’s going to be printed on custom sized business cards, 2″X2″ and 2″X8″. The tests went well.

After about 10 hours of gaming and lots of pizza, we ended with a sleepy-eyed / brain-fried six player game of Starts With / Ends With. 3 of the players didn’t score a single point. We all struggled with a word starting with “I” and ending in “C”, and Joe won with a 16 letter word that I can’t remember.

Other games
I played Livingstone, Dominion, and Carcassonne (with Princess & Dragon / Inns & Cathedrals). I watched a Munchkin, Scotland Yard and a few games of Hit the Beach (renamed later as “Pound Sand”). I sent Carolyn to buy Wings of War, and saw a little bit of gameplay. And I watched George and Alex spend an hour trying to figure out how to play Utopia only to pack it up and move on.

I also watched Alex demo an updated version of his awesome game Turbo Crash, and George ironed out the kinks (and was destroyed by Alex) on his game Illuminarium.

So the next game day is Saturday, October 17th at The Loft in Audubon, NJ. I want to do something cool with Famous Missions, since I’ll have the full real game in hand by then. If we can get some solid artwork and a name for the battle game, I could have that ready too.