Monday, June 1

A Crazy Idea!

This week I've had a crazy idea: run a very small Kickstarter for extra FlickFleet ships. 

The motivation is that we had hoped to attend a convention or two to help us sell through our FlickFleet stock but all the conventions are cancelled, so we need some other way to bring FlickFleet to people's attention. 

 At this point (and I've only spoken to Paul very briefly about this!) I'm considering a small Kickstarter (KS Lite!) with a tiny goal and no advertising/video/little effort. The rewards would probably be a bunch of extra Kickstarter exclusive ships (FlickFleet: A Box of Space Fights? FlickFleet: Box of Tricks? FlickFleet: Box of Flicks?) that you would be able to pick and choose from and a pledge level for people who haven't got the game to get it. Control of exactly what you're after would be done through a pledge manager. 

What do you think? Crazy idea? Great idea? Let me know here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/J5GWDLT

Monday, May 25

A Blast from the Past!

Last week was a strange one. I went through all the books to double check everything and spotted a couple of people who were missing rewards, so Paul will be sending those tomorrow. He’s also started cutting more ships so he has stock for when I re-open the website in the next couple of days. 

I think I’ve also found the last Kickstarter backer - who hasn’t yet provided a shipping address. But despite a conversation on Twitter I’ve still not got an address to post his rewards to. 

The weirdest thing about this week was being contacted out of the blue by a publisher potentially interested in reprinting one of my old games. He’s had some ideas to improve it as well. Very early days, so it might well lead to nothing, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

This week I also need to update the website to make the games available for sale again now Paul and I have a solution for the deluxes (we both sign the boxes for the deluxes, but with the lockdown I can’t get down to his house to sign them, so I’m sending him some signed labels instead). 

I signed 350 labels for deluxe games and expansions!

There’s two other things to do too: I’m a judge in the Board Game Design Lab competition, so I have 10 games to judge this week and I’m hoping to submit Coalescence to the Board Game Workshop’s competition. 

It’s going to be pretty hectic!

Monday, May 18

A Good Week!

Things are finally on the up! Paul is now well enough to return to work and on Friday posted all but two of the remaining rewards for the Kickstarter (the last two will hopefully go this week).

With Paul able to post games again, I’ve spent the weekend working on the website, preparing to opening it up again and make the expansion available for sale.

A deluxe expansion photo for the website

We now need to work out how to sell the remaining stock left over from the Kickstarter now that our plan of attending the UK Games Expo has been stopped by COVID-19.

Paul and I also had an online games design meeting when we discussed the next FlickFleet Kickstarter, Coalescence and TU:S. Feels like things are moving again!

Monday, May 11

On The Up!

Things are starting to look up. Paul is recovering from suspected COVID-19, so much so that he's parcelled up all the Kickstarter rewards now for taking to the Post Office, so Kickstarter fulfillment is getting closer.

I've also managed to find some time for both making FlickFleet first edition copies (we've still got a few of those to sell) and playtesting Coalescence with Daughter the First. I'm also considering entering Coalescence in the Board Game Workshop's competition (deadline for submissions: 5th June) to force myself to make progress and get some feedback. Just thinking about entering has spurred me on a bit - I've written the rules down and started drafting a video script in my head. So it's working so far.

I entered FlickFleet in the Cardboard Edison competition in 2018, and although we didn't win (or get shortlisted) we got some really useful feedback and it spurred me on to get the rules written down and formatted, so well worth doing!

Monday, May 4

Ding! Ding! New Round

This week I've finally finished off the new deck of goal cards for my Coalescence prototype. It's taken me weeks and weeks due to a lack of free time during lockdown, but I've finally got it done.

All the previous versions of this game (or at least the ones with goal cards) featured goal cards hastily scribbled on scraps of paper torn from an A4 sheet. And only about 8 of those. This version has 25 cards (the number I traditionally fit on a sheet of A3 card) printed on thick card. I've got a wider range of goals and also several with two different flavours of the same goal, which might work, or might not.

I've also taken this opportunity to practise my graphic design skills:


Prettier than hand-scribbled text only!

The next step is to try them out and see if the new ideas work or not...

Monday, April 27

Moving Forward and a Flashback

After a worrying couple days last weekend when we heard that both Paul and his wife had suspected COVID-19, and then they went ominously silent, we’ve heard that his wife is back to working from home and Paul’s OK. He’s been wiped out for a couple of weeks now but he’s not been to hospital so it counts as ‘mild’. His condition is slowly improving.

My Coalescence prototype was also slowly improving last week, I've been working on digital goal cards (with new goals and more options), so I hope to be able to finish them off in the next couple of weeks (free time is still very limited) and then print and cut them. Daughter the First played a few games of it at the start of the lockdown and has been asking to play again.

We’ve also been using the weekends stuck at home to sort out some of the piles of stuff left over from our move last summer. The garage in particular is full of moving boxes destined for the loft that we wanted to sort and not just squirrel away. This weekend, while going through boxes I found one containing a lot of Reiver Games prototypes including the final Border Reivers one from 2004:


An 16-year old prototype!

There were also a couple of games I had in progress when I shut it down in 2011 and a Carpe Astra prototype too. A proper blast from the past!

Monday, April 20

COVID :-(

Just a brief one this week. I've had a reasonable week in Newcastle (including teaching my eldest daughter Century Golem Edition - a leaving present from my previous employer - and playing a game with The Wife for the first time in ages), but I heard from Paul on Saturday that he and his wife (a key worker) both have suspected COVID-19. They were mostly fatigued and at home with their teenage daughter looking after them.

I'm sure you all join with me in wishing them a swift recovery.

Stay safe everyone.