Thursday, January 3

December Report

Another month, another monthly report.

I'm going to resist the urge to do a retrospective on the year, I figure there's enough of those doing the rounds at the moment. Instead, I'll do this monthly report and a look forward to what I hope to achieve with Reiver Games this year.


It's been a very busy month in terms of games played. There were a few games nights at Paul's that I actually managed to get to, Dave returned from Afghanistan, I made it to Beyond Monopoly!, the odd game over Christmas with family and then a New Year's Eve party to round things off. I managed not only a lot of games played, but also learnt a fair few new ones, which is always nice, and helps my game design.

Here's what I got up to this month:

Plus the shrapnel with one play each: Byzantium, Canal Mania, Capt'n Clever, 6 Nimmt, Citadels, For Sale, Hare and Tortoise, Hey! That's My Fish!, O Zoo Le Mio, Race For The Galaxy, Ticket To Ride, TransEuropa and Wyatt Earp.

Micropul, Byzantium, Capt'n Clever, Hare and Tortoise, O Zoo le Mio, Race for the Galaxy and Wyatt Earp were all new to me. Micropul I played solo online, and it seemed like an interesting game, but the abstract nature puts me off slightly, and the artwork, while pretty could be more informative. Byzantium was a really nice game with an interesting mechanic in that all players play both sides of a conflict. Capt'n Clever was surprisingly deep for a kids game. Hare and Tortoise (which won the Spiel des Jahres the year I was born!) felt a little dated, but had a nice mechanic in the use of triangular numbers to control movement. O Zoo le Mio was another nice game, fun and attractive but nothing outstanding. Race for the Galaxy was my favourite new game of the month, like San Juan, but more involved and space-themed. Finally Wyatt Earp just didn't do it for me, something about it just seemed clunky. Special mention to Carcassonne: The Tower, which was my favourite new game (including expansions). The last of the main four Carcassonne expansions, the in-laws gave it to me for Christmas (though The Wife chose it - she rocks!). It adds a new dimension (literally - vertical!) to Carcassonne, and a lot more conflict to the basic game. It was this that boosted Carcassonne so high up my list of plays this month - great fun :-).


Despite the huge number of games played I still got a decent amount done from a creation point of view. The problems with TNT and the It's Alive! boxes meant I had some time on my hands. I've used this to do a lot of work on Codename: Jorvik, try out a few ideas for Codename: Artist and got a few plays of Codename: Harvest and Codename: Harry in.


Jorvik has come on leaps and bounds this month, I've tried out loads of new ideas, some worked, others didn't but overall progress has been made. I'm hoping to finish it this year, so I need to keep trying things out.


I've played a few games of this, my latest submission. The game seems quite neat, and has some nice ideas, but I've some concerns about the learning curve. It's quite easy to make a mistake the first couple of times you play and that can really hurt you. Seeing as a lot of my potential customers will only play it once at a convention, I can't afford to have them put off by a bad play. I've made some suggestions and the designer is trying them out.


I've not done much on Escape this month, I turned it down last month, but the designer has come back to me, and is going to try out some changes to address the reasons why I turned it down.


Only one play of this, but it showed quite clearly how knackered the latest attempt at scoring was. The final score: me: 134, brother-in-law: 10. That needs a lot of work! I've added a couple more things which make it slightly more 'Euro', but I'm not sure whether this is a good idea. It's an abstract, so making it a Euro-abstract hybrid might mean it ends up appealing to fans of neither.

In other news, I need to do my tax self-assessment by the end of the month, so I started it in anger last night, and then got stuck. Fortunately my Mum used to do books as a living so I asked her what to do. It's not that much fun.

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