Monday, January 28

Hello, My Name Is Jack...

... remember me? It's been a hectic week at work, and as a result my blogging has suffered, but I've still managed to get some work done on the games.

It's Alive!

Lots to report on the IA front. I've managed to build up some stock again after my bulk sale to an Italian shop, eight copies again, not as many as I'd like, but the post-Chrimbo lull means that it's enough at the moment.

On Wednesday I was stuck in London for the night with work, so I popped along to Swiggers board games club to pimp/demo/sell It's Alive! I'd set myself the target of two sales, and was slightly disappointed with only one, but I got to meet Nigel Buckle, designer of Celtic Quest who'd bought a copy of Border Reivers from me last year. He was along demoing his next game Ascendancy which is being published by JKLM Games in time for the UK Games Expo in Birmingham in June. Ascendancy is like a quicker version of Twilight Imperium apparently. People seemed to enjoy It's Alive!, but no-one was feeling the love. The last game was the most fun, despite someone wandering over and slagging it off to the players just as I was trying to explain how to play. I tried out the variants I'd posted on BoardGameGeek in a couple of the games - good fun, perhaps a little less harsh.

I also received a £30 voucher for Google advertising, so I'm trying that out too. It's early days yet, when I've an idea about how effective it is, I'll let you know.

Codename: Jorvik

I've made a couple of tweaks to Jovik. I had the ideas several days ago, but I'd not got around to trying them out. I saw Dunk on the weekend, and while The Wife and Lucy were out dress-shopping for their (Lucy & Dunk's, not Lucy & The Wife's) wedding, Dunk and I played a load of games including Jorvik. I've started making a prototype on the computer, but this was still using my lurid felt-tipped version, with some hastily scribbled additions in pen. They're a definite improvement, and once I've finished making a (slightly) prettier computer version I'm going to lend that to Paul and Lisa for blind playtesting. It's getting there. Doing the computer version really feels like it too, it's settling down now.

Codename: Network

Dunk and I also got a couple of games of Network in too. The first one showed off most of my changes to good effect, but it was too easy to play and didn't feature enough interaction. We made some fairly major changes, and then tried those out. It was a definite improvement. I sent them off to the designer, and less than 48 hours later he'd tried them out and come back with some more changes. They sound really interesting, maybe I'll get a chance to modify my prototype accordingly and try it out with Dave on Wednesday. I'm getting a real buzz out of collaberating with the designer on Network. When he sent it in, it was in a much earlier state than I wanted really, and I nearly discounted it on that basis. But because he knew it needed a lot of work he's very keen to try out improvements and I can be more involved with the design.

Anyway, that's enough for now, I've almost used up my lunch-break!

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