January was quite an exciting month. Lots on new games (though nothing that really grabbed me), but more importantly lots of progress on game designs.
Quite a busy month in terms of games played, I saw Dave & Paul, etc. for games several times, and The Wife and I spent two weekends with Dunk & Lucy which all in all lead to lots of games played. Here's the popular ones:
- Magic: The Gathering: 10 plays
- Carcassonne: 6 plays
- PitchCar: 6 plays
- Carcassonne: The Castle: 4 plays
- Hey! That's My Fish!: 3 plays
- It's Alive!: 3 plays
- Lost Cities: 3 plays
- Incan Gold: 2 plays
I've not played PitchCar in a while, still love it though. Carcassonne is getting a new lease of life through The Tower expansion - adds a new level of conflict which I enjoy :-).
The shrapnel includes a bunch of new games: Age of Steam, Memoir '44, Mystery of the Abbey, Pirate's Cove, Poison, Power Grid, Puerto Rico, Relikt, Runebound, Settlers of Catan Card Game, Thurn and Taxis. Age of Steam, Mystery of the Abbey, Poison, Relikt and Settlers of Catan Card Game were all new to me. Age of Steam was my favourite, but it didn't really grab me 2-player - I guess it's more fun with more players. Dave and I got to play the second half of the Pont du Hoc Memoir '44 scenario we'd played on Vassal while he was in Afghanistan. I won! He usually creams me a Memoir '44. Still it was a good month for playing games.
Things are getting more interesting in the creation arena too. It's Alive! has been fairly slow this month, though that's hopefully a sign of a post-Christmas lack of cash rather than an actual slowdown in interest. But there's been some real progress on Codename: Jorvik and Codename: Network this month.It's Alive!
It's been a quiet month for It's Alive!, it's received several more ratings on BoardGameGeek, taking it above 100 ratings and well into the top 1,00 games (it peaked briefly at 962). Not many sales though. I've still not had a sales free week since I released it, but I'm just scraping that at the moment. There was the bulk sale to a shop in Italy which was great though. I need to put more effort into publicising it. I've started running a Google ad for it using a voucher I received from them, I'm still not sure whether that's worth it though, it's not lead to any sales yet. I've also contacted a new local train company which has just started operating. The tables on the trains have monopoly boards and chess boards printed on them, and the on-board shop sells those games. I've contacted them to see if they'd like to sell my games too - they've not responded yet. I've also just contacted BBC Radio 4 who in an advert for a Saturday morning show yesterday said "we're always interested in hearing about people's passions". Let's put that to the test!Codename: Jorvik
Jorvik has been through a few crucial changes recently. The addition of priests seemed to improve the game, and with a little tweaking to make playing them more interesting they've really added to the conflict and choices within the game. I've only played the latest version four times, but it's far and away the best yet. I'm now doing some temporary artwork on the computer, so that I can quickly knock out prototypes for testing. I'm hoping to lend Paul and Lisa a copy next week, and get some more games in with my copy too. I now need to speak to my Dad again, to get some more sketch artwork prepared.Codename: Network
It's been a fun month for Network too. I had an idea for a re-theme that I shared with the designer, along with the addition of a new narrative mechanic. The theme is pretty topical at the moment (though more interesting to a US market than a UK one), and I liked the concept of having to describe to the other players the story behind your moves. I sent my suggestions off to the designer, and he played them and came back with more. We've backed and forthed like this a few times now, and it feels quite exciting and really collaborative, despite the fact that he lives in America.
I need to release a new game at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham in June, what it's going to be, I've still not completely decided - but at least I've got some options now...