Saturday, May 3

April Report

A very busy week to end a very busy month.

Looking back, April 2008 is the month it all really began. I worked my last official day in the office on the 4th, and stopped getting paid on the 15th. Scary! It's also been a very exciting month, I received a lot more submissions (which I'm still pouring through), sold lots of It's Alive! and announced Carpe Astra.

As usual, I'll start with Play first.


I didn't play a huge number of games, but I play several for the first time, and I got to count playing games as work - so it's not that bad :-) I played at Paul's, Hugo's and had Dave staying the night on a brief trip to York, so it was all nice, social gaming. Here's the multiples:

Race comes top again - still loving that. The shrapnel: Mississippi Queen, Hey! That's My Fish!, San Juan, Check, Pickomino, Revolution!, Zanzibar, Diamant and Through the Desert. Of those, five were new to me: Mississippi Queen, Check, Pickomino, Zanzibar and Through the Desert. I was underwhelmed by all but Check and Through the Desert, with TtD as my favourite new game of the month. That's three months on the trot that Race has been my most played game, in fact, ever since I bought it, The Wife and I have yet to try the 2-player variant, and there's an expansion coming out soon, so I think it's got plenty of life left in it too.


Game creation is where all the excitement was in April. Quitting my job was a big step, but I felt like Reiver Games had reached the pinnacle of what I could achieve making the games by hand in my spare time. Moving full-time means that I've far more time available for playtesting and graphic design work and it's much easier to get to the Post Office when I have games to send. I've started a playtesting afternoon with Paul on Wednesday afternoons, and I've had a couple of evening sessions for Carpe Astra during April too.

Carpe Astra

I announced this during April (previously known as 'Codename: Network'), and I've already taken a bunch of pre-orders, which considering the dearth of information available is pretty cool. I'm offering a discount to pre-orders, which has probably helped, but they are almost exclusively from people who have bought one (or both :-) ) of my previous games. Once the rules are finalised, posted online and there's some pictures of R H Aidley's artwork available, I'd hope for more pre-orders to come in. The game has changed a few times this month, first simplifying the scoring a bit by adding a scoreboard, and then stripping out the scoreboard as it was a bit too fiddly with four players. I still need to playtest the latest variant (with scoring tokens) more, but it seems to simplify scoring further still. Always a good thing. It also introduces a few more choices, and hence a little more though during the game. I've met with a manufacturer, and started approaching shops and distributors, more of that to follow next month when I get the rules and some artwork up...

It's Alive!

It's been a good month for It's Alive!, selling more copies than any other month so far this year. I reckon my remaining stock will run out before the UK Games Expo at the end of May, so not paying for a booth was a good idea - It's Alive! will probably have run out, and Carpe Astra won't be ready yet. I've not got that many left to make so it feels like it nearly done.


My first two submissions have arrived, although so far I've only had a chance to play one of them. I've still got a load to go through and work out whether I want prototypes - Carpe Astra has taken up all my time recently. The one I have played I enjoyed, so I'll need to get it out a few more times and think about it more.

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