Monday, February 10

Designing Again

Last year I spent making FlickFleet copies. It was all-encompassing. We needed to make about 300 for the first Kickstarter’s rewards and each one was entirely hand-made. At the beginning of the year my half of the construction (making the boxes, cutting the dashboards and packing the contents in the box) took me about 25 minutes per game. 

I work full time and have two young kids so my chance to do this is in the evenings after the kids are asleep and we’ve tidied up for the day, so I started somewhere between 8:30 and 9pm. My youngest sleeps terribly so to survive I need to get to bed pretty early - ideally 10pm. As a result I ended up spending three nights a week making games for most of the year.

As a result of that and wanting to spend some time with The Wife after the kids were asleep, I did pretty much nothing last year except making games. In 2012 I set up a playtesting group with another designer. Last year I didn’t make it once (and he’s moved on too, so it petered out). We have a local games club that meets twice a month. I didn’t make it to that either. Nor did I do any real games design either. Even after Paul (who works 3 days a week and has an older kid) took a load of the manufacturing off my plate.

This time we’ve managed to reach the scale where we can get the dashboards cut for us and the boxes manufactured too (they’re finally turning up at Paul’s today!), so Paul is going to do all the construction (which is laser cutting the bits, bagging everything and then putting stuff in the boxes).

I’ll finish off the remaining stock from the first Kickstarter, do the books, website, marketing and admin stuff.

This frees up a lot of my time (especially good as I started a new job last week!) and as a result I’ve been in the mood for designing again. I’ve restarted the playtest group, started work on two designs and almost made it to Newcastle Gamers (the bi-monthly games club) this week, but was foiled by a truly terrible night’s sleep the preceding night.

I’ve got two ideas on the go at the moment: Coalescence: a dexterity game of solar system engineering and a multi-session game set in the FlickFleet universe that Paul and I came up with over breakfast on our recent trip to York.

I’ll be sharing more about these two games over the next few weeks.

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