Monday, February 26

Origin: Paul


I’ve always loved playing games.  I have many happy memories of playing Risk (and other games, even Monopoly) with my parents and of playing D&D (a lot of D&D) with friends after school.

Work and life got in the way of gaming for a few years, until I read about Carcassonne.  My wife encouraged me to ‘try it out’ by going to Beyond Monopoly! a gaming club where I live in York.  It rekindled my love of playing games.

I started a weekly games night with friends (and friends of friends)… and through Beyond Monopoly!, I came across this nice chap, Jack, who was looking for someone to help playtest his game.

I’d won the lottery, of sorts.  Suddenly, my life was busy with a lot of gaming and I found that I genuinely enjoyed playtesting and developing games.

But even more suddenly, I became ill with Limbic Encephalitis.  I had to give up work, and my memories of the previous day would vanish overnight.  But I had amazing gaming friends, who would still come round for games night, and patiently reteach me the rules of a game I’d learnt the week before.  And in time I recovered, retrained for a new career, and got a job as a teacher.

Then I changed jobs from teaching to working on a project to help teachers teach computing. And of course, those weekly games nights continued.

Throughout it all, I remained friends with Jack... even after he moved away from York.   In fact, we’d spend perhaps even more time together, staying for the weekend with our families at each other’s houses.  We would stay up late… long, long after the children had gone to bed, playing games and playtesting.

It was one such weekend visiting Jack, that I had an idea for a game.  Inspired by a game the night before, which had promised so much but never quite made it for me. Jack and I talked it through, designed it together, and FlickFleet was born.

I won the lottery, of sorts, again when Jack asked me to join Eurydice Games. No longer on the sidelines, playtesting for him, but instead a partner with him in our games company. 

We endured a nail-biting 4 weeks for our first Kickstarter and just managed to fund.  And suddenly there I was, with a laser cutter in my garage which I needed to learn to use.

We had more successful Kickstarters.  I was balancing the laser cutting, and bagging of components, around my day job.  But it was getting harder to fit it all in.

And then I won the lottery, of sorts, yet again.  The contract for the project I was working on ended.  But Jack and I calculated that Eurydice Games could pay me just enough that I could focus on manufacturing games… and my wife was OK with the drop in our household income.

And I love it…  the manufacturing, the playtesting, the demoing at events, even the packaging and posting. I get to do my dream job.

I’m so lucky to be here, doing this.

Monday, February 19

Origin: Jack


I’ve always made games.

It started out as board games as a kid.

Then for a long time bits of computer games.

Then I had an epiphany.

Playing Mighty Empires. With Dunc and Tim. The best men at my wedding.

We played all weekend. Like 36 hours all weekend. Stopping only to sleep and eat.

A random event took the winner from 1st to 3rd place. He didn’t recover for the remaining 12 hours.

Then we ran out of time. And stopped.

“I can do better,” I thought.

So I did. Border Reivers. Took 20-45 mins to play.

Similar feel. Could be pretty swingy.

It sat unloved on a shelf for a couple of years.

Then I made 100 copies by hand.

And sold them all over the world.

Yehuda Berlinger sent me a game which I published as It’s Alive!

I made 300 copies by hand.

Sold them all over the world.

Then I won the lottery. Of sorts.

I got MS. My life insurance paid out. We paid off most of the mortgage on our tiny flat, and I went full time.

At times it was glorious. I made four games. Three professionally in factories. I had distribution on three continents. Sold thousands of games. Went to Essen twice and the first three UK Games Expos.

At times it was grim. The MS caused vision problems and I couldn’t drive for a while. It caused incredible fatigue. New symptoms every few months. I was glad I didn’t have a day job. And, once the 2009 financial crash hit, I watched my company die by a thousand cuts as overheads far outweighed sales.

Then I won the lottery again. Of sorts. I managed to get on a clinical trial for a new MS treatment. My MS has been in remission for fourteen years. Years!

I’m so lucky.

Three months after shutting down Reiver Games I started designing games again.

Then I co-founded Newcastle Playtest.

We played Zombology every month for years.

I decided to start another company to publish a small hand-made run of that.

Eurydice Games. Don’t look back.

Then Paul had the idea for FlickFleet.

We designed it together. He joined Eurydice Games. We kickstarted it (just).

The rest is history.

If I won the lottery a third time, with all that financial freedom I’d still make games. Ditch the day job and do what I love.

I spend a lot of my free time on Eurydice Games.

And I love it. The game design. The graphic design. Playtesting. Iterating. Demoing to people who love it. Even doing the books doesn’t sap my enthusiasm.

I’m lucky to be here. Doing this.

Monday, February 12

Pallet

I’ve just ordered a pallet of acrylic.


Last year’s pallet


1,100 sheets that fit on our laser-cutter.


Cut down from 20 sheets that fit on industrial one.


We order big volumes from a place that only deals in full sheets.


So multiples of 55 for us. Just red, grey, blue, and last time green and purple.


Next up are the smaller orders. Some of which are still pretty large.


I also need to sort 4 print runs of rules and dashboards with our local printer.


The first has been ordered.


Going to make a few changes to some of the other rulebooks first.


To reflect changes over the last few years.


Obstacle rules.


A streamlined end game.


Ship classes.

Monday, February 5

Ordering

I’m now at the ordering everything stage.

The wooden bits and baggies have the longest lead time (and we’ve run out of baggies so can’t make a few things we’ve got acrylic for).

The next longest lead time is the boxes (and we’ve almost run out of FlickFleet ones!).

Both of those have been ordered.

The dice have arrived.

Ever wondered what 4,000 dice look like?

Next up is acrylic (from three different suppliers!).

And five separate print runs of rules and dashboards.

The acrylic and printing has a pretty quick turnaround time :)

It’s all coming together.

Monday, January 29

Essen?

Last year we attended 3 shows.


AireCon, UK Games Expo and Tabletop Scotland.


They were all good in their own ways and we enjoyed them all.


This year we can’t make AireCon or Tabletop Scotland due to family holidays.


This weekend at the National Space Centre was great.


All set up at NSC!


But we might have room in the calendar for one more…


Could this be Eurydice Games’ first Essen?


There’s loads of things to work out. Tax. VAT. Customs. Costs.


But we’re looking into it for the first time…

Monday, January 22

Space

I have been fascinated by space for as long as I can remember.


I love sci-fi stories and films.


Maybe you can tell? FlickFleet? Rocky ‘Roid? The Planets My Destination? Coalescence?


My favourite game is Race for the Galaxy. (And I bought Ian O’Toole’s amazing BGG Artists Series reimagining of the box art for that).


Every time we drive to Bristol to see our families we pass a sign for the National Space Centre.


It’s been on my todo list for a long time.


This weekend I’m finally visiting it!


We were invited to demo (and sell!) FlickFleet there as part of their To Boldly Game event.


Needs more Star Wars

I’m so excited!

Monday, January 15

Ending

The pledge manager for the Box of Pirate Flicks closes in about 24 hours.

Last chance to get heavily-subsidised international shipping on all things FlickFleet.

Then I’ll be ordering all the things we need to make 1,200 boxes worth.

Or maybe 1,500.

I need to decide on final numbers.

Hence closing the pledge manager.

I’m also getting a new Coalescence prototype together.

This one was too small!

And finishing off The Planet My Destination.

Then we’re off to the National Space Centre for their To Boldly Game event.

It’s a busy time!