This week I absorbed the rules for four new games: Gloomhaven (cunning boardgame dungeon-crawler and Kickstarter darling) Magic Maze (unique co-op game getting in and out of a delightfully illustrated fantasy shopping mall), Wild Blue Yonder (the new version of Dan Verssen’s Down in Flames WWII air combat card game from GMT), and Centerville (Chad Jensen’s new Euro-style urban planning status and prestige game). So far the only one of the four we’ve played was Magic Maze, which was hilarious fun but demonstrated again that I’m a turn-based gamer and a real-time bumbler.
In the world of playtesting, we played a great session of one of my new card game designs that the publisher has not announced yet. The game has gone well enough for long enough that I’m going to finish up its rulebook and call it done as soon as I can carve out two focused days.
Also in the world of playtesting, Lisa and I played a friend’s new card game a number of times on a couple of nights, but that’s not announced either so I can’t write details.
And the Wednesday night RPG group enjoyed another session of the Over the Edge 25 campaign that Jonathan has been running for a while now. The campaign doesn’t have a name yet. Our other OTE campaigns seem to acquire a name when things go horribly wrong, names like “Ann Thunder Escapes,” when Ann Thunder was our nemesis. So far, so nameless.
Meanwhile in the world of actual work I’ve been acting as editor/layout overseer for the Book of Demons for Pelgrane. And getting art orders ready for three other Pelgrane books. And cobbling together the credits and appendices for 13th Age Glorantha, which Chris Huth is busy laying out the final chapter of. I’ve also been dealing with art direction on two other game-projects we’re not talking about yet, which raises the point that I’m often working as the art director for games I design or develop. That was something I leaned towards at the end of my WotC shift, when I was writing art orders for books I hadn’t worked on. But WotC had excellent art directors, trained for the job. In the world beyond WotC my untrained aptitude has frequently put me in the director’s chair.
When I get through the art direction, I’ll be back to developing Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s Book of Ages, a fun 13th Age project with three different takes on portraying a world dominated by icons-over-time. Which means that this week, my only effort that qualifies as actual game design was a lunch time conversation with Logan Bonner about two in-progress card games. Extremely worthwhile, but I haven’t even have time to follow up on his thoughts. We’ll see if I can get back to design next week.