Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Big Plans For 2013

It's a new year... Time to restart the engine. 
"I want to punch those glasses off your beautiful bearded face." - Darrell Louder
So, what do I have planned for 2013? And how will it be different from 2012? Well....

My biggest goal is to take designing and developing games to the next level, while exploring into other areas of the board gaming world. Last year I won a game design contest, had a super successful Kickstarter campaign, saw my first actual published game on store shelves, received lots of great reviews, made it out to Origins, Gen Con and a whole bunch of other conventions, and made a lot of new friends in the board game community. 

How could I possibly top that in 2013? It's going to be tough to even match it, but here are my resolutions.

#1. Studio space!
Starting today, I have my own game design / workspace. I dropped what little money that I have on a few months at a new arts / design space called The Factory in Collingswood, NJ. It's inside of the old Collingswood Movie Theater, and very close to home. The plan for this space is to have a focused workplace to work on any of my projects (see below), as well as a space that could be accessed by the public for small events. 

Here's a rough shot of the space in progress. I shot this photo from the old projection room, hence the birds-eye view. It almost looks like a dollhouse from here. 

I went back and forth when choosing the room and ultimately went with a second floor space with an open ceiling. It may have some lighting and sound issues, but man is it cool. The building has a really high ceiling, and it has a fresh open feeling... which will be perfect for my creative process.

#2. Podcasts and Videos and Everything Else!
I've been pushing to start a series called Designing Out Loud for a while now. Designing Out Loud is a show where myself and Alex Strang talk with another game designer and push them to their creative limits using methods like Daniel Solis' Pitch Tag, and mash-ups and rethemes and more. Ideally, it'll be in podcast format since audio is easy to tackle, but I don't want to say it will be limited to that. This project should have launched a few months ago, but we needed space. Thanks to #1 above, we can move forward. Expect some news on this soon.

As for video, Alex is big into the format. I went to school for video production and have some experience as well. So, we're going to look into using the space for video related projects as well. We both have silly ideas, so now it's the time to make them silly and feasible. I'm really looking forward to this.

#3. Games!
Where would a game designer be without games? I actually have a ton at various stages of prototype, but I just need to narrow it down to which is the best to push right now. And how will I push it? 

You saw how much I stressed about what to bring to Unpub. This was part of it. Testing, tightening, and tuning are fine, but pushing, pitching and promoting have me pulling my own hair out. Not as much as before, but it's definitely on the outer side of my inner comfort zone. 

Sandwich City: This took a backseat to my heavy Pixel Lincoln duties and my work on Quarriors: Quest of the Qladiator. 2013 will be the year of the Flufferclucker. I promise. 

ZombieZone: Doing a run of new tests at Unpub to gauge it a little more, especially with some new modifications to the scale of the game. After this, we're on.

Maximum Throwdown: It'll debut at Unpub and we'll take it from there. It's cards only, and friendly to new gamers, so hopefully it's heading in the right direction.

Untitled Bryan Fischer Challenge Brawler Game: This is very new, but it's the ideal project for me personally. I can make a print and play very easily to get it into peoples hands. The game consists of just a few cards, some dice and some cubes/tokens. If there was ever a game to look into self-publishing based off of its components, this would be it.

Pixel Lincoln 2: This will debut at Unpub as well, but Pixel Lincoln is my baby and I can't avoid him for long. The Steam game is coming out in a few months, and we're hopefully nearing manufacturing as well, so this will be an awesome year for the 16-bit President and his beardarang.

Others: I have a bunch of others in progress. A reverse dungeon crawler that will be my biggest project to date. An educational game that I made for a client. A social card game thing. And much more.

#4. Conventions / Events!
My 2013 event schedule is already getting crazy. In January I'll be at Unpub 3, the Global Game Jam. March is Lunacon and Pax East. Then there are the summer cons, the local ones, and the big ones that I couldn't get to this year. Going to see how much I can squeeze in without killing myself and my bank account.

#5. Blogs!
With Button Shy and Fruitless Pursuits, I'm blogging more than ever. Going to keep this up in 2013, with a new column about failed Kickstarters (starting with my own), and much more. Within the next few days I'll have my top 10 board games of 2012 post, which is really tough. Yesterday I narrowed my top 3 down to 6 different games. 

6. Developing Games!
Instead of just designing, I will now be on the development side as well. My role at Island Officials has changed considerably as this time last year I was a Co-Producer / Designer on the Pixel Lincoln video game, and now I am the VP of Tabletop Games, which is a new division of the company, 100% focused to making original board and card games, as well as projects for clients. This is a heavy role to fill, but we're off to a great start. I'm hoping that we will announce our first project within a few weeks, and there are plenty more to follow. 

And that's about it. For now, at least. Happy New Year to everyone, and thanks for reading!


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