Jan 30, 2012

Global Game Jam 2012 Wrap Up

Once again, the Global Game Jam was a ton of fun. If you're interested in game design and creation and there's a jam site near you, I totally recommend participating. I thought I would post about some of the other games from the Ottawa jam that friends made or that made an impression on me.

Pro's and Con's Review: Monospace

Format: iOS
Developer: Nonverbal
Publisher: Nonverbal

Monospace is an oldie but a goodie, a game close to my heart as it was one of the first iOS games to really suck me in with it's cleaver use of 3D, stark visual style and brain burning puzzles.

I love this game so much that I figured, in spite of its age, I would give it the ol' Pro's and Con's treatment, having a look at its flaws and merits as a professional and as a consumer. Read on for the review.

Jan 29, 2012

Game Jam 2012 Sunday Wrap Up

Well, there you have it, another Global Game Jam come and gone and we had, yet again, the only board game entry in Ottawa. You know what the difference was this year? We made it on time for judging. Oh ya, and subsequently took the top spot in the "Concept" category here in O-town! You can hit this link to check out the Game Jam page and even grab the PDF to print and play.

Jan 28, 2012

Game Jam 2012 End of Saturday Update.

My co-designer and I have retreated to our homes to crank the last bit of work out on our game. We're happy with how the game turned out and now it's time for me to write the rules and for him to do up the artwork. Tomorrow we'll have a nice looking submission full of loop making snaky goodness!

If you want to check out all sorts of photos from the event, hit up this Facebook link.

Game Jam 2012 photo update!

Game Jam 2012: Noon On Day 2

Well, here I am, groggy and woozy as I stumble in for day two of the Game Jam. No photos yet but I can tell you about the theme and where we are headed with it.

So, the theme is...
The included image! No, seriously, that picture is the theme. The image is called the Ouroboros and has been linked to a number of concepts throughout history. It also has some connections to ancient alchemy, which is one of the angles we are going with. The game we're doing is a tile laying game using tiles representing colours and alchemical runes. Players lay tiles from their hand trying to create closed loops like the snake. Get it!?

I will, hopefully be able to take some pictures of the prototype today and upload them. As far as actual progress on the game, we hope to be happy with the game and started on final graphics tonight.

Game Jam 2012 Day 1

Too tired to give the full scoop. It's 5am and I am finally about to hit the sack. My partner and I weren't leaving until we had something playable and we finally got something we felt alright about a couple of hours ago. So, hopefully I'll have more info for you tomorrow and maybe even pictures. Until then? Good night everybody.

Jan 27, 2012

Interview With Yours Truly Up On The Game Crafter Website!

The Game Crafter put on a regular feature wherein they interview a designer who's made use of their service. Well, this week, it's all me baby! Hit this link for the low down.

Jan 24, 2012

Zinga Up To Its Old Tricks

I know this isn't what this blog is about and I'm not really one for mud slinging but C'MON!! Read Touch Arcade's account here.

EDIT: So, some people have come out and said: "Ya, well Tiny Tower is a rip off of *whatever*".  I just want to point out that though Tiny Tower combines a number of elements found in other games, it isn't any of those games verbatim. Dream Heights?... Well.....

Image from www.toucharcade.com

Jan 23, 2012

Tweaking Game Values Using Recorded Game Data

I want to talk about a revelation I had. Ok, a revelation that was bestowed upon me by someone much more clever then I in one of my game groups and a tester on Shake Out!, Tom Barclay of Polyhedral Fury.

If you are like me, it has probably occurred to you to record data on play test sessions when developing a new game. If you are like me AND you've tried this, then you know that the real challenge isn't in figuring what data to record but what to do with it once you have it. What Tom did for me was so simple but so huge toward helping me balance the scores in Shake Out! that it's actually changed how I think about value tweaking. What he made me realize is that I didn't have to replay the game to see how scoring changes could affect outcome, I could play the games first and figure out the scores after... sort of, let me explain.

Jan 20, 2012

Shake Out! Reviewed by On Board Games!

I'm home today cause I'm feeling a little under the weather. I was, however, feeling well enough to do a little work and, as I usually do when working, I put on a podcast; On Board Games to be exact. So, imagine my surprise when Shake Out! was mentioned in the intro! 

Jan 17, 2012

A Glowing Shake Out! Review From Father Geek!

You can check out Father Geek's thorough review on his website or over on the BGG forums.

Shake Out! Chosen as a Staff Pick on The Game Crafter!

The good folks at The Game Crafter sent me an email this morning to tell me they gave Shake Out! a go, loved it, and gave it their "Staff Pick" stamp! I agree with them 100%. You should totally pick one up for yourself!

Shake Out! has landed.

Got a big box from The Game Crafter last Friday containing a surprise! No not my 35 copies of Shake Out! for local buyers, which I was expecting. No, not the shirts and fliers for next month's Game Summit convention, which I was also expecting. Surprise! None of the games were assembled!

Jan 16, 2012

Pro's and Con's Review: Kingsburg

Format: Boardgame
Designers:Andrea Chiarvesio and Luca Iennaco
Publisher:Fantasy Flight Games

In this Pro's and Con's review I'll be having a go at Kingsburg from Fantasy Flight Games. Kingsburg, it's a dice game with meat on it's bones!

For those not in the know, my Pro's and Con's reviews bring together the two sides of me as a game's enthusiast, the professional side where I take a more analytical look at the game and the consumer side where I tell you what I think of the game as a player.

Jan 12, 2012

First user review of Shake Out! up on TGC.

Andy GB of the Boardgame Designer Forum has posted a user review of Shake Out! on the Game Crafter website. Check it out!

What Kind of Goal is This? Or What I didn't like in JetpackJoyride and Tiny Wings

The first thing I want to mention here is that I love both Jetpack Joyride and Tiny Wings. I've spent many hours with each and there isn't a lot I would change about either of them. Except this one thing!

Jan 11, 2012

Gamed at the local Legion tonight.

There are a few game groups that game out of various Canadian Legion locations here in Ottawa and I finally made it out to one such game night just hours ago. The other cool thing about these places? Local designers!

Jan 9, 2012

Pro's and Con's review: Jetpack Joyride

Format: iOS
Developer: Halfbrick
Publisher: Halfbrick

If you haven't picked up Jetpack Joyride for your iDevice yet, pick it up because it's a ton of fun! If you are looking for a little more info than that, read on! As usual, in this Pro's and Con's review I'm going to go through my thoughts on  Jetpack Joyride, an endless running (flying?) game for iOS devices, from a professional's point of view and as a consumer. So on with it!

Jan 8, 2012

My first night with the GAC

I was invited to a Protonight with some of the local Game Artisans of Canada. Had a good time playing a pizza making flicking game (the name of which I don't remember) from Yves Tourigny, really fun, lots of promise! We also played a game of Non-Stop Safari which went well. They also suggested some really neat rule tweaks.

All in all a great first GAC experience!

Jan 3, 2012

Shake Out! review from The Gaming Gang!

Wow! More good Shake Out! press! And this time not from some guy I work with! This review from The Gaming Gang website does a thorough job of explaining how the game works before totally recommending it! Final score 7.8 out of 10. The highlight, suggesting the game will probably be picked up by a publisher!
Check out the full review here.

Shake Out! gets a shout out!

Good friend and colleague Jason Cobill has posted about his experience playing Shake Out! over the holidays on his awesomely fantastic blog over at Lunarbovine.com! You can check out his post here.