2013 Was a great year for me. So I’ve decided to have some big goals for 2014. Normally on a Friday I review a game or post a Design Me challenge. But since it is still the first week of the year I’m taking this opportunity to share my goals for the rest of 2014. Let’s start with the Barley goals…
The Barley Goals:
In 2013 I brewed my first four batches of beer. They were an Amber Ale, Honey Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Scotch Ale. I can do better than that, so my first Barley goal of 2014 is:
#1: Brew 6 Batches of Beer
I received the Northern Brewer Caribou Slobber kit as a Christmas present, so that will be the first brew of 2014. I will plan to brew it on the first day when the temperature is over 35 degrees since I brew outside with a turkey fryer.
Other styles of beer that I’d like to brew are:
- Pumpkin Ale
- India Pale Ale (for my hop-forward friends)
- Winter Warmer
In 2013 I named by beers after renaissance men. In 2014 I will be naming them (and hopefully labeling them) with board game related things. I am going to work on a Boards & Barley label that I can put onto the bottles and make them look more official. I’ll likely have way too much fun with that.
#2: Get away from brewing with kits
I have an awesome beer brewing store close to where I work. They have buckets of different types of barley and malt. I wish I had asked for a beer recipe book for Christmas. So my goal is to tailor at least three of the beers listed above to my own particular recipes. For example, I would likely soften the hoppiness of whichever IPA I want to brew so that it is more drinkable by people like myself who don’t care for overly hopped beers. So by getting away from using beer kits I can free myself to make the beer however I want it to be.
#3: Branch Out
This refers to my beer consumption. It’s easy to drink only the few styles or brands that I know I enjoy. So in 2014 I want to branch out and be willing to try many different styles of beer. I’ll be keeping a list of the beer styles that I enjoy throughout the year and hopefully have a sweet beer report at the end of 2014.
The Board Goals:
While the Barley goals are all something that I know I can accomplish on my own, board game goals are more dependent on other people. You need playtesters, publishers, artists, etc. With that in mind I am setting board game design goals that I believe I can accomplish without those other people. For example, I could set a goal of getting a game signed, but that would require a publisher to help me accomplish the goal. However, if the goal was to design a “signable” game, then that is something that I can accomplish on my own. Rule for life: set yourself up to succeed. So these are goals that I can accomplish without requiring publishers or artists.
#1: Print on Demand – The Game Crafter
One big goal of mine is to put two games up for sale on The Game Crafter. Why would I want to do this instead of approaching a publisher? Because game design is all about fun. I think it would be a lot of fun to create a couple of games that people could buy directly without having to wait for a kickstarter campaign or for distribution or whatever.
So I want to take two designs, create my own original artwork, and post them to TGC. The first one I post will likely be Quantum Orcas. With the recent improvements to the design I believe the game is getting close.
To make the goal “achieveable” I plan to post one game to TGC in the first six months of 2014 and the other game in the later half of 2014. This is something I’m pretty excited about. I’ve used TGC to make prototype stuff, but never to sell my own games. It should be fun!
#2: A Heavy Game
While Scoville will be a “big box” game, the design of the game is quite simple in nature. In 2014 I want to design a really heavy game in the realm of the Uwe Rosenberg games. I want there to be a high level of player interaction and an intense decision space. I want each decision to feel uber important. And I want to spend a long time balancing cards/events/scoring options. Seth Jaffee recently posted an article about balance that will help me approach a heavy game like the one I want to design.
This is a tough goal since so much goes into big game designs. Fortunately I have two friends on board to co-design with me and I have a theme in place already. I’m excited to see how things develop throughout the year.
#3: Pitch a Game
I’ve never really pitched a game. Scoville sort of pitched itself thanks to the kind words of the awesome people at Protospiel-Milwaukee last March. My third boards goal for 2014 is to have a game that is pitchable, and to actually schedule a meeting with a publisher and sit down to pitch the game. This is one of the most interesting parts of being a game designer. Can you also be a salesperson? I hope to find out in 2014.
#4: “Finish” Some Lingering Game Designs
Coming up with a game idea and making a prototype are the easy part of game design. It’s the playtesting, modifying, balancing, and other stuff that make game design challenging. I have numerous game design concepts that I would like to “finish” in 2014.
“Finish” is an interesting word since, like most art, how do you ever know if you are actually finished with something. I like the rule of thumb where you could consider a game design “finished” if someone says they would buy it. So that will be my measuring stick for 2014.
I particularly want to finish three designs: Trading Post, Brooklyn Bridge, and Conclave. I think all three are unique enough to warrant my time and effort to “finish” them. We shall see!
So to recap, I want to brew 6 beers and design (or finish) 6 games. That works out to 1 brew and 1 board game every two months. I think I can do that, but I’d better get to work!
Did I leave anything off the list? Are there things you would like me to do in 2014?
Also, what types of articles would you like to see on this blog? I didn’t set any specific blog goals, but I plan to continue providing mediocre content on a regular basis. If there are topics you would like to see, please let me know!