So I guess I should apologize first and foremost: life was busy during November and December that I barely wrote about anything here… but let’s get to the usual questions and get caught up here.

Where is Chris now?

Istanbul, Turkey. We arrived in early January and will be here until early March. I spent the last two months of 2018 in Athens, Greece — a city I’ll also be writing about soon. I joined a weekly playtesting event on Tuesday nights with several local game designers and set up a playtesting event on Thursday nights to playtest my own games and meet local gamers.

What games are you playtesting?

Several games have been heavily playtested over the last couple of months:

  • Royal Wedding — this game has come a long way over the last couple of months. What was initially conceived as a spiritual successor / sequel to Love Letter has been slightly expanded from a micro-game to a refined, strategy 54-card game.
  • Don Quixote — this is a family-weight game that aims to be fun whether you’ve read the classic novel or not.
  • Defuse — the real-time, turn-based bomb defusal game has continued receiving lots of praise, with only a couple of minor tweaks needed over the last couple of months. A couple of playtesters in Athens liked it so much, they wanted a copy of the prototype!
  • The Next Great American Novel — this is a new deck-builder game about writing a novel. Players are writers trying to write a novel, and they’ll spend pens to collect more ideas into their deck. It’s great for 2-4 players, and I’m working on a 5-6 player expansion…

What’s happening behind the scenes?

A ton of playtesting, some new videos over on Games Previewed… oh, and a new site with a new focus: TabletopCalendar.com. That site aims to offer a calendar for upcoming crowdfunders, contests, and conventions.

As part of the move from Athens to Istanbul, I made a choice to shelve several games. I haven’t given up on them, but when I return to them, I’ll be updating them and would need to print off a new version anyway

What’s the next big thing?

I’ll be exploring the game nights and groups of Istanbul — there seems to be plenty of them, but Istanbul is huge. It can easily take over an hour to get the other side of town, and that’s with an efficient public transportation system.

I’m also paying attention to more contests — whether I produce a contest winner or the creative exercise spawns a new, brilliant idea is never certain, but contests are great ways to keep the creative juices flowing…