Today on ‘monthly check-ins’…
It’s been a busy March, but I’m in just under the wire here…

Where is Chris now?

I started the month in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to Tbilisi, Georgia in the middle of the month.

What games are you playtesting?

Playtesting’s been a bit off this month. There’s only one place I’ve even attempted to play board games in Tbilisi (I’ve learned of a second place that opened earlier this month, and have been meaning to go back in)…

  • Defuse remains an easy one to pull out and explain, since it’s a 10 minute game that takes less than 5 minutes to explain.
  • Next Great American Novel has come out of the bag and received some positive feedback. It’s been playtested dozens of times now, and I’m feeling pretty confident that most of the bugs have been worked out. While more playtesting is always needed, I’m no longer looking for game-breaking issues and are now more focused on finding OP combinations and seeing if different strategies play better (or worse)

What’s happening behind the scenes?

Two new games! Both need some playtesting and to see how well they work (want to playtest one of these? Make contact!):

March 2019: pitching and designing behind the scenes

  • Spin the Knife: a simple party game about spinning a (plastic) knife and trying to deflect it away from you with cards. If you get stabbed, the ‘stabbed!’ card gives you a special power you can use each round. The game ends when one person has been stabbed three times. They’re eliminated, and whoever has the most cards in their hand wins. There’s a lot of luck in this inaugural version, and there are tough choices between playing cards (which let you deflect the knife towards someone else) and keeping them in your hand (most cards here at the end of the game wins)

March 2019: pitching and designing behind the scenes

  • Bug Bounty: hackers (or security researchers, if you like) find bugs / hacks / exploits in a company’s software. Companies offer to pay them for the exploit, hoping they don’t get sold to someone else or (worse) used on them. Bluffing, hidden information, and potential for scheming / deception are all here. Both sides can lose Reputation if they deploy their hacks, but it’ll hurt other companies as well. You’ll have to choose whether you want to play ‘black hat’ or ‘white hat’, and when it might be a good opportunity to switch allegiances…

I also spent the better part of a few days sending pitch e-mails out to around 100 publishers (thanks to Cardboard Edison’s Compendium — but it’s definitely time to update that list!)

What’s the next big thing?

We’ll be in Tbilisi until early June, and I’m hoping to start up a playtesting event as I have in other countries. There are some game ideas floating under the surface (themes that need some mechanics, mechanics that need themes), and I’ve been meaning to resurrect a couple of shelved games…

I’m also planning to get more active on Games Previewed, previewing more games and otherwise creating a bigger profile for myself… It’s been kind of tough making a name for yourself, especially when you’re first starting out… Have to research how others have succeeded…

Over to you

What’s new in your world?