Right under the wire here!
After months of gearing up for Essen, it was nice to take a step back to a certain extent. I needed to spend some time updating my book Becoming a Digital Nomad.

Where is Chris now?

I’m in Kyiv (AKA Kiev), the Ukraine. Wait, you went to Kiev during the winter? Yup. What were you thinking? Lots of reasons, very few of which are gaming-related. Suffice it to say Laura wanted to see Chernobyl, and after a few years spent in Eastern Europe, we’ve been most everywhere else in the region…

What games are you playtesting?

Not much, at least this month. I’ve connected with a couple of groups that play games, and there’s a board game cafe within walking distance… Between really disliking the cold and being busy with other stuff, I just haven’t made a lot of time.

I’ve playtested Private Eye once or twice, with some thoughts that it was a bit too short. Most other playtesting has been in-house by myself, playing with some smaller game ideas.

What’s happening behind the scenes?

I entered a new game into ButtonShy’s November contest, which asked designers to make an 18-card game based on a real-world location. My entry is called ‘Rome WAS built in a day’, and my design goal was to make a game that could be played cooperatively, competitively, on teams, or solo.

In the story of the game, you are all second-century Roman city planners, and Emperor Trajan is coming to look at your plans to develop the city. Unfortunately, your plans have all been shuffled together, and now they don’t make any sense! Lay them out into a solid plan, and the Emperor will give you coins based on how well your plans match his visions.

November 2019 update: post-Essen, 18 card contests, and playtesting

The ‘fronts’ of some of the cards — the temples and coliseums are larger and need two halves to complete them. Cards can overlap and be placed next to other cards, but not underneath or completely overlapping other cards.

November 2019 update: post-Essen, 18 card contests, and playtesting

The ‘backs’ of some cards — the top part holds the goals that might be drawn, while the bottom part serves as a reference card to remind players about the six types of places they’d find in ancient Rome.

This was one of several 18-card games I played around with, though I quickly realized some of them didn’t fit the prompt as well as I thought… Some games work at 18 cards, but you might find they work even better at a higher card count. One of those games combines two well-known ideas to make something different, but tweaking it up to 49 cards from 18 cards added some challenge and made it much easier to add more players to the game…

What’s the next big thing?

I’ll be working on compiling the ultimate list of tabletop publishers, partially based on the research I’ve done for my own games, but expanding it out to make it the biggest list of publishers available. Will have something to show / offer in the first quarter of 2020.