Well, this has been a year, people.

December caps off an overall weird year with an unusual month, even by 2020’s standards. Between playtesting, researching, and some other behind-the-scenes stuff, it’s been a very busy month for me.

Where is Chris now?

Chris is still in Warsaw, Poland — we’re almost certain to make it a year here thanks to COVID. Going forward this question doesn’t really feel as relevant as it used to, but it might in the future…

What games are you playtesting?

I didn’t actually spend as much time playtesting as usual in December – mostly just in Virtual Playtesting twice a week and Remote Playtesting on Saturdays. Some of my games that have gotten to the table this month included:

  • Bento! – yes, I think it’s earned the exclamation mark. This puzzly placement game with some set-collection parts has been playtested to near-universal praise and is ready to pitch. I think it’s just a matter of finding the right publisher, maybe tweaking the difficulty ever so slightly…
  • Bug Bounty – bluffing and negotiation game about hacking. The game’s pretty smooth as it is, and it’s basically at the refining stage. I’ll be pitching this one soon.
  • Crazy Travel Stories – this game is basically ready to go, but honestly I’m not sure if this is better thought of as a free print-and-play style game or something to be pitched.
  • Cryptomillionaire – press-your-luck set collection about cryptocurrency – roughly the fourth game I ever made is being revived right as Bitcoin hit an all-time high. I had considered changing the theme to be a little more timeless and a little less trendy, but some playtesters mentioned how well the theme fits the mechanics. The main way you score points is a little counterintuitive at first: the more of that coin are in circulation, the more each one is worth. It’s meant to simulate how cryptocurrency becomes more valuable as more people use it, but this throws people for a loop when they’re expecting a more straightforward sort of economic game…
  • Secret Recipe – logic and deduction game about discovering Grandma’s secret chili recipe. I’ve taught the game enough times that I’ve gotten a little forgetful on the best way to teach the game. That has seemed to be the biggest sticking point.

What’s happening behind the scenes?

For most of the month, I’ve spent several hours a day researching publishers for a new project. As of when this post is published, I’m not quite ready to reveal it just yet, but you’ll be hearing about it some more in the new year. If you’ve been looking for a way to research publishers, or if you just hate researching, this is going to be a HUGE help… Stay tuned. I have another post in the queue that’ll talk about that more.

What’s the next big thing?

I’ll be finishing up the year by preparing this researching project for the public, and maybe finally getting around to making some changes indicated from playtesting.

I’ll also be hanging out / throwing a little party in Virtual Playtesting for New Year’s Eve – nothing quite like saying goodbye to 2020 in the manner in which so many of us spent so much time: in the Discord channel. See you there!