November 8, 2013

Of Finding Civilization in a Barn

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A few weeks ago I was rummaging around in a family friend’s barn where they have all manner of amazing stuff stored - as befits any proper barn. Heaped in a storage stall and buried beneath all types of barn-stuff were some decaying old crates filled with ….. BOARDGAMES!

And specifically boardgames from at least 25 years or more ago. This included a number of old wargames in giant foggy plastic bags (our family friend was apparently a wargamer in the old days), a copy of the 1976 Avalon Hill edition of Acquire and … wait for it … Civilization! I mentioned that Civ in particular might be worth something, and that regardless these shouldn’t be kept in the barn where all manner of calamities (no civ pun intended) that befall barns might begat upon the treasured games as well. He looked at me sideways and said … “why don’t you just take them”.

Begrudgingly I said thanks and accepted the games, promising to get at least some of them to the table and invite him over as well. He had never played his copy of Civ, and to my surprise it was only about 30% punched out. I started drooling.

So last night, in a rare more of quiet and solitude, I poured myself a gin-and-tonic, opened the box, lovingly punched out the components, imagined myself back in the year 1981 (except I was only 1 year old at that time!), cracked open the rules and got to seeing what all the Civ fuss was about.

November 5, 2013

Breaking the Shrink

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I had the pleasure of driving four hours yesterday to hand sign a modest number of copies of Hegemonic for Kickstarter backers with Minion Games. And a special thanks to Jeff, a local KS backer, for helping out during the signing bohnanza. Regardless, this was also the first chance I’ve had to look at the finished product and to break the shrink wrap off my own first game box. A surreal yet humbling experience seeing the culmination of many people’s hard work and diligence in seeing the game come to fruition.

If you’ve been following the Kickstarter campaign (or participated in it), you no doubt have caught a glimpse of the logistical and timing challenges associated with making games. It all sounds quite straightforward and easy on paper – yet the realities and timing considerations are myriad. The signing event took place at a warehouse/shipping/packing where Kickstarter orders are being organized, packaged up, and shipped out – and there is a lot to consider in how to best accomplish what amounts to 1000+ custom orders. It was all cool to see – especially the giant tower of games on pallet that represented ~400 copies and only a fraction of the total volume. Crazy!