On the Road

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a two week long road trip as my brother and I drive cross country from Maryland to California for my move. We're taking a southern route through New Orleans, Texas, and as many national parks as we can manage through the Southwest on the way to San Francisco. The goal is to arrive in time to make my flight to Origins in mid-June! There's been a lot of prep for the move lately but still time for some fun gaming stuff that I wanted to share before I hit the road. So here's what I've been up to lately:

  • Backing two more abstract games since Pyramid Arcade on Kickstarter: Tak by James Ernest from Cheapass Games & Santorini by Gavan Brown from Roxley Games. Can’t wait for these two to show up!
  • Playing a lot of Quadropolis (by Francois Gandon, published by Days of Wonder) lately and really enjoying it. I haven’t hit expert mode yet, but I hear it’s a totally different play experience so I’m excited to bring this along for the road trip and dig a little deeper into it.
  • Visiting Madison for ACD Games Day with Steve Jackson Games. ACD runs a great show every year and it was great to meet John, Rett & Alex from Catalyst Game Labs while I was there, who I’d only emailed with prior to the show. I got to check out both of the Spiel nominees that I hadn’t played yet: Imhotep (by Phil Walker-Harding, published by Thames & Kosmos), and Karuba (by Rudiger Dorn, published by Haba). In addition to all of the great people and gaming, I had a really nice bike ride with friends around Lake Monona.
  • Looking forward to Phil Reed's upcoming book, "Collect These Figures and Accessories", about the marketing behind Star Wars figures between 1977 and 1986. If you're not checking out his blog, Battlegrip, you're missing out on some toy advertising nostalgia.
  • Speaking of Spiel nominees… everyone I know loves Codenames but the Codenames Pictures protoype Josh from Czech Games has been carrying around is so crazy fun. 
  • Loving this video about the design and background of Catan from Great Big Story!
  • Marveling at the idea of bundling a Broken Token organizer with the sale of an expansion like Artana recently did for Tesla vs. Edison: Powering Up. I've been wanting to organize my Seven Wonders expansions for awhile and haven't yet made the move of buying one of the organizers so selling them together seems really smart!
  • Playing The Game over and over and over again. I love puzzles and card games and the social interaction of playing this with different groups is really funny... another game that is not just making the road trip, but living in my bag.
  • Drooling over the artwork for Above & Below. The game is interesting mechanically and the narrative element makes for a different gaming experience than I’m accustomed to - it feels like training for an RPG. Ryan Laukat designed and illustrated the game and I’m thinking one of the prints he has for sale at Society 6 would look nice in my new office!  It's a nice symbol of some of the more progressive art direction I'm excited by in tabletop games.
  • Laughing at the ridiculous fun I had trying out Calliope's upcoming game from the Titan Series, Hive Mind, by Richard Garfield during a recent business trip. 
  • Reading the first of Mark Rosewater’s “Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons” blog posts about what he’s learned making Magic.

I’ll be on the road tomorrow - first stop Boardwalk Games in Greenville, South Carolina. I am hoping to visit game stores along the way, so please be in touch if you recommend game stores or cafes along the crazy path I’m plotting!  

Heading to GAMA

Hello internet gaming friends!  It's been way too long since I last posted so I've made a little catch up ditty to share on my way to the GAMA Trade Show before I get back to posting games from the list.  I've only been home for 4 weeks in the last 3 months because there have been a lot of changes afoot including some fun plans for 2016 so I've listed and linked it all up to make it easy to share:

  • Deciding to move west from DC to Portland! I will be doing a cross country drive in the beginning of June before Origins with my brother!!!  I'm hoping to stop at game stores along the way so please send suggestions if you think of them!
  • Attending BGGCon for the first time last November. Which. was. so. fun. I played so many prototypes, dexterity games, games from the list of 100 games, and games I'd not tried yet that had been recently published. I'm very excited to return this Fall! Crokinole 4ever!
  • Planning my trade show and convention schedule for 2016. Right now it looks like I have 20 trade shows and conventions planned for 2016. How you doing, frequent flier miles? The best part is that a few are just for fun, like DiceTower, BGGCon & GrandCon.
  • Learning to play CCGs, starting with some secret prototype stuff, then some vintage Magic decks, and now HEARTHSTONE! My Magic post draft is really weird already, because as I learned to play, I kept thinking of each mechanic in terms of Fluxx mechanics - I know this is kind of backwards but unlike a lot of gamers, I have no history with Magic and a LOT of history with Fluxx.
  • Thinking about the women in gaming panel that I'll be part of at GAMA on Monday at 7 pm. If you'll be in Vegas for the show, please show up and participate!
  • Playing the new Patchwork app - which came out just in time to replace Monument Valley, my last app obsession. I also noticed that Monument Valley and Threes each have some really cute merch for sale - I want a wooden totem so bad!
  • Trying to step up my Instagram game - it's not as popular for games as Twitter but I really love it. Let me know if you're posting there!
  • Enjoying all the attention escape rooms are getting. I did a REALLY difficult one in January at Escape Room SF that our team couldn't solve but it had great puzzles.  There are a lot of boxed escape room games coming out too - I'm excited to play this one from Think Fun in the next couple of weeks. 
  • Waiting to play Pandemic Legacy and it's killing me - but I need to be in the same city for a bit so I'm still holding off and hoping it happens this month after GAMA.  And I need to grab a copy of Tokaido Deluxe if I can still find one. Collecting games is hard when you are planning a move!
  • Planning a really fun party game about one of my favorite TV shows with some of my favorite people in the industry - a nice surprise that came out of Toy Fair in February.  Another highlight of the show was seeing the reactions to the Munchkin Guest Artist Editions that I showed off with Steve Jackson Games. I also fell in love with a new company from Switzerland called Helvetiq that has really beautiful packaging and elegant, light games and puzzles.
  • Visiting some really great places in New York after Toy Fair - from spying some of my favorite street artists' works to Brooklyn Game Lab (game design for kids), NYU Game Center (game design for grown ups), and Twenty Sided Store (a shop in Williamsburg with nice owners, and lots of RPGs). 
  • Loving this post recognizing games that represent women well by Candice Huber.
  • Playing Bunco with my friend Katie's group that has met monthly for 30 years. They were very kind to include me in their tradition this month and I'm hoping to get to go back before I move. Those ladies know how to party!
  • Realizing how many restaurants and art exhibits I have to visit before I leave DC in a couple of months!

Thanks for reading my list of -ings! My post about Can't Stop is next in the queue!