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!