|How's it look? (note...NOT MY GAME!)|
So why jump in the fray? Well, I'll blame my good friend Paul Owen a little bit. Paul was fortunate enough to get his first game, Trains, Planes & Automobiles published in 2011. Since I'm often hanging out with Paul at the two main board gaming conventions I attend, Prezcon and WBC, I started seeing some of the "inner circle" as Paul would socialize with other designers, throw ideas back and forth and even playtest some new games. The enthusiasm and creativity amongst this group was contagious, and I decided that I'd like to give it a shot. As the dad of two younger children (currently aged 6 & 9), my first inclination was to create a game that they could enjoy - but also that adults would like. At some point, I hit upon the idea of having the players control teams of elves as they build presents in Santa's Workshop - and I tentatively titled the game just that - Santa's Workshop. As I mentioned, I would scribble down notes to myself now and then, and eventually had a bunch of papers tacked to the corkboard by my desk. But I was procrastinating on actually putting something together.
Earlier this year, I had the vague thought of having something ready to go by the next Unpub convention. Again, I had heard Paul talk about his experiences at Unpub 3, and I thought that would be a great place to get good feedback. But I hemmed and hawed, and summer turned into fall. For some reason, I thought Unpub was in the Spring...but a few weeks ago I discovered that it was happening in the middle of January. Cursing myself for procrastinating, I asked Paul how "finished" a game should be, and he indicated that many of the games there were roughly in the middle of the design process, still needing a few tweaks, but well on their way to completion. I was a little dejected at this, because I didn't think I would have anything even "halfway" done by January. I reached out on Twitter to the guys running Unpub, and the response I got from T.C. Petty III was that "notebook paper is fine...it's probably good if you've at least played it a time or two". With that in mind, I decided I wanted to go for it, and not regret that I had to wait another year for the next full Unpub convention...and I promptly found that they had sold out their tables. Convention director Darrell Louder gave me a ray of hope when he said that they were looking to add a few more tables.
|Not the view from our seats|
|I didn't think to take a picture until we were done!|
|A little closer view|