Games Of Tomorrow: The Taskmaster Talks About The Future

Dàjiā Hǎo!

Welcome back…

As you all probably know by now, Gamergeddon was a great success! Some funds were raised, playtesting was done, and fun was had by all! Thanks to all who came out and joined us…you know who you are! I’d like to send out a special thanks to my wife Simone and my son Ethan for helping us out with the yard sale/ sidewalk sale. I could not have done it without you both!

Work continues on “Master of Spies”.

Indie Card Games
A sample of the new look for the “Phase 2” MoS cards that will be hitting the road/

Game play mechanics are just about complete. Official rules have been written, and the retail box has been designed. We still have some playtesting notes to comb through, but overall this game is very close to going to production. As soon as the final artwork is received full sized prototypes of the game will be made and then our team of Steve P. and James will hit the road for some “not-so-local” networking and even more playtesting.

So far the vast majority of our playtests for “Master of Spies” have resulted in positive feedback, so we are excited to move forward into the next stage of development. Hopefully we can bring “MoS” to Kickstarter soon!

What’s next? We’ll be digging out our second game, clean away the dust on it and resume development on that one as well.

Gamer gold
This is an older picture of the “other” game, but we are going to bring it out for further testing.

 

Things continue to be busy here at MR20!

Until next time….stay frosty!

Steve R

The Future of The Local Gaming Store Hang-out?

There’s a lot of talk about the impact of on-line retailers and the “death” of the local gaming store. There are even some closed minded curmudgeons (mind you I’m a curmudgeon myself so this is not light criticism) who think board and card games are on their way out due to the electronic alternatives.  I’d have to be a fool not to recognized that the terrain is changing, or to not see that we’re in a transitional period. It’s a fact, in this day and age we have more stuff to fill up our spare time than any other time in history. Just look at my Netflix queue, my unpainted miniatures, underplayed games and unfinished game concepts if you need proof.

The Fate of the Local Gaming Store

The Uncommons NYCThe fact is, as with all retailers in the age of Amazon, that the local gaming store needs to adapt. 20 years ago there were only a handful of places you could get obscure games,  specialized imports or rare small print run indie Human Occupied LandfillRPGs (anyone remember HoL?) So today’s game store owners need to adapt to compete against the discounted prices and vast inventory of the online retailers, The way most have done so is to create a community of gamers and given them a place to meet and play together. I came across one such place during my travels in New York City wandering around Manhattan. The place is called buy or rent gamesThe Uncommons“, a coffee shop and local game store where you can buy or rent games to play with friends and strangers. It was doing a fair amount of business for a 4th of July Saturday  afternoon. The selection of games to rent was impressive, the ones to buy admirable (about half the shelf space of the rental games), but I’m sure they would bring in any thing you wanted special order. It had the feeling of a mini-convention, where people came to try new games of meet new players.

The Uncommons NYC

There is many local gaming stores that have done similar things, putting large war-gaming tables with exquisite model terrain to bring in the war-gamer crowd.

We’ve based our company out of shared space with Rivendell Books & Games in Rehoboth, MA where the owner has a open gaming nights twice a month as well as the usual Friday Night Magic and Star Realms tournaments.

Do you have a favorite gaming space or combo-gaming and social outlet? Please comment and let us know. Also please like and share our posts to really help getting the conversation going!

-Mr. P

Gamer-geddon 2015 official report!

Gamer-geddon was a great success and we would like to formally thank everyone who attended and the folks who volunteered to help us out on our, hopefully, first of many Gamer-geddons.

We would especially like to thank;
Rivendell Books & Games for hosting, Courtney Christopher & David Gulick for cooking & desserts, Brian & Kelly Estano  for smoked pork & superhero & mana cookies, Zak Lanoue for all around help, Vincent and Patrick  from Mech Deck for coming out and demo’ing their game, Kathy McLean & Mal Moen for the grill, and our friends and family. Especially my dear, sweet Naomi.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Gamer conventionWP_20150627_005 WP_20150627_003IMG_2725 IMG_2722 IMG_2720 IMG_2718 IMG_2716 IMG_2715 IMG_2714 IMG_2710IMG_2721

Now please forgive us if we take a little rest before driving into more game testing and development.

I am typing this in a half sleeping haze, please forgive any typos. -Mr. P.
I am typing this in a half sleeping haze, please forgive any typos. -Mr. P.

Thank you and sweet dreams without creepy clowns,

Mr. P.

 

Role Playing Games: Our Beloved Taskmaster Looks For Advice.

Privet, moi druz’yaigos…

So a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a missive detailing how I lamented not having enough time to play all the games I owned, wished to own, or didn’t own but wanted to play anyway (did you follow all that)!

That ol’ Role Playing Game Itch.

I also stated that I had no idea when I’d have time to ever play in a good old fashion RPG campaign again. Lately that itch has begun in earnest, like a good ole’ summer case of poison oak!

This time however, I have decided to scratch that itch, and actually run some RPG sessions this summer. BUT…..I now have another problem:

What system do I run?

Role Playing GameDo I bring out the tried and true Pathfinder books? After all, this is a system almost all RPG-ers are now familiar with. Plenty of playing options are available and I am sure I can get people to play with me.
(Count me in if you go with a PF campaign! -Mr. P.)

Do I go with the new and try out the new D&D 5 ruleset? But that would take a lot more time, having to learn a whole new ruleset. And then I would have to find people also willing to try a new game.

D&D Role playing Game

Old school role playing gameOr do I go with the good old AD&D. Going old school and running some classic module adventures. Try to recapture that magic of youth when Greyhawk was young and the adventures seems boundless!

Knowing me, I’ll procrastinate so much that my plan to run a summer campaign will turn into a fall campaign!

Oh well….(now where did I put those old M.E.R.P. books?!?!?!)

Middle Earth Role Playing Game

Steve R

 

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The FTC Kicks In Kickstarter’s Door To Stop Fraud

And it’s about time.

You want more big government?

Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t want to see the government start to regulate and clamp down on crowdfunding. I’ve personally backed a dozen or so campaigns myself, but there was always that worry, “Am I every really going to see this product?” Fortunately the Kickstarter campaigns I dealt with were on the level and never disappointed me. They did make me wait, but that’s to be expected in the crowdfunding experience. Then you start to hear about these Kickstarter nightmare campaigns. Last year Jyrobike, the auto-balancing bike, launched it’s campaign looking for $100,000 and was quickly funded and exceed its goal, then a month ago I read  a story about the inventor. His company’s board of directors, excited about the new influx of cash , started arguing over where the money should go. The inventor said, “To build the Jyro-Bikes every ordered.” The Board didn’t agree, voted the inventor out and never produced the bikes the backers had ordered. Now there’s two tragedies here, one is that the backers, who gave their money in good faith, never received their promised reward, of course. The other is that the inventor, the guy whose name was on the Kickstarter campaign, has had his reputation destroyed . He’ll never be able to run another crowdfunding campaign again.

Kickstarter and The Doom That Came To Atlantic City

kickstarter-thumbnail

I was told the cautionary tale of “The Doom That Came To Atlantic City” by a friend, and now partner in Move Rate 20 Games, who is familiar with the gaming industry. It’s a tale of how the creators of the game, Lee Moyer and Keith Baker, worked in good faith with a “friend?” who would manage their Kickstarter campaign to get it funded.  The campaign was a success, hitting $100,000 before even the first month, everyone was thrilled. Then slowly the updates from Erik Chevalier grew more and more infrequent. The backers wanted to know what had happened to the $122+K that had been raised and when would they be getting their game? On June 31st, 2013, a little over a year after the initial Kickstarter, Chevalier posted that the game studio had been shuttered and refunds would be forth coming. (You can read most of the posts here on the original Kickstarter page) Obviously the refunds never came and nothing was heard from Chevalier.

Tabletop gamesLuckily, Moyer and Baker were rescued by Cryptozoic Entertainment, who agreed to publish the game and provide the backers with the copy of the game they were promised, all out of their own pocket. These guys are the real heroes of this story.

Finally, Justice?

Judging Cat is Judging YouSo the FTC charged Chevalier with the failure to produce any of the rewards for the backers and never issuing any refunds. They fined him $111,793, however,  it has been suspended due to his current financial situation, ahem…he’s broke. He is also permanently barred from raising money through crowdfunding. So…”yea”…I guess.

What do you think about the FTC getting involved and the punishment they levied against Chevalier? Too soft, too harsh, just right? Leave a comment below and let me know.

-Steve P.

 

A Brief Missive From The Task Master

Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends!

So…a couple of weeks ago I wrote:

“I guess I could tease out that we do have an “event” coming up in June!”

Well….see below for details!

If you are in the greater Attleboro / Providence / Taunton triangle….then drop in and see us…

Also the guys from Mech Deck will be there Demostrating their game, so come on down and give this very cool game a try.

Epic Garage Sale

Hope to see you there!

Steve R

Tabletop Games: How many are “too” many?

Olá meus amigos…

So this past weekend I participated in another great Game Nite event at the best gaming establishment in the world…Rivendell Books and Games! We had a great time with great people and there was great selection of games on hand.

I myself ended up playing two games I had never played before; a classic Aliens game from “waaaaaay” back in 1989, a newer game called Gravwell (thanks Mike P. for bringing these in!), and we started the night with a Star Realms Tournament. I had a blast…as did all the attendees, playing whatever games they had going on!

Then, as the night was drawing to a close, I looked over at the shelf I have at our play area….and saw all the tabletop games we didn’t get to!

Great board and card games

There was my D&D Attack Wing…un-played since the first week I acquired it!

Next to that was my Pathfinder Card Game…with most of its expansions still encased in their original cellophane wrapping!

Memoir 44 was there, unused since that first initial month when we played it weekly!

Star Wars Armada and it expansions sat there too, waiting to be played for the first time!

And that’s just some of the games I keep at the store, never mind the ones I have at home!

Who knows when I’ll get to play in an RPG campaign again!

So, here I type and lament that I am surrounded by all these wonderful games and I just can’t play them all!

I am really not complaining too loudly though….I do get to play something (or multiple somethings) every week and on multiple nights.

It’s just that sometimes it feels like there are too many tabletop games and not enough time!

 

Until next time….always be playing!

Steve R

 

(Feature image from http://housekeeping.about.com/u/sty/cleaning101/Before-And-After-Cleaning-And-Organizing-Projects/Game-Closet-Makeover.htm)

Why Make Games?

Everyone who has made or is in the process of making games has probably asked themselves this very question. Different creators will have their own reasons for designing games. Some want to see if they can make something others will enjoy, while some may do it for the recognition. The most driving reason, however, is the desire to play. Without this desire, there would be no need to make games in the first place.

Games and the human brain

Wide selection of board games

The desire to play is not unique to humans. Many animals also exhibit this quality, especially among the young. Play promotes companionship and teaches many important life techniques, whether they be hunting and defense skills for the animals or math, critical thinking, and sportsmanship for people. Unlike other animals, however, most people tend to get bored playing the same games day after day, stemming from our longing for the newest and greatest. This longing has led to the evolution of games from the dice and cards of early history to the multitudes of games today.

What games stimulate you?

Not all games appeal to all types of people, so in an effort to make them more appealing, rules are changed, added, or removed. Sometimes the pieces themselves are changed, such as from dice to cards, cards to boards, and boards to electronics. Each has its own style of game-play favoring a combination of chance, skill, and strategy, appealing to different audiences. Games with high chance factors appeal to those who like to gamble and enjoy uncertainty. Games of skill appeal to those who enjoy the physical aspect, often as a test of strength or dexterity. Games of strategy appeal more to those who like to be in control of their actions and outwit their opponents. Few games will focus solely on one aspect over the others as this can lead to the outcome of a game being known early during play or even at the outset, removing the fun for most. At the heart of it, games are made so we can have something new to play.

-James McLean

Another Missive From Our Beloved Taskmaster

Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends!

Another week, another article!

And here I sit; scratching my “follicle-ly” challenged pointy head as I try to think of something to say that will be interesting and newsworthy to you all!

Y’know, the two biggest problems with writing these weekly “state-of-the-business” missives is that:
A. It is hard to write about something that has yet to be released to the general public…and…
B. I have no idea if my words are reaching anyone!

Bored Cat is BoredI mean I am not trying to go for some deep world-changing existential prose here. I am not writing the next War and Peace. I am just trying to keep you all informed on the state of MR20….and this week I hit a roadblock!

I guess could tease out that we do have an “event” coming up in June!

Or that we may be an actual legal company in the very near future!

And that it seems our Facebook page is finally gaining some traction…

Or that, so far, most of the folks who have playtested our first game have actually liked it enough to the point that they even want to playtest it again!

And that having Mr. P at my beck and call is as fun as it seems it is!
(I live to serve, Mr. R.)

Or that all of us here at MR20 are having a blast developing our games, despite all the work that has been and is yet to be done!

Oh well…stupid roadblock…maybe I will just go and re-write War and Peace!

Until next time….stay frosty!

Steve R

Games are made here