Tag Archives: Move Rate 20 Games

Our Beloved Taskmaster Wonders If We’re In A “Golden Age” Of Games

IMG_2722Every month, sometimes twice a month, my local game shop, Rivendell Books and Games, puts on a Saturday Board Game Nite. Admission is free, and gamers are encouraged to bring and play whatever manner of game tickles their fancy. We also have a selection of stored owned games on-hand too. Couples come in to play, as do entire families and we always have a healthy and diverse turn out for every event. We encourage people to mingle and to try out games that they may not have otherwise bought or played for themselves.

So this lend me to thinking….are we now in the Golden Age of Board Games? Are we in a gaming Renaissance?

WP_20141224_005In today’s world, with our video game culture, the concept of sitting around a table rolling dice and moving pieces seems archaic. But a large and growing board-game subculture is not only thriving, but may actually be growing so much that it may not be a subculture any longer!

WP_20150126_003Since the explosive introduction of Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne (and other Euro-Games) some years ago, a rapidly expanding marketplace has given rise to a new wave of publishers and designers, most of which have brought a new sense of creativity and innovation.

Moving beyond the old mass-market favorites of the past, this new community of independent designers and publishers has been producing exciting and innovative games at a staggering pace. Games are better than in the past and designers are turning out products with thought-provoking mechanics and breathtaking artwork as fast as their customers can buy them up.

WP_20150220_007The internet has been a key factor in the growth of tabletop gaming. Blogs, social networks and online videos have all contributed to creating word-of-mouth buzz for the board game boon. Smartphone, tablet, and computer apps have given new and old players an inexpensive way to try digital versions of board games before buying physical copies. Online retailers, specialty shops, and game cafes have all made games more easily available than in the past, allowing gamers to try out games with friends before they buy.

So, all in all, it’s a great time to be a board gamer….if we’re not in the Golden Age, we must be damn close!

 

-Steve R.

Mental Health: Can we be serious for a moment?

This may sound a little weird…

Talking mental health depressionI know we’re a gaming company and we try and have a lot of fun in our blog, but today I want to talk openly about something serious, mental health. After I watched Wil Wheaton’s video about his anxiety and depression on projectUROK.org, a website aimed a little (ok, a lot) below my age range, it really echoed my own experience. This subject should really be openly talked about in our gaming community, because let’s face it, we as gamers tend to be outcasts and more often than not, have some social anxiety issues. Not everyone, by any means, but if the national average of folks with anxiety disorders is two out of three, I would guess the ratio is probably higher among those of us in the traditional “nerd” space, especially those of us who grew up in the time before nerd culture was part of pop culture.

Mental Heath and the Gamer.

The object of this post is to talk openly about this issue, not to victimize anyone, seek excuses  or invoke pity. I feel that actually sharing this personally on video will be more effective than typing out a small novel so I will upload the following…

 

Please share your story.

 

-Steve P.

 

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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

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

Game Master Depression, is it a real thing?

Oger fills me with Game Master “Dread”

Oger, with his prized possession.
Oger, with his prized possession.
Oger the Mascot
I wanna promotion, this Mascot business is for the crows!

Our mascot here around the office Oger the Dwarf  has a huge dwarf-crush on Wil Wheaton and watches “TableTop” religiously. When he told me about the latest episodes featuring the horror-based storytelling game “Dread”, which uses a Jenga® tower instead of dice, my curiosity was peaked. Since the game is out of print, I went to Drive-Thru RPG to see if they had it, which they did as a $3 100-page PDF.

After watching the 2 TableTop episodes and looking over the rules I had to try my hand as a Game Master (or “Host”) for Dread. The basic concept is that instead of rolling dice the players pull a block from the tower when they have to use a skill that is not known to their character, or when they are doing something under duress. If the tower tumbles, the character making the pull is out of the game. I tried it last weekend and the experience wasn’t quite what I hoped for. That was my fault entirely, I broke 2 of the basic rules of Dread, maintain the atmosphere and maintain the suspense. My gaming group is supposed to meet monthly, but that has been difficult lately so we tried to take advantage of getting together for my goddaughter’s 15th birthday (who is in the group). Though a really cool game mechanic and idea, it was a case of too many people, no one was really in a “horror story” mood and a group of players that were almost completely made up of highly skilled Jenga® players. The tower never toppled and things just didn’t work out. On the ride home my wife congratulated me on a good game, but I didn’t feel it was worthy of any accolades.

 

Post Game Master Depression

Do other Game Masters walk away from a session feeling disappointed?  I’m sure that anyone taking on the responsibility of running a RPG has off nights, or a game that just didn’t fit their group. In the above  example, I know I shouldn’t beat myself up, people had fun, the players reacted to the story pretty much the way

Game Master why
Wha-wha, “I put too much work into my game and no one appreciates it”. Lighten up, humie!

I wanted. So why does it take the wind out of my sails, and not just in this case, but most gaming sessions? Part of it’s my problem, I’m known as a “plumber”, as in I “plumb the depths” of the worlds I create. They have rich, long histories and highly detailed factions with elaborate political maneuvering going on in the background, that players only scratch the surface of. When our group can’t meet regularly all those rich details get forgotten and lost. When there’s a time constraint and I have to rush 6 hours worth of play into 4, it’s those details that get cut, or worse, completely forgotten by me on the spot.

 

Is There A Curse To Being Creative?

It’s a mind frame I’ve seen with my artistic friends, and I’ve experienced myself on occasion. You start to draw, paint, sculpt with a mental image of what you want the thing to be, and as you go on you can’t reproduce that vision in your head. When you’re finished,

RPG Games
Oh boy, you’re really taking this kinda far, this is only a game we’re talking about, right?

what you created bears little resemblance to what you envisioned, which is disappointing. Here’s’ the kicker, no one else saw what you did in your head. To them this creation is wonderful, it’s something they could never do; however, in your eyes it’s not quite what you had envisioned. If a session does do play out just as I wanted those experiences that can’t be replicated; a mix of variables ranging from my mood, the players energy, the environment, the perfect amount of libation imbibed and maybe something unquantifiable. While I may be a perfectionist, I hope I’m not being too precious.

 

Oger if you’ll shut your ale-hole and stop with the side comments, I’ll see about getting you promoted from “Mascot” to “Intern”.

 

Please  share your stories of games gone right and session gone horribly, horribly wrong in the comments below and thanks for reading this.

 

Steve P.

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