Monday 10 December 2012

Sooo...ahhh...what is happening with your CDC Game?

Hey Folks,

So I betcha some of you are wondering what has been happening with my CDC solitaire game. Is it getting published? The answer to that--for the moment--is yes! I have been working fairly closely (or as close as you can get without actually speaking to anyone) with the VPG team to get my game published. There has been a lot of back-n-forth emails between myself and the developer and publisher going over the game design. There have been quite a few changes from the original design that I submitted to them over a year ago, but it is still quite recognizable as the same game.

At one point it was thought we could actually get it published before the end of the year, but they brought on an every experienced game developer--Petra Schlunk--to play test the game and that brought on some fairly major changes to the game play. I will get into those in later post.

But for now let me say that I am very excited about the process of getting my first boardgame published, and I look forward to posting about it in the future.

That Cowboy Guy

Tuesday 15 May 2012

VPG is interested in publishing my CDC solitaire game

Sooo…its been a log time since I have made a post in my blog. I have been focusing on the designing of game rather than blogging about it. Last week Luis of GlobalQuestGameDOTcom commented on my post regarding my solitaire boardgame “The CDC.” He thought it sounded pretty good and he’d like to play it person. He also wanted to know about my progress on it.

I replied that I had not gotten a response from VPG after 6 months and that I was very disappointed. But his comment spurned me on to give VPG on last try. I sent them an email indicating that I had not gotten a response from them in 6 months and if this was normal.  Here is the first response I got:


We're really sorry about that. The beginning of this year has been very busy for us since we moved, and during that time we have gotten a laser cutting machine and some other new machines here at VPG which Nathan has been busy learning as well as teaching everyone in between sorting out our game release schedule and game development.

I will be sure he gets a chance to look at this as soon as possible.  We really appreciate your patience.

-          Noelle

This was soon followed by a second response:

Hello John,

I'm really sorry about the delay. I do remember your game, and I know its something we would want to look into doing. I just got swept away with all my other tasks and your game kind of blipped off my radar for a while. You have my attention now. I'll create a test kit from your rules/files and get it on the table this Saturday. After that I should be able to give you some good feedback and move the process forward.


So then I got the following email on Monday:

Hey John,

I had the chance to sit down and play CDC this weekend. I did have some issues with the rules, and I think that Dr. Eppel was a little overpowered, but overall this was a very well put together game. I ended up playing it 3 times.

I'll probably take this on myself for development.

As for Dr. Eppel, I think double funding may be a bit much. How would you feel about a static increase, like say +2 funding when destroying an antigen?

So I replied back to Nathan:

Hi Nathan,

I’m glad that you were willing to play it 3 times this weekend. Did you lose any of the 3 games you played?

It’s been months since I’ve played the solitaire version of this game so I will have to reacquaint myself with it this week. I think a static increase such as the +2 of Dr Eppel sounds like a good change to keep the game challenging. Too much funding can certainly make it easier to win.

I am very flexible and willing to work with you on any rules/mechanics/cards changes. I also have some changes I made to the multiplayer version that could be synced back to the solo version to make it better.

Soooo…where do we go from here?

John Gibson

And here is Nathan’s reply:

It was fun. The first was played wrong, as I missed the part of the rules that said you could only have one Dr. so... that game isn't a good judge of difficulty. It was very easy I think I won by turn 6. The second game I lost. I think it was around turn 7 or 8. I ran out of money. The third game Dr. Eppel came into play again. This time the game was won by turn 8.

From here, I'll make a pass at your rules. See if I can make it so we use less subcases, and generally clean up the readability of them. We'll also need to get an artist to look at this game at some point, but I tend to delay that as long as possible so we don't "marry ourselves" to anything and fear changing it. Eventually it will go to out of house testing. At that point we will likely make a few tweaks, and clarifications, and fix anything that the testers destroy on contact. Then proofing and release. But, first things first, I'll take a crack at those rules and get them sent back to you for consideration.

Sounds kinda promising, eh?

I am trying--TRYING--not to get my hopes up in case this falls through, but this is the closest I have gotten to a publisher taking an interest in one of my game designs.   

Tuesday 24 January 2012

The Bet

So a co-worker of mine posted a blog about a bet we made regarding who would make the most money with a side business. His name is Mike Eppel and here is the location:

Anyhoo, here is the content of his blog posting:

The Bet

A few months ago myself and a few other software developers at work decided we were going to make a bet. The bet was who would be able to start a side business and make the most money in one year. Fast forward about four months to today and we are well under way.


My idea was to build a software as a service app. In the spirit of so much good advice out there I found a personal problem and set out to solve it.
I serve on my condo board where I live and one of the major problems we have is communication. Our property manager gets so many emails on a daily basis from all of his other condo boards he actually requests that we don’t cc him on the day to day conversations. I decided to build an online tool that provides central communication and cuts a ton of need for email. Instead of our property manager getting 50 emails a day he would hopefully get only a few. My product is called Committee Box.


One of my other co workers decided that instead of writing software for his business he was going to focus on building board games. So far he’s come up with some awesome prototypes and submitted a few to various game publishers. You can check out his awesome work over at That Cowboy Guy.


The last of my co workers is also working on a software project. He is building a goal tracking app that will launch with a self published book that his friend has written. I don’t have a link to his website (since I don’t think it’s in production yet) but will link to it once it’s live. See the dig there Derek? Hurry up!

The Money

Now that we are all well under way we need the focus to shift from getting started to getting started making money. After all the goal here is to make money with the side goal of making great stuff. I’m planning on blogging about our progress every few weeks from here on out.

Follow Mike at @nalidixic