Don’t trust testers!

Ignacy is a brutal playtester, a concept my pals Dave Chalker and Kory Heath introduced me to a couple years ago, much to my great benefit.

Boardgames That Tell Stories

Walec was testing Robinson with me for a couple of months. He joined us early Spring 2012 and played during Spring and Summer months. After each test game he was telling me that game is good, and better and better. He was lying right in my face. Just like all 99% of other testers. He was telling that there are emotions, choices, lots of action. If I only listened to him…

But I didn’t.

I was trashing cards, and rules and changing and changing and did not listen assurances of playtesters that game is OK. I knew they had no guts to tell me right into my eyes that the game I want to release for Essen sucks.

Designer presenting his prototype is like young mother with her little boy. Do you really believe there is anybody on this planet who will tell her that her sweet child is fat…

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R:CoM Swag!


Last night at Madison Board Games & Beer, the open-to-the-public board game night I organize, my game designer pal Kane Klenko gave me a handful of these ROME: CITY OF MARBLE beer coasters be brought back from the R&R Games booth at Gen Con. They look awesome!

ROME: CITY OF MARBLE spotted in the wild.

And an official press release from ACD Distribution:

Rome: City of Marble

$49.99 SRP

Welcome to ancient Rome! In this tile-laying game, you are a builder backed by one of the powerful Patrician families of Rome.

Influence and direct new construction of the expanding metropolis through shrewd development of the city’s districts. Construct various civic buildings: Temples for worship, Baths  for health, Theaters and Arenas for arts and entertainment. The more you build, the more you gain Imperium, the measure of real power and influence in Roman society.

As buildings are constructed, influential players score victory points representing their prestige. Score additional victory points by building Bridges, Aqueducts, and Fountains. Earn a final reward for your level of Imperium.

The player with the most victory points in the end earns the title of Architectus Romanus!

“I think of art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it,” wrote Marshall McLuhan in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. – See more at Design Envy.

Ten of Diamonds

Word play around the campfire


I’m fresh off a memorable weekend of tent camping at Kohler-Andrae State Park in Wisconsin, on the sandy shore of Lake Michigan, with a large group of friends and acquaintances. It was a weekend filled with adventure, play, laughter, learning, food and fun.

I was introduced to a clever colloquial word game our first night there, as ten adults and a passel of children huddled around a picnic table in one small screened tent to shelter from the pouring rain outside. The game–it lacks a formal name–is played with nothing more than your imagination. Structurally it’s a bit vague and open-ended, but it has a solid core that, with a little effort, could be formalized into a marketable party game.  The game play is difficult to describe, but as an easy analogy you could call it “Word Zendo.”

I plan to take a stab at developing this game a bit further, and we’ll see what comes of it.