I spent three nights in a cozy cabin in the North Woods of Wisconsin with seven great guys. Our annual Boys Cabin Weekend means different things to each of us, but we all look forward to a few days of relaxation and camaraderie, free from the pull of jobs, family and responsibilities. We hike, snowshoe or cross country ski. We do a little target shooting. We spend hours just reading. We talk and argue and laugh and listen to music. I like to use this time to work on game design and to play as many games as possible. Here are a few of my favorite moments from this weekend.
I’m leaving in the morning for a long weekend of tomfoolery, camaraderie and isolation in the North Woods of Wisconsin. I’m bringing a few games and prototypes, as well as my Chevee Dodd-inspired Idea Box for rapid prototyping while I’m up there.
I mentioned isolation–I’ll have negligible Internet access while I’m up there; I don’t own a smart phone, and there’s no Internet access at the cabin. I’m really looking forward to a few days away from the Internet. My pal John Kovalic has been leaving his smart phone at home when he’s working at his studio. I hope it’ll help me be as productive as he’s been.
It's doubled my productivity, and I feel that I'm doing some of the best work of my life. There are some great games coming, folks!
I’ve got a brand new game to work on while I’m there, and a couple others to play test. Additionally, this morning I had an idea for a game based on the old Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. I think it’s a perfect basis for a game, and I want to explore the idea of serendipity in game mechanisms.
Before I go, I want to share this insightful video from one of my favorite YouTube series, Extra Credits. Fascinating stuff.
Snake and Ladders may be one of the oldest and one of the best “Mechanics as Metaphor” games out there.
I’m excited and distracted today, because tomorrow I’m driving to Michigan with my buddy Jeph for the annual Roundhouse Retreat.
Roundhouse is four days of intense play testing and development, game design discussion, debate, camaraderie and a little goofing off, with a group of game designers I deeply respect and admire. It’s my favorite game event of the year.
Internet access can be spotty out in the middle of nowhere, but I hope to be able to update periodically throughout the long weekend. On Thursday, we’ll try to record an episode of Design Time with James and Kory with absent Roundhouser, Kory Heath.