Blogging Fail, Game Win

Alright. I am a terrible blogger. I’ve completely neglected this and every other blog I own lately. I get obsessed with projects and other things that I sink my time into, and blogging just doesn’t get the attention it requires.

But I didn’t get on here to post about how terrible I am at blogging, I wanted to invite you, my intrepid reader, to apply to be a beta tester on a board game I am designing.

You  need to be trustworthy. You need to be brave. You need to read the following and email me requesting an invitation to the beta. So do it.

You don't want to know the working title. Help me come up with something better.

Very Temporary Logo

The target crowd for the beta test is parents and teachers who are interested in games that can be played casually at home or in the classroom with anywhere from two to a bazillion players. However, anyone interested can ask to help. Beta testers should be relatively fearless when faced with dense and complicated looking rules and instructions. The game is simple once you know what’s going on, but at initial glance the rules can be a bit intimidating.

I will expect the following from my beta tester group in the form of regular communications (email, preferably):

  • Initial impressions upon unpacking the game.
  • Ease of (or difficulties in) getting started.
  • Any unclear instructions or opportunities to simplify.
  • Feedback on difficulty of the game (too easy? too hard?).
  • Accounts of several play sessions with different audiences (children, peers, hobos on the street, etc.).
  • Ideas and suggestions for improvement of any aspect of the game.
  • NAME SUGGESTIONS! I cannot stress this enough – this game NEEDS an effective, creative name. A reward is being offered for a winning name (it’s a secret reward for now, and it’s nothing to get too excited about). There will be a vote if more than one awesome idea is submitted.

Beta testers can expect their contributions to be implemented if a clear sense of improvement is perceived on my end.

Access to a printer is preferable for this beta testing period, but not required. If you do not have a printer, you have two options:

  1. I can mail you a packet of printed materials. This option has the disadvantage of costing someone money, and it does not allow you to quickly and easily receive updates if significant changes are made to the game structure.
  2. I originally played this game with a group of 9 and 10 year olds on a chalkboard and a sheet of scratch paper. Some features (cards) have been introduced since then, but at its simplest the game does not require anything more than a surface to draw on. See if you can figure out how to make it happen with what you have. In fact, I have included a small set of instructions for setting the game up on a drawing surface (even for those who are not artistically inclined). If you also wish to get crafty and recreate the cards manually, use the included PDFs as reference.

Option 2 is preferable, but I am willing to work with people who want to help.

If you are interested, please email me at and ask for an invitation. I will be hand picking my crack team of beta testers this weekend. Frankly, if we don’t have some sort of connection through blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or real life, I am unlikely to trust you with my intellectual property. This is not an invitation to see what I’m working on so you can sell it if it’s good. Significant contributions from the beta program will be noted and celebrated in a “thank you” note on the final version of the game somewhere, but that is all I can promise.

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend.

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September 2011

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