*EDIT 120420 – This post has been drafted and edited too many times to count. As of this publishing, I’d lost my job of 8+yrs and dealing with a possible change in career. Not to mention a new year just started. Need to keep my head on right.
It’s been a hot minute and I feel terrible neglecting this site. I’ve just been sleeping on a lot of good ideas. My history on blogging and vlogging is a terrible one, wrought with inconsistencies and moments of inspiration only to fall flat on its face shortly there after. What is a busy guy to do?? Set a schedule reasonable enough to follow and stick to it? That would be a great idea and one that has cross my mind many times. Let me count the ways: One one thousand. Two one thousand. Three one thousand…
What do I do?
In the last half of 2019 I’d been updating and upgrading a few of my existing ideas. During the beginning of 2019 I had pretty much scaled back on design efforts and turned the focus on getting more of my developed and published games into the public’s hands. Hitting up conventions here and there within a 100km radius. Since cost is a major factor for us con exhibitors/vendor I wanted to be responsible enough to not spend hundreds of dollars on a table to only (hopefully) make $75 in profit on sales. Small cons offer small exposure but a better return on investment so far. Slow and steady, as they say. Some of the cons that I frequent here north of the GTA are Cottage Country Con in Orillia, Muskoka-Con in Bracebridge, the Barrie Comic-Con, and the Barrie Game Exchange. All of which I’ve done for at least 2+ years. More on the con scene in another blog. On to what I’ve been developing.
It’s all bling to me
This is a new game idea that I had just started developing this year. Only about 5 months ago did I start a poll on my Facebook and Instagram accounts to try and find out what people preferred – Candies or Gems. It was an interesting experiment and in the end I think the results were pretty accurate. Candies beat out gems as a preferred option. The idea for this game derived from a hunt for stock illustrations. I noticed that candy and gem designs were indistinguishable to the search engine and it’s interchangeable in some instances. I then decided to create a war between the two, leading to a pole and ultimately questioning peoples faith in what is better. The results weren’t as interesting as I had anticipated.
Boing boing boing
Shortly before I drafted this post I was working on a game for my son’s 7th birthday party. It originally was supposed to be a corn hole toss game. Along with a ladder golf game, these were to be built and played outside. Two days until the party I find out that is it going to rain on that Saturday so the party was to be held inside. I start working on a version of the corn hole toss for indoors but then felt the need to customize. Oh the creative mind – what a wonderfully complicated web it weaves. I decide to add more holes and starting to think on what objects can be used to toss onto the board. As I was looking around, it came as no surprise that, with the beer cups I’m using as the pockets under the board, I’m essentially replicating a version of beer pong. So a ping pong ball should work perfectly. Where would I get one at such short notice. It just so happens that I have a game called Cup Pong. Long story short you toss a ping pong ball in a variety of styles into a cup place in a variety of locations and score points. Yay! I have ping pong balls at my disposal. So the night before the party I finished this inverted beer pong / shuffleboard / corn hole toss game out of foamcore (foam board). As I’m designing it I figured why not add Christmas lights to light up the back of the cups and the rest is Pong Pong Shuffle history.
It’s 2020 and ADLi has its eyes set on a few conventions this year. I had started this post a good while before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I’m sure, aside from statisticians and scientists, no one thought it would leave China at the rate it did and infect the whole world. Being here in Canada, North American in general hurried to slowing the spread by social distancing and self isolation. Suffice to say all conventions across the country, or rather any group gatherings in general, have been X-nayed at a federal level. This has left the convention season stranded for the foreseeable future. Hopefully when things die down over the summer fall shows may creep their weary way back in society. After social distancing and isolation I know social gatherings will be in high demand.
In the hopper
I always have games in mind and something, somehow always triggers neat ideas or concepts for player interaction. The first thing I look at is ‘can this be played with an achievable goal’? And by that I mean, is it more than just a puzzle or roll ‘n move game. Not to say puzzles aren’t fun. At the end of the day almost all abstract games are a kind of puzzle – be it for one or multiple players, but I digress. With the unfortunate/fortunate abundance of time provided during this pandemic I’ve been slowly toiling away at concepts I’ve have floating around. Here’s just a short list of active ideas:
- Card-based (and board) tennis game
- Head-to-head close quarters combat tile game
- Dice and card based system for simulating racing games (different vehicle types)
- Custom solitaire RPG with inventory, power ups varying opposition/team ups
- Abstract concepts like a tile capture grid game
- Time traveling RPG zine for 2 or more players
- Real-time musical chairs with numbers board game
Game drafts, demo play and notes will be released here on ADLi as they develop beyond the written concept stage. Something to definitely look out for.
With all that’s going on I’ve also taking liberties to set aside time for my crafting passion. I love working with my hands which lends to my knack for creating prototypes. I also create accessories, jewellery, trinkets and other small collectible items. My sister and I are working on little blank for custom painted vinyl figures. We’ve been doing this for decades and it’s never really gone anywhere due to distance and time constraints. Now that she lives 10 minutes from me we have more time to collaborate on ideas and put together prototypes. Creating is fun and that is the true reason behind my passion. I don’t care to make a living out of creating games. I just want to share the fun I have with others, and have them share that fun with other. A pandemic of entertainment beyond the digital world is something the world requires again, and the winds of change are here. I’m just going to let it sweep me away and I hope you do too. Now, on to designing.