What I'm Bringing to BGG Con

BGG Con is only a few weeks away and I'm very excited to attend. I'm not a huge con attendee -- it's not quite my scene. I found the chaos of Gen Con frustrating and dissatisfying, but BGG is just a blast. Gone are the crowds and the insane rush. All the publishers you want to see are in attendance with plentiful copies of their Gen Con and Essen releases. You can go up and talk to these publishers, which is great if you're a designer like me and want to ogle heroes or, when courage rises to the top, pitch a game to them.

I love BGG.

I'm bringing a pile of prototypes to BGG and I wanted to write a little about each of them. While I don't expect to get much testing in at the convention, I want to share my wares for those so inclined.


Hocus: Hocus is incredibly ahead of schedule. In fact, we're just barely missing the ability to hand out copies at BGG by maybe a week or two at most, which is disappointing! Josh and I will each have a manufacturing copy of the game as well as a final set of the wooden tokens and first player token. Essentially, you can see the final game, hold it, shuffle its beautiful linen cards, and learn to play from either of us.


Cry Havoc: This is a VERY big deal for me. Cry Havoc is my design that was signed by my beloved Portal Games at the start of 2014. After years of development, it is finally nearing its release in 2016. A beta version of the game will be at BGG at the Portal Booth. Come by to see it and learn to play from me. I'm SO excited.

If you're curious, Ignacy recently demoed the game in a vlog.

In short, it's a card driven game of combat for 2-4 players that only takes about an hour to play. Somewhat like a classic RTS, players marshal their forces, build structures, and fight brutally and quickly to gain territory and points. I'm very proud of it and love the work Portal has done to make it so much better.

Sol Rising: This is a long time design of mine that I'd very much love to find a home for. I took and pitched the game to BGG last year, which is a process I detail extensively in this post here.


Sol Rising is a story based tactical combat game of space fleets for 2-4 players. It's all built around a persistent narrative campaign, full of unique missions, changing objectives, and semi-permanent results (within that campaign). I've put so much work into it and I'd love to find a home.


Project Gaia: This is the prototype I've been developing for the 54 Card Guild. It's still very early, but I'm optimistic in its promise and hope it turns into something. If you're curious about the game at all, I've written about it extensively in my coverage of the 54 Card Guild.


It's a game about building a pre-constructed deck of 9 cards. In that sense, it's meant to be like a CCG, without all the hassle. Furthermore, it's a game of spatial and tile based combat using the deck you've chosen. All of this is done with only 54 cards. I hope it's a very novel and dense idea packed into such a small footprint.

Captain's Log: I've shared almost nothing about this game. I have wanted to make a simple storytelling game for a very long time. I don't know why, it just interests me immensely. Games that inspire me in this space are Tales of the Arabian Nights, Baron Munchausen, Funemployed, Once Upon a Time, and a few others.

I was inspired one morning listening to This American Life. That podcast is one of the most inspirational pieces of radio I've ever heard. But, I heard something about a journal or something, then thought of Captain's Log, the famous beginning and end of every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I thought -- wouldn't it be a good storytelling premise to tell the stories of the ship?

Now, I've conducted a few local tests and worked to clean up the rules extensively. I had some...strange things originally that were simple, but difficult to grok. The game is cooperative, though every round one player acts as the bad guy creating the story and problem that must be solved. They are given guidance and a framework here. Then, the others using their role and cards need to figure out a way to solve it. That's the gist. It's not about winning or losing, but telling a good story and having some laughs within the framework. I'd love to give it a test or two at BGG.

I'm working on a few other things, but in between porting a bunch of old stories from the old Sol mechanisms to the new ones and polishing the cards for Gaia, I doubt they'll be ready to show.

What do you think? Anything of interest?


Most curious about Captain's Log. Will gladly playtest.

And can't wait to see and touch Hocus.

Yes. Touch you shall.