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I've been a member for 5 years and 47 weeks...

1 reply [Last post]
Dixon Court
Joined: 12/29/2010

and I did post a question once, about 5 years and 47 weeks ago (then again in response a month later). I think it's fairly safe to treat that as being a new member!

A little biography...
I got halfway through a BSc in Maths and Physics before leaving to work in the Finance industry, which I did for about 6 years. That was 6 years too many, so at the end of 2011 I quit my job in Sydney, my wife and I moved back to Palmerston North (in New Zealand), and I returned to study at Massey University. I finished my BSc in Maths and Physics (with a minor in Stats), also did a BA in Philosophy (on the side), then did Honours in Physics, and am currently a year into a PhD in physics. I also teach undergrad physics labs/classes here while studying.
I have always been creative, and creating board games is only one of my outlets - my current projects also include programming mobile apps, writing screenplays (I signed a Right-to-Shop agreement for one a few years back, but it didn't go any further), making short films, and paper craft (with a focus on origamic architecture - or 'pop-up cards'). I've also dabbled in wood work, metal work, model trains, and a whole heap of other things.
With so many various things I want to do - and far too many projects on the go at once - I never really seem to get much done. Because of that, I set myself the goal of publishing a mobile app, so I chose the 'simplest' game idea I had, and managed to publish that within the last year.

A few of my board game ideas:
My main focus in terms of board game creation at the moment is tentatively called 'The Best Zoo in Town'. It's a worker placement game in which 2 to 4 players try to create the best zoo (measured in terms of monthly income). I won't go into all the details here (I can do that at another time on another post, perhaps) but, essentially, you can try to catch animals, build fences and shelters around/in the enclosures, feed/care for the animals, buy more land, buy animals from the black market, train new workers, and a couple of other things. So far I've played maybe a dozen games with friends and family trying to balance things. Hoping to get everything ready during 2017 to be able to share a prototype and get some more widespread play testing going!
I'm also working on the second prototype for a mini-golf card game. Essentially, it's a deck building game; large cards (with a grid on them) are played onto the table to create the hole, including several obstacles/features, then players use their deck to move their 'ball' around the course. There are coins to collect on some tiles, and finishing before your opponents generates more coins. You can then use these coins to buy more playing cards at the end of the hole. The basic cards that players start with are simple shots - e.g. 5 squares straight (in any direction), 3 across and 3 ahead (diagonal), etc. but there are 'trick shots' available as players gain more coins to spend. It seems to have promise at the moment, but as I said, only working on the second prototype.
I'm also in the relatively early design stages of quite a few other games, including one based on time travel (which will be an insanely big project to flesh out), and a game with similar mechanics to Elder Signs but playable by younger kids, with goals like building a robot, a car, etc. (although hopefully still engaging for adults!)
Finally, I'll mention that my one post almost six years ago was about a game called Hindrance - a hexagonal-tile based maze creation game. This is still technically a work in progress; I have a (seemingly) balanced, playable game, and my family still like to play it quite a bit, but it would be very difficult to manufacture (read: expensive, due to the components I'd like to have in it, and it's themeless - so not one I was interested in kickstarting. But if I ever get to a point through any of my ventures where I have some contacts and/or capital, I may kickstarter it or find someone keen on producing it.

Anyway, I've decided to try and create a consistent online presence relating to my main projects, including board game design, screenwriting, and creating apps. I'm already a member on BGG, though I don't post over there, and keep an eye on reddit. If anyone has any other forums/sites you'd recommend I check out relating to board gaming (and design thereof), please let me know!

Simon (aka Dixon Court)

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Welcome back

Hello - wow it has been a few years, and you seem to have taken your life pretty far without BGDF, so I hope you don't feel to badly about being away.

Maybe you should post up about Hindrance again? A few abstracts have done well on kickstarter (James Ernst's latest, for instance, even though it was an abstract out of a book series...), and perhaps writing about the process here will encourage you to focus on one.

Also, it's great to see some more people in NZ on BGDF!

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