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hi from Chris

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ferventworkshop
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Hi, everybody,

Thanks for setting up this forum. I'm very eager to learn and contribute.

My game design background started because Wisconsin summers are hot and muggy. My 4 siblings and I escaped the heat as young children by inventing and playing games in the basement. One game involved pretending to run our own businesses (mine was an ice cream shop): we corralled areas of the basement with chairs and blankets, then took turns receiving services and pretending to pay one another. It was like "Pretend Playhouse" with a fair bit of Monopoly thrown in. Another game involved laying out wooden blocks and toy vehicles to create fictitious cities, where we imagined ourselves travelling in the little cars as they drove around town.

At age 10 or so, my first board game--created with crayons and cuttings from an old cardboard box--was an uninspiring knock-off of Axis & Allies. Board game design took a hiatus throughout my high school and college, as I spent my time instead on programming arcade scrollers. And then, for 20 years, I created no games except in my head while I pursued a career as a software developer and as a professor of computer science.

During that period, I experienced the rise of Euro-style games as a player. My favorites typically involve engine-building. Games like Scythe and Waterdeep get under my skin (especially when players create shared engines benefiting each other). I can't stop thinking about the mechanisms and opportunities to innovate on them. In the past year, I began to create prototypes that friends and I play. I enjoy the process of testing and refinement of my games as much as I do when creating software. Moreover, as my own mind has increasingly focused on game design, I see in society a rising need for positive interactions among friends and families--precisely the kinds of joyful experiences that tabletop games can create.

In August 2020, this month, I left my job in academia to pursue a career of creating software, games, and software games. My focus will be on designing tabletop games for traditional/physical media as well as current and future tabletop simulators.

I have no reputation as a game designer. I have stayed low-profile on social media to help keep my personal and public lives separate as a professor. I have never sold a game. What I bring is games, a commitment to iterative innovation and improvement, 30 years of experience creating interactivity, and a passion to bring joy to players. There's a lot that I still have to learn, so I'm eager to participate in these forums.

-Chris

Jay103
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Welcome! Quote:In August

Welcome!

Quote:
In August 2020, this month, I left my job in academia to pursue a career of creating software, games, and software games

Eep!

I hope that was a scheduled retirement, and not an attempt at a second career, because it is super-hard to make any real money doing this, unless it's as an employee of a game company.

questccg
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Just another tool in my belt, so to speak!

Jay103 wrote:
...I hope that was a scheduled retirement, and not an attempt at a second career, because it is super-hard to make any real money doing this, unless it's as an employee of a game company.

I am also looking into Video Game Development... As something that I have done (or created) as one of my Games. I'm learning "Game Maker" (GM) and so far it has been "interesting" (to say the least). My family asked me to see if I could find a something more lucrative than "TableTop Game Design" because on two (2) projects and I have yet to see any income. I've actually blown a nest egg and dwindled down the last of my company finances... (Not to worry, the company was initially set-up to allow me to explore other creative projects... That was it's purpose. But obviously the goal is to keep pressing forwards - so to speak)!

As I said on Game #3 (Crystal Heroes), I am pretty much betting the farm on this venture... If it has even a slight acceptance into the market, I can recover some of my losses. Granted there are no guarantees in Game Design, only possibilities. And so we shall see!

My Video Game Concept (Syndicate.North) is on pause as I focus on more important tasks on other projects like finishing rulebook editing for TradeWorlds (TW). But after this task is DONE and we move to production, I will have more free time to re-focus on the Video Game Tutorials in GM and continue learning more about those possibilities.

Welcome to BGDF.com and I hope you enjoy your stay/visit! Feel free to get involved with the other threads or maybe address some of your own concerns (on some of your designs).

Juzek
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ferventworkshop wrote:I see

ferventworkshop wrote:
I see in society a rising need for positive interactions among friends and families--precisely the kinds of joyful experiences that tabletop games can create.

I so agree!

There is nothing like a structured and well designed experience that brings people together. Being a natural introvert, There is no better way to break the ice than interacting within a game.

Welcome! I am glad you are here.

Feel free to show off what you have and ask for and give advice. I love learning about new designs and ideas from other designers. What shape is your prototype and rule book in? This is a good place for feedback.

ferventworkshop
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Yes, it was totally by

Yes, it was totally by choice. Tenured professor-ing was getting a little uninteresting and disjoint from actually doing programming. So I'm doing software, games and software games. Writing software pays the bills.

ferventworkshop
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Thanks so much for being

Thanks so much for being welcoming!

I've got 2 games that have been played a few dozen times and gotten very nicely refined. Those rules are really solid. But I sent both of them to publishers and agreed not to share them with others until late September, which means I ought not to share it here right now. I am actually really happy to even get a chance for consideration by a publisher.

Then there's another game that I'm just starting, which I'd love to talk about (and the rules are still mushy). One question that I have is this: Can I use public domain art? Specifically, I'm looking at art from some artists who died over 70 years ago and lived in countries where the 70-year rule pertains. On paper, it seems like I can do anything that I want.

But is that actually true?

Does anybody here have experience or insight?

Thank you again for your kind welcomes!!!

evansmind244
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Huge Addition

Hello Chris, my name is Evan. I've designed my first game and self published it last year. I've gone through the entire process from initial idea to the manufacture and trademark of my game. I'm the type of person who plays Monopoly, Yahtzee, Sequence, Scrabble etc.... I had never played a euro game, Deck builder, TCG, RPG in my life, and now I'm only just familiar with these games because I've been on this forum for several years now. I'm into innovative idea's, entrepreneurship, business, and investment. I hope to someday build my LLC into a Board game publisher....but that is still in its very infancy and deeply disrupted by the COVID pandemic.

Anyway, your skill set is a huge addition to the BGDF. This forum has given me priceless help and insights into my own game design. Hopefully you keep an eye on the forum and use your skills and creativity to help the many people who come here looking to solve problems from time to time. BGDF has got about a dozen heads that chime in daily that have massive combined wisdom. I wonder when the BGDF will turn in to an actual game publisher???

Already it sounds like you have some experience communicating with publishers which is knowledge everyone here can benefit from. I'm sure the forum would love to hear about how you went about finding publishers, and how you approached them??? Perhaps you could start a tread there with any insights you may have. Anyway welcome and nice to meet you.

ferventworkshop
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Hi, evansmind244, Thanks for

Hi, evansmind244,

Thanks for your welcome. I'm happy to meet you.

My skills at communicating with publishers are quite limited. I had to email so many before anybody agreed to try a prototype (which, as far as I can tell, they still haven't actually done). But anyway, all I did was thought about what other games are kind of like mine in theme and mechanisms, and then tried to find publishers who had compatible attitudes toward mechanisms but hadn't yet published anything vaguely similar in terms of the combination of theme and mechanisms. Maybe I've just been lucky so far!

What is the game that you mentioned? Did you do the art yourself?

-Chris

evansmind244
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Holiday Fever A Family Tradition

Chris, my game is called Holiday Fever A Family Tradition. I didn't do the art myself. I hired Thomas Hilley https://thomashilley.com/
He did an amazing job, and was very fairly priced. I found him while scouring the internet for Artist on the many different websites out there. My first pick was this amazing artist called Kathryn Rathke but she was $1000 per illustration.

ferventworkshop
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Joined: 07/22/2020
nice art!

Thomas does nice work! And your game looks very friendly and fun :> https://www.holidayfevergame.com/

AdamRobinGames-ARG
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Joined: 02/11/2015
Hey Chris

Welcome. Hope you are finding this site to be a great resource. I am still young in the design process (four prototypes that need a lot of play testing and 1 PnP you can download here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1KvS_rVrqUTHhYk4Ewt2eoXOp531bIaIg...). But I am happy to provide input on any of your projects.

Thanks,
Adam

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