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The inventor of Phase 10, Ken Johnson, gives advice to young inventors

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The Game Crafter
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Ken Johnson - Inventor of Phase 10 - Gives advice to young inventors and game designers

Ken Johnson, inventor of Phase 10, provides advice to young inventors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9TATVWnpNU. This video was created to support young inventors everywhere and inspire them to enter the Young Inventor Challenge at https://www.chitag.com/yic.

Jay103
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Have you.. PLAYED Phase 10?

Have you.. PLAYED Phase 10?

let-off studios
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Excellent Mass-Market Card Game

Not gonna slag on Phase 10. But I certainly can't fault you for your own opinion, either. That said, I think the target audience for the video is also mostly accustomed to mass-market games, which are a different animal than those found in the hobby market.

I play Phase 10 with my mother and other relatives during holiday get-togethers, and we all enjoy it. I think it's a great gateway game, and a fair step up from Uno. I personally think the dice version was a mis-step, and is a completely different game altogether. In that short video, Johnson mentioned a few other versions of the game that might be worth a look for something a bit deeper or more interesting, as well as his first published design, based on baseball.

Jay103
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I guess I'd say that breaking

I guess I'd say that breaking into mass-market game design like that is similar to moving to LA in hopes of becoming a movie star. Sure, it can happen, but it almost certainly won't, and if it does, it's largely luck no matter what your talent level is.

The main thing I don't like about Phase 10 is that it's very close to just being a rule sheet and a deck of regular cards. And of course, that the game takes an extremely long time to play and is something like 98% luck as far as I can remember. And it really didn't add much to the stable of rummy games (that you play with an ordinary deck) other than game length.

let-off studios
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"Chances Are..."

Well, the odds of anyone striking it rich at any undertaking that's as glutted as movie entertainment, music, or now the game design industry, are low. If you need to pay the bills reliably I agree that one should steer clear. The odds are against you unless you are particularly driven and able to endure until luck shakes you into the elite.

As for your other paragraph, well:

  • The game is just a deck of cards? Awesome! I don't have to keep track of a zillion different pieces and annoying, tiny cubes.
  • A single rule sheet? That's great! It won't take an hour to learn how to play the game, and we won't be agonizing over rules and edge cases and other things that push us out of the game.
  • If it's just a card game, and it's gonna take a while, then great! I have a nice excuse to hang out with my friends and family for an hour or two.
  • Lots of luck? That's great! That way, if I lose I can blame it all on luck, and we all just focus on having a good time.
  • Not much beyond a rummy game? That's great! My Mum isn't looking to burn her brain on much more than a few numbers and colour combinations. We all know how to "draw one, play one" so it should be a painless process.

I stress I'm not trying to debate your opinion. The point I'm trying to make is that familiarity packaged in a deck of cards for less than like $15 at Target is a legit way to have a great time hanging out with family and friends.

In the video, Ken Johnson mentioned nothing about innovation, cutting-edge, immersion, or other industry jargon. But he did mention fun. And in that - for the average joe who knows nothing about "worker placement" or "card drafting" or even "tapping Lands" - I think it's safe to say Phase 10 has been succeeding for over 30 years.

But I am also a fan of Backgammon so what the hell do I know. ;)

Jay103
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let-off studios wrote: The

let-off studios wrote:

  • The game is just a deck of cards? Awesome! I don't have to keep track of a zillion different pieces and annoying, tiny cubes.

Just a *regular* deck of cards.

I have a dozen games here that are just cards. But none that could instead be played with a Bicycle deck. Which I also have.

Quote:
  • A single rule sheet? That's great! It won't take an hour to learn how to play the game, and we won't be agonizing over rules and edge cases and other things that push us out of the game.
  • My objection there is that the game can essentially be played with a small webpage lookup and a deck of Bicycle cards. That's perfectly fine for a game, but not something worth too much extra money to me.

    Quote:
  • If it's just a card game, and it's gonna take a while, then great! I have a nice excuse to hang out with my friends and family for an hour or two.

  • I'd probably rather play 4 30-minute games, or 8 15-minute games, rather than one that takes 2 hours to complete once. What if someone has to leave after 90 minutes?

    Quote:
  • Lots of luck? That's great! That way, if I lose I can blame it all on luck, and we all just focus on having a good time.
  • Not much beyond a rummy game? That's great! My Mum isn't looking to burn her brain on much more than a few numbers and colour combinations. We all know how to "draw one, play one" so it should be a painless process.

  • I guess this is just "there's no accounting for taste." I don't like games that don't have any strategy. I'll play Uno with my kid when she wants to (because she's my kid).. but I also play Mastermind with her, etc.

    Quote:
    I stress I'm not trying to debate your opinion. The point I'm trying to make is that familiarity packaged in a deck of cards for less than like $15 at Target is a legit way to have a great time hanging out with family and friends.

    I guess I've just found a lot of other ways to do that.

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