Work, follow-through, and quality execution, is everything. As I said in a panel discussion at last year's Penguicon, a board game designer who thinks their idea is the valuable part will tend to give up when it gets boring. If you talk about an NDA in front of a publisher, you signal to them that you won't see it through.

What I went there to sell was not "ideas". Ideas are the most fun part, but ideas are abundant and low value. Bafflingly, in a community where almost everyone knows better, the intellectual property protection fallacy arose multiple times during Q&A sessions in the panel discussions. Every panelist shut it down quick. Chant it with me now.

"Ideas are abundant and low value."
"Ideas are abundant and low value."
"Ideas are abundant and low value."

I have been attending Protospiel for almost a decade in the Ann Arbor area. It's less than a hundred designers in a ballroom. Most of them are seasoned enough that they know better than to talk about intellectual property. Then, three years ago, I attended my first Unpub in Baltimore. Every non-gamer I spoke to on that trip, upon finding out why I was there, immediately brought up non-disclosure agreements and intellectual property protection. This treats ideas as the important part.

Giving each expansion module its own double-sided rule sheet also dovetails perfectly with that packaging approach. Originally I was going to create two finished versions of the rulebook; one with no stretch goals, and another with all of them, in the hopes of doing as little repagination as possible at the end of the KS. No need. At this rate I might have time to draw completely separate additional illustrations of the same things on different components. I want to put in easter eggs.

I have also decided that never again will I create a "How To Play Your First Game" video in which the first thirty seconds of the five-minute video shows you which components are expansion content to return to the box. One hundred percent of non-base-game content will be in a second box for expansion modules. Dump out the base game box on the table, and just get started on your first game.

That way, when we find out how many stretch goals GaiaVora reaches, I don't need to repaginate a booklet. I can just omit some rule sheets from the product, which takes no time at all.

I'm laying out GaiaVora's base game instructions as a quad-fold sheet, instead of a stapled booklet. The box will be about 11.5" square, so each fold of the quad-fold format will be larger than letter-sized, leaving plenty of room. Then I will give each micro-expansion a 2-sided rule sheet, like in "Cities Of Splendor".

I have a plan for GaiaVora in which we will be done with all the deliverable PDF assets before the Kickstarter begins. That way, we can begin manufacturing, the moment the KS ends, if all goes as planned.

I purchased boardgamedesigners.com and gamedesigners.org. Where should I auto-redirect them?

Here's an episode of "Tech Geek Gamers" in which they play my game, Overworld!

youtu.be/lqC4y8suTrY

In this photo, on the left, Ron Swanson is looking over the copious feedback notes, which his favorite science fiction author provided for his board game design. On the right, Ron Swanson receives a specific day upon which to set up a phone call about it.

I have dramatically improved the rudimentary placeholder webpage for my upcoming boardgame "Gaia Vora".

The previous version served mostly to establish the search engine name rank for the domain name. Now that I'm done working on "Overworld" and "Incoming Transmission", it's time to give the next game the attention it deserves.

This one is something special, my friends.
gaiavora.com/

Back by popular demand from backers-- now with an optional companion app. If you backed the successful Early Bird campaign for this game, you do not need to do anything-- you will automatically get all the upgrades created by this Second Chance Kickstarter campaign. But you may pledge more to this campaign, in order to help hit all these additional stretch goals!
kickstarter.com/projects/magic

Every time I rate a game on Boardgamegeek a certain number of stars, it pops up a message saying what I think the game "is". Good, bad, mediocre. But each rating is a statement about me. Enjoying is something I do.

I'm interested in what a game "does" more than what it "is". It might do that very well, with no design flaws. I admire that, but it might not be what I am enjoying.

Boardgamegeek probably came to the realization that it needed to learn about the player. If you enjoy social deduction, but you don't enjoy it if you have to do division arithmetic, then the status of Stone Age as a popular masterpiece does not help you. The system needs to recommend Werewolf.

Boardgamegeek just re-launched its recommendation system. They deactivated it years ago because it just recommended the same games to everybody. Most people like things that they have heard about. And they heard about it through the recommendation system.

6 years, 14 re-writes, & 2 name changes later, the weather discs, bag, score tokens, & island tiles are gone from the game you see here. Publishers were only interested in the game equipment which I tacked on to add a nature theme. So I wrote a new, unrelated set of rules, from scratch.

Perhaps it could be said that 6 years of work resulted in GaiaVora, but I have only been working on GaiaVora for a year.

I thought my favorite author's series of novels was too dense and intricate to turn into a card game. It turns out I can express a lot with fifty-two cards in a tuckbox with a tiny instruction sheet.

If it's a cooperative game, finding out what the cards say is just part of exploring the story through gameplay. Therefore, it does not require spending a long time learning the rules. If the cards betray the players to serve the agendas of the cards, that's all part of the suspense.

I had a great conversation today with a guest of honor at ConFusion science fiction convention, about possibly licensing my favorite book series as a board game! It turns out she already had some ideas and preferences. :)

I added my interpretation of "Let's Get This Over With" to the They Might Be Giants wiki. The Under-Appreciated Caterer. Do you agree? tmbw.net/wiki/Interpretations:

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