Good Friends and Tasty Wings

Next Friday, I’m flying off to the Gathering of Friends, which is by far my favorite convention. I originally got my invite because Alan Moon was a fan of Descent 1st Edition, and I’ve been going every year I could manage since. It’s a small, intimate convention full of knowledgeable, hardcore board gamers. It’s also just down the road from a great little pizza & sandwich shop called Donatello’s that I basically eat at the entirely time I’m there. I can’t wait to have their buffalo wings in cowabunga sauce (yes, the shop is named after THAT Donatello) and one of their fried bologna sandwiches.

This year, I’m especially looking forward to the Gathering since it’s my first year there as a free agent. I can show off games I’m working on, get people to try them out, and get a couple months’ worth of playtesting done in about a week.This year, I’m going to be showing off at least 2 games, and maybe 3. Tweedledee and TopHat are definitely going to be there, and Rattler will be as well, provided I get the okay from the publisher. I can’t wait!

I’m going to be showing TopHat to several publishers and trying to find a buyer for it. One company is looking at it from the GAMA trade show, but it doesn’t pay to stop shopping a game around until you have a buyer. This design has gotten very good reactions from the folks who have played it, and this con will be an excellent opportunity to observe players playing it “in the wild”, without me teaching and running the game. I also will use the feedback from the Gathering to fine tune some numbers and file down a couple of rough spots. I have high hopes for this one, as it supports 2-8 players and plays in less than 45 minutes, but it needs the right publisher to really knock it out of the park.

Tweedledee is also looking really good these days. The publisher, Th3rd World Studios, showed it off on TableTop Day recently, so I can talk about it some. As I’ve mentioned, the game is a co-design between Eric Lang and I, and I can definitely say that it’s one of my favorite games I’ve helped to design. I keep pulling it out to play with people even though it doesn’t really need any more playtesting (having achieved total buttery smoothness already). Although the final name is not finalized, I can also reveal that the game is based on the Finding Gossamyr comic series. If you haven’t heard of it, I strongly recommend giving it a try. As there are only 4 issues out so far, it’s easy to catch up on the story.

As for Rattler, I got to show it to the publisher at the GAMA trade show, and I’m happy to say that they were extremely pleased with what they saw. I can’t say for sure yet if I’ll be showing it off at Gathering, but hopefully I’ll get the okay, as I’m curious to start seeing player responses to the game besides my usual crew. I think the game is pretty original and fun, but it needs a good chunk of polishing, and I’m eager to get it finished and off to production so that it can be in stores as soon as possible.

Anyway, as you can see, it’s been a busy month for me between tidying up the last of my GAMA follow-ups, figuring out how to do estimated taxes, and getting ready for Gathering, but I’m feeling optimistic that this April is going to be a great month for me.

Edit: By the way, for a free look at Finding Gossamyr, look here.

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