Mystic Realm – New Kickstarter Project

I was cruising through Kickstarter’s “Recently Launched” section when I ran across an interesting game.

The game is called Mystic Realm, and it is a combination of magic cards and a strategy game.  Here is the description in the creator’s words:

Wielding Destruction, Protection, Storm and Neptune Spells, while countering with Death, Life, Love, and Healing Potions. Enter a World where the Dream Catcher lives. Follow advice from The Lady of Fortune. Travel the Sands of Time to Collect Crystals and Orbs, all needed to complete your Final Quest.” 

The game looks cool, and we are going to buy a copy. I love the artwork and the idea behind it, I think it sounds like a great time! But what I found the most intriguing was his bio:

“Hi, My name is Dan Leighly, “aka” MontanaDan, I am retired, living in the State of Montana, with my beautiful wife Deb. I build Ventriloquist Figures part time, and run a Ventriloquist Blog. I love playing games, and over the years have I have come up with a lot of ideas, so I decided it was time to put some of them out there for others to share. I have created several other games available at The Game Crafter. I am also an Author of several books, an Artist, a Musician, a Metaphysician. I am the father of 3, a grandfather of 3, and I love to cook, because well, I love to eat. Check out montanadan.com sometime, to find out more about me. Dan”

He reminds me so much of, well, us! We aren’t retired, but we also live in a beautiful area and my husband has been building games his entire life.

As I was reading his bio, he linked to his site here. I found something I thought I would never see in my life – a VENTRILOQUIST BLOG! He doesn’t update it anymore, and I wonder if that was his decision, or the dummy’s? We will have to stay tuned to find out!

So, if you are looking for a cool game by an awesome guy, please check out his Kickstarter page and pledge your support.

If you don’t, make sure you check out the blog. Dolls, clowns and dummies have always terrified me, so I may be sleeping tonight with one eye open. Let’s hope they pass me by because I am supporting their cause!

CLICK HERE FOR KICKSTARTER PAGE

Nighty Night!

Image

Advertisements

Entrepreneurs are the Ultimate Gamers

Image

As game designers, mechanic lingo is part of our everyday communication with each other. Action points, movement, risk and reward, and loss avoidance. When my husband first mentioned the goal of a game was loss avoidance, I rolled my eyes and laughed.

“Isn’t playing to win the reason for all games?”

“Duh, no?? Don’t you remember Arkham Horror?”, he told me. “Loss avoidance victory conditions are one of many mechanics.”

Loss avoidance game strategy is a last man standing type of game. Chess, Checkers. War, Tag are all games where the winner is the last man is standing. It also uses some behavior economics in game play with a few universal human behaviors:

1. Hoarding syndrome -Losses have a greater impact on preference than gains. Players feel much more dissatisfaction losing points (or pieces, etc)  than satisfaction when they gain points.

2. Endowment effect – This is a behavior phenomenon that states people assign more value to something they own than to something identical they don’t own. For example, my dice set is much better than yours, even though they were bought at the same place on the same day.

3. Sunk Cost Fallacy – The idea that what you have already invested in something has future value and worth, when the truth is your decisions are based on the emotion investments you’ve made. The short story – the more you invest the less willing you are to abandon ship.

In the game world, there is no better example than Farmville to prove these theories correct. The status quo bias comes into play when you are unwilling to give up your current plot of land to start over, even though the joy is in the building. You want to minimally maintain the income your current farm brings in. The endowment effect can be seen by hanging onto your own special sheep rather than selling it at the market even though one of your “friends” will surely send you a new sheep as a gift. The sunk cost fallacy is why people log in, over and over, to make sure their current crops don’t die from neglect. People will check their farms multiple times per day rather than start over with fresh crops. If that is impossible, people will even invest real money to make their crops last longer so they can check in less often. Marketing brilliance capitalizing on human behaviors are shown in every aspect of Farmville.

Loss avoidance is studied in entrepreneurial behavior. Entrepreneurs are typically optimists, risk takers, and visionaries. New entrepreneurs are not driven from a fear of failure. In behavioral economics terms, the status quo they need to maintain is low, their endowment effect is nearly zero, and the sunk cost fallacy may actually be a positive bias rather than a negative one. In other terms, new entrepreneurs often have little to lose and much to gain.

In contrast, when examining the behavior of successful, well established companies, overcoming loss avoidance in the game is much more difficult. Though they have all they worked towards, such as market share, revenue, and recognition – they also have more to lose. They have to maintain a status quo, they have their endowments. Suddenly, the strategy of taking risks and the sunk cost fallacy can be paralyzing when decisions are made. Nobody want to risk their empire they have been building for ten years to risk it all for new ideas and approaches. Growth slows, and market share is lost to new ideas and more passionate entrepreneurs with nothing to risk.

Being in the new entrepreneur category ourselves,  we are fueled by passion and driven by dreams. The goals we have are the same as most entrepreneurs – get our product to the public, focus on our message, create a business and life around our own ideals. Right now we are playing the game for the goals mechanics, not the loss avoidance. In a sense, we are living Arkham Horror everyday.

Image

References:

1. On the Psychology of Loss Aversion: Possession, Valence, and Reversals of the Endowment Effect LYLE BRENNER YUVAL ROTTENSTREICH

2. Entrepreneurship and Loss-Aversion in a Winner-Take-All Society John Morgan University of California, Berkeley Dana Sisaky Erasmus University Rotterdam 

SANJAY SOOD

BALER BILGIN*

Valentine’s Day Delight

Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers, old and new, to celebrate all they have found in each other. Valentine’s Day is for chocolates, flowers, romance.. even for geeky gamers.

Our Valentine’s Day is going to be a date to remember, we are going to Genghis Con, a game convention in Denver. This will be our second year at the game convention in Denver, and I admit I am giddy with excitement. It will be held at the Red Lion hotel from February 14th to the 17th, we have booked our room and reserved our game slots!

Preregistration ends tomorrow, so please sign up and come play with us. It’s a wickedly fun time!

Here are a few pictures of last year that I borrowed from their site:

ImageImageImage

Now, if that doesn’t look like fun, I don’t know what does! I am thinking about putting my hair up Princess Leia style and bringing my cloak (that Corey made for me personally) for special effects. What do you think?

Image

(Gun picture added for my lovely friend, Kells)

Project Update:

We played our game, Goblin Pit Fight, at the game store with some new friends and had a great time with it. The game stores are the perfect place to meet like minded geeks and have a great time! We are working on the logistics and hammering out details of our next game – this game makes me giggle with every new development. I think game developing and creation is the most fun job in the world. Where else is your mission to create fun and have fun doing it?

We now have a newsletter that we will be sending out once a month. If you want to follow our work without the hassle of reading our blog several times a week, feel free to sign up here. We will only send you out monthly updates, and your email address will not be offered to any eyes other than our own.

In the meantime, I am getting all geared up for the convention. Who knows, maybe I will even post pics of our Valentine’s Day night in all of our nerdy glory!

A Brief History of Card Games

I grew up playing games. Playing chess, checkers, cribbage are some of my earliest memories, with our parent’s game night inlcuding 6 to 20 people hanging out, drinking beer and playing pinochle, cribbage, and trying to beat one of “the kids” in a game of chess.

Games have brought people together throughout the ages. The earliest record of card games can be found in 9th century China. It was then called the “Leaf Game” and played by royalty. By the 11th century, card games are found throughout Asia. Characters from popular novels were the faces and the cards each had four suits, very similar to today. The cards were printed onto domino tiles when they were widely used and looked very similar to Mahjong.

Image

Playing cards were introduced to Europe in the 14th century, with the first documentation being a ban on them in 1377. Believed to be brought through Egypt, they resembled both styles of cards found in India. They were round, intricately hand painted, and had four suits.

Image

In the middle ages, a new era of commerce and industry was changing society. Towns and markets were the center of activity and new ideas, and playing cards became a luxury for the wealthy with time on their hands.

“By the sixteenth century, popular sayings had entered into everyday language, as well as literature, poetry and popular ballads relating to card playing, including metaphors based on cards and card games (“devil’s picture book”), the moral character of gamblers (“cheats, swindlers, card-sharps”) and the divinatory, amorous, social, religious or political meaning of cards. At the same time they were a bond which united people together.” – History of Cards

Image

Cards remained part of society and culture ever since, and there has always been a stigma associated with being a card player. Outlaws, rebels, and bad boys were the real card players, and that stereotype still hangs around today, regardless of all the bridge clubs we have.

Image

Project Update:

This is a slow time for our project, Goblin Pit Fight. We haven’t lost hope for this game, despite it’s slow movement on Kickstarter and are working with other game manufacturers for alternative ways to produce our game. We are also working out the logistics for other games we have in the works, and will fill you in when we have a more concrete plan.

If you would like more comprehensive information about the history of card games, please check out THIS site, where we found one of our pictures and much of our information. See you next week, tonight is Poker Night!

Image

Game Night

This afternoon we will be hanging out at our local game store, Total Escape Games, playing Goblin Pit Fight and possibly play testing another game for a member of our Board Game Group on Facebook.

This has been a full week of gaming, last night we played Space Alert with our friends, pizza and beer. If you haven’t checked this one out yet – run, don’t walk, to you local game store and buy it. Who knew fighting aliens could be so much fun?

We are board game designers because we are board game lovers. Board games provide us fun nights with our friends in a personal, face to face kind of way. Video games are great escapes, board games are great times. Game nights bring friends, beer, laughter, food and a quality of relationship that you just can’t replicate with Xbox Live. Yesterday was the last night we had to spend with our dear friend, James, before he returns to Japan.

James has been a lifelong gaming friend of Corey’s, and a new friend to me.  James lives in Japan with his wife, Keiko, and new son Jamie. The last few weeks he has returned to the states for work and has spent most of his free time helping us with our project. He has play tested, offered feedback, helped with the design and visited game stores with us. He is also a project backer, even though he will receive a copy of the game either way. This level of support and friendship could not have been found without their mutual love of board games.

Image

Thanks so much for everything, James, and safe travels home!

Project Update:

As mentioned above, we will be playing Goblin Pit Fight tonight at our local game store. We love this store and cannot wait to feature it in our next post. If you are anywhere near the area, swing by. We would love to meet you, play a game, and generally hang out.

We ordered the t-shirts today and are excited to get them in the hands of our contest winners. We also can’t wait to get our own and proudly sport them at Genghis Con in Denver in a couple of weeks.

Thanks again to all of our friends and supporters, and make sure to swing by our Kickstarter page, the Goblin Pit Fight.

GOBLIN PIT FIGHT

We Love Our Local Game Stores

Magic The Gathering pre-release events were today, and there was quite a hubbub surrounding this event. People were out in droves, spending their Saturday at local game stores playing the game. How do I know this, you ask? Today we spent visiting local game stores to leave fliers and meet the game store management. There were pros and cons to hitting the streets on the same day as the release.

The pros:

1. There were hordes of gamers out and about.

2. There was excitement in the air as players’ favorite game was played around the many tables in the stores.

3. The managers and owners were present in nearly every store.

The cons:

1. There was so much activity we only had a few minutes with each store manager.

2. Parking was impossible to find!

Despite the flurry of activity in the stores, almost every manager and owner present took the time to visit with us. We were welcomed into their store, they expressed interest in our game and company, and were helpful and supportive in every way.

Local game stores offer so much more than selling games. They have tables for people to play games and visit. They have tournaments to play their customers’ favorite games. They provide a community – a place to meet other gamers, hang out and do what they love to do. They also support their community by posting community boards, they sponsor gaming events, and they have inside knowledge of what is happening in the gaming world. Visiting with a gentleman from one of the stores, we discovered a game developers group that we are going to visit to meet and support other like minded people.

Next time you are considering buying a game online to save a couple of bucks, remember your local game store. Keep our gaming community alive and well, and check out what they have to offer.

Project Update:

We are ordering our T-shirts for the contest and to wear at the game convention, Genghis Con, in a few weeks. Once the winners are selected, we will get sizes and send them off to print. Here is an example of what they will look like:

Image

Thank you for supporting our project, your local game stores, and Goblin rights everywhere. Once again, here is a link to our project, The Goblin Pit Fight.

GOBLIN PIT FIGHT

The Trouble with Goblins

The trouble with goblins is that they are such nasty little creatures, they are hard to drum up sympathy for.

The trouble with after hours geeks is this: We are, by and large, introverts. We had to take off our game developer hats and put on our marketing hats, which we wear much less often. These hats will fit much more comfortably every time we wear them.

We made huge changes to our campaign and game and posted them last night. We have been working around the clock with artists, our focus group, and getting the word out. With the new changes in the project, we are excited and ready to show it off with pride. Tonight, Corey and his local support team are out and about, hitting local game stores and playing the game. This is the most fun part of promotion, of course, the chance to play the game. There was a point last week where we were working so hard that we forgot to have fun, and really, isn’t that what games are for?

Lessons learned:

1. All work and no play is no way to promote fun.

2. Art takes time, don’t under estimate how long it takes.

3. We are fortunate people with the best support team anybody could ask for.

Project Update:

We have redone our artwork and worked closely with a focus group to achieve the our new masterpiece. Here is an example of the new art:

Image

We posted the contests that are running last night, click here if you missed it. We are pretty excited about the Goblins Awareness T-Shirts and had a ball making up..errr… researching goblins statistics!

We created a new promo video focusing on the injustice that goblins face. I know I posted it last night, but I have to post it again tonight. It cracks me up every time I watch it!

Thanks for following our adventure, this has been worlds of fun! Don’t forget to check out our project, The Goblin Pit Fight:

GOBLIN PIT FIGHT