Jan 142009

As 2009 opens up, I’m pleased to report that around 1000 Playing Gods games have been sold. Not all have been paid for yet (a few slow accounts need prodding), but on the whole a very respectable number for, as one person put it, “a crappy, no-name company” like Balls Out.

Sales have dropped over the past few weeks, partly because the end of the holidays and partly because we’re in a capital R Recession, another Bush-era legacy. Still a long way from the break-even point, but I’ve gotta keep plugging away.

We’re working on revamping and simplifying the Web site to make it easier and clearer to see what’s what and to order. It had gotten a bit cluttered over the past few months, so trying to strip down a bit. I didn’t get much reaction, good or ill, to the short video clip I made of the Badass Buddha (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7umA3xfd-ZQ). It only cost a few hundred dollars, and while I never figured it was exactly “viral video” material, I was hoping it would bounce around a little more.

I’ve been getting a handful of people who were puzzled by some part of the rules, though honestly it’s a very small percentage. Writing the rules was a very difficult task, and an important part of the game. Everything else can look great, from the graphics to the pawns, but if no one understands the rules, you game is DOA. I’ve gotten about five or six people asking for rule clarifications, so about 2%. Below is a sample query I got today, followed by my answer:

Q: “I got a few friends together for Playing Gods several weeks ago and we really enjoyed it. I played the Flying Spaghetti Monster one of the times we played.
We had a question about the rules. I think our question was whether gods are REQUIRED to defend when attacked or whether they can give up without a fight (so as to save cards and such).”

A: The gods are not required to do anything!
If they want to let another god kill or convert his or her followers for
some strategic reason, they are certainly able to. On occasion I have let
other gods convert my followers, simply because I didn’t want to burn a
bunch of Conversion cards defending them!

I’ve been collecting the questions, and posting them in the FAQ section on the Web site. If I end up doing a second run, I’ll consult with other gamers and revise the rules for options and clarifications.

NEXT BLOG: Tips for indie board gamers on saving money!

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