It’s the middle of August so you know what that means: It’s time for another ultra-sporadic Playing Gods blog! I suppose I could begin by apologizing for not doing more updates, but frankly I’ve been busy doing various things of somewhat more import. How much did you pay to read this blog? Alright then.
A few pieces of news from the world of Playing Gods:
First, I am pleased to report that Playing Gods will hopefully be available at this year’s upcoming Dragon*Con—where, as the faithful followers of this endeavour will remember, Playing Gods first made its world premiere! I don’t have a booth this year—the premiere damn near killed me last year, plus the only reason it didn’t was because I had two stalwart friends helping me out. This year I’ll be giving talks and doing panels, with little time for board game promotion. But I will post a few flyers around here and there, I hope that I will be forgiven if I lapse into a moment or two of board game promotion now and then in my talks. I’m not nearly as much of a self-promoter as I should be, but these games ain’t going to sell themselves—and I got investors who are expecting a check around the first of the year.
Second, I have a plan—a cunning plan, as the beloved Baldrick (of the Blackadder series) would say. I can’t say too much about it at the moment—it is a bit under wraps, but I’m working on a commercial for Playing Gods. I’m hoping to have it finished by the middle of October, and hopefully released to a belwildered public in time for the holiday season. When the time comes, I will ask a favor of all the Playing Gods friends and Facebook fans….The last holiday season turned out to be a good time for the game—though that was of course right before the economy took a dive.
Third, I am getting some interesting feedback from gamers out there. The vast majority of people who buy the game seem to like it—or at least they don’t tell me if they don’t. The only group who I have heard from that is unsatisfied with the game are hardcore Eurogamers—folks who live and breathe so-called “German Games,” strategy-heavy board game like Settlers of Catan. Some of those folks have told me (and I appreciate their honesty) that Playing Gods is a little too “light” for them. And it’s true; compared to many of the German games out there, PG doesn’t have the level of complexity or strategy. Of course, it was not necessarily designed for the Eurogamers anyway. When creating the rules, I had to decide whether I wanted to have a game that was easier to play (and therefore more acceptable to the public) but that might leave hardcore Eurogamers cold, or a game that was strategy-intensive, had a rulebook like a phone book, and that ordinary non-gamers might play. I opted for about a 70/30 split in favor of the former. As they say, you can’t please everybody.
However, I am trying an experiment. When I hear back from a person who wants a more complex version of Playing Gods, I ask them for suggestions and feedback. I’d be willing (and interested) in creating an alternate set of rules (maybe even publishing a second Rulebook) that would give the hardcore Eurogamers the hardcore Eurogaming Playing Gods experience they crave. In fact, at the upcoming Bubonicon Fantasy and Sci-Fi Convention here in Albuquerque at the end of the month, I will be hosting a special round-table panel, asking for ideas and feedback. I’ll let you know how it goes.