In early 2012, I left Facebook game development to return to the paper game industry. My goal was to work exclusively on board, card and miniature games I would be passionate about. Since then, I have been busy doing nothing but that … and now it’s time to talk about cool stuff in progress:

Codename: Vanir

This is a completely revised edition of one of my older published games, one I’ve been interested in updating for years. The core redesign came together in less than a day, which led me to believe I was on to something. Now I’m working on the crunchy, crunchy details.

Status: In late development/early production

Update: David Preti has announced this game as BLOODRAGE, the viking game of pillaging and invasion (and loose spiritual successor to my card drafting board game Midgard). The core game has been complete for awhile, and the publisher is already half finished with the art assets and mins. Look for a release announcement later this year. 

Codename: Horizon

A brand new project for Fantasy Flight Games, I just started working on the rough conceptual document in late July. This game reminds me why I’ve been working with FFG for so many years; it’s innovative and daring. Scary, too. I love it.

Status: In development/playtesting

Update: I’ve been working on this almost non-stop for the last few months, and the fantastic FFG development team has applied some amazing polish and dev tweaks to smooth this baby out. The game is playable, and so much fun that FFG might be fast-tracking it for release this year! It’s already in external playtesting, and I’ve started to see some graphic design come together. 

Codename: ZOMG!

Another game and world from my own twisted imagination, ZOMG is to be announced by a major publisher in early spring. This “nostalgic power fantasy” is a very risky design, playing with a lot of my favorite gaming cliches growing up but delivering them in a cool new context, influenced by computer games I’ve enjoyed over the last decade. I think it will resonate with gamers both young and young at heart.

Status: Reboot/In early design

Update: After a 6 month stall in development, the publisher and I have decided to retool the game completely, in order to stick more closely to the original vision statement (from which we strayed). Freshly energized, I will be working on this for the next 3-5 months, and expect a big update around year’s end.

Codename: Tweedledum

The second co-design with Kevin Wilson, this game is for the same publisher as Tweedledee. It is also based on a comic (with an awesome story and art style that just screams movie potential), and the game will end up being an intense, psychological test of friendship for its players. Kevin and I have some nasty tricks up our sleeve for this one.

Update: I put this game away for a few months for scheduling reasons. Having just made a fresh new prototype, I expect playtesting to resume shortly.

Status: In design

Codename: Boo

A brand new game I’m working on with Cool Mini or Not and a dream team to be revealed later. This game is an epic doozy, unlike anything I’ve ever designed before, and won’t be ready for a long time.

Status: In design

Codename: Micro

This codename is a little on the nose, as it’s a tiny card game inspired by games like Love Letter and Coup. More exciting, though, is that it’s the first of two co-designs with the esteemed Antoine Bauza, someone I’ve been a fan of for a long time.

Status: Design complete/Showing to publishers

Update: This one is interesting. Antoine and I concentrated more on Project Gaslight (see below) and after a conversation with Bruno Faidutti last year, he stepped up as my co-designer on this game, which is really exciting. I consider Bruno to be one of the elder statesmen of gaming, and he just “gets” fun in a way that few others can. We completed the early design of this game in less than a week. After many playtests and only a few refinements, this game is already being shown to publishers. We expect to find one soon. 

Codename: Gaslight

My second co-design with Antoine Bauza, this is shaping up to be a medium weight strategy game with lots of special powers, combining our two primary skill sets in an exciting way. Players take the roles of nefarious masterminds terrorizing gaslight London with their doomsday devices: kidnapping scientists, stealing parts with their agents and destroying the city with their tests. Nice, family fun.

Status: In early design

Update: We had a playable prototype last Essen (in October), and it was fun but not special enough for either of us. We are reworking the game and taking our time. 

Codename: Wager

This game is based on an exciting pitch I gave a couple of years ago, but stalled in early design. I recently came back with a slightly different approach, and the design is coming together. I have not placed it with a publisher yet, but there are three interested candidates. Testing for this one will probably start in September.

Status: In very early design

Update: this game has stalled in design, and I will return to it at some point in the future. I still love the concept, just not the execution.

Codename: Dropbear

This is a cute-as-a-button little Euro style game I’ve wanted to do for awhile, inspired by a simple title I came up with while out on a walk one morning. The title stuck, and parts of the game practically wrote themselves. I’ve retooled this as a dexterity game with light strategic elements, and now it’s even more exciting.

Status: In very early design

Update: I finished the core game design, but am slightly stalled due to component limitations (I have to carefully design the player components and then 3D print them to get a real sense of how this game plays).


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