Recap: Unpub Mini at The Games Keep in West Chester, PA.

I’m about to sit down and give you a recap of an event I didn’t attend. All my information is second hand. If you want a real first hand account of the event there will be a link at the end of the article for Jason Tagmire’s recap.From what I hear the event was a success with over 25 participants throughout the day, The Games Keep was kept pretty busy. All five games being presented saw multiple plays. I’ve heard from three of the 5 designers so far and their response is pretty positive that the event was helpful for them and the development of their game. Really, that’s all I need to know. Here are some thoughts from Karl Kemmerer, owner of The Games Keep: “I definately consider the event a success. I was really happy with the turn out for it too.” Tom Callahan, designer of Co-Op Tower Defense game & Unpub veteran, sent me an awesome email. Among my favorite comments is the following tidbit: ” The most recent Unpup at The Games Keep has been my most useful experience in developing my board game.  I finally got a group of players that were legitimately interested in figuring out the mechanics of the game, exploring every option, and ultimately appeared to enjoy themselves when they succeeded with the objectives.” This is why we do it folks. I’m really happy about this one! Tom goes on, in his completely unsolicited email: “I have gotten the best feedback so far, because these people were so engaged, and willing to share their feedback. …I got to meet some of the other Game Developers at this event too.  I talked to them, played a few games with them, and it became clear that they’re a different kind of person. They have a different energy to them, and I can’t really explain it.” We may hear a little more from Tom by the end of the week. I’m working on something new and he seems like a great candidate for it! A few more comments poured in from Greg Miller of Baked Fresh Daily Games. They’ve been out promoting their first game Mecha Mayhem! “We really had a great time showing off the game, meeting players and designers and getting some truly insightful feedback!” Okay… That’s about all the real knowledge I have. For the rest of the story I need to send you over to Fruitless Pursuits where Jason Tagmire (who was my event captain for this event and presented his game Pixel Lincoln) gives another one of his awesome flawless and very detailed recaps! He gets thorough and gives you...

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Twice the Mini Fun!

Photo by TC Petty III. It was a big weekend for the Unpub Network. We have 2 Unpub Minis throughout the area! We played a lot. We laughed a lot. We learned a lot! Saturday’s host was Six Feet Under Games in New Holland PA. We had new presenters at the event including Tom Callahan and the gang from Baked Fresh Daily Games. Both of them should be presenting again in West Chester, PA on May 19th. Tom’s Co-Op Tower Defense Game hit the game for the first time and the game (and this new designer) are already better for it! He’s approaching his product with renewed energy to take into account the feedback he received and develop a better game! Great job Tom! Designers Derrick Vidal and Greg Miller brought the upcoming release by Baked Fresh Daily Games Mecha Mayhem! From all reports the game was a hit. Lots of fun was had with the robots of the game! We’ll get you more information soon! Also presenting on Saturday was Stephen Craig. His Staples made a return to the Unpub scene after premiering at Unpub2.   He returned with a tighter and better game than he had before. His Unpub2 game left one player exclaiming “Get this game published!” So imagine how good the game is now! TC Petty III caved to pressure and actually found a title for his game, Rock Babies. Thematically unique and huge fun to play, this was the most talked about game of the event. Our first Long Distance Demo game was Titans of Industry, by Brian Lewis. Some players went home to immediately back the game on Kickstarter!  We were glad to have such a great game at our event. I’m sending back the prototype here in a few minutes. If you missed your chance to play, don’t worry about it. Get in on the campaign and kickstart yourself a copy! Finally, Darrell Louder was the only person on hand at both events. He presented Compounded to a great crowd Saturday, gaining valuable feedback. Then…drove home to Delaware from Pennsylvania made alterations to his game and  showed up at Our Game Tableto play some more. In Dover, on Sunday we also had Donald Sauter’s Scrabble II, a re-imagining of the classic game with longer more natural words. I’ve been a fan of his version of Scrabble, thought I’m still not good at it. I’m glad I had a chance to play it yesterday. I also finally had a chance to play Pond Farr by Jesse Catron. His salmon spawning race game uses modular boards and deck building to create a fast moving...

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Unpub Mini Hits A Home Run!

Our Unpub Mini held at Redcap’s Corner in Philadelphia on Saturday was a big success. Our first official Unpub Mini drew about 30 particpants over the 7 hours of the event. Each of the six official entrants in the event received at least 3 plays and we even slid a special seventh game into the program that saw some action too! The event started out with games of Assault on Khyber Station and Diamond Ninja seeing early plays. Shortly after that a game of Traitor Tavern broke out followed in short order by a round of Sandwich city. I tried to sit in to the first game of Municipality, but before the end of my second turn I was off presenting my own game Flummox. Players bounced from table to table most often playing several games while they were there. Plenty of boisterous laughter and the random table slap filled the air! It was so much fun for everyone involved…and there was feedback.  The forms were flying after every game. People were talking to the designers and giving great notes. So, not only was the event fun, but it was rewarding for all the participants. We’ve already started a preliminary discussion on when we might be back up to Redcap’s Corner. I’ll call that a success. Of course, before we return there we’ve plenty of other Unpub Minis in the works! Come out and play with us on April 21 at Six Feet Under Games in New Holland, PA! Come join us for games on April 22 at Our Game Table in Dover, Delaware! May 19 we’ll be in West Chester, PA at The Games Keep! Washington DC is the destination for our fifth Unpub Mini at Labyrinth Game Shop on May 27! Our last currently scheduled Unpub Mini is in Jenkintown, PA at 7th Dimension Games on Saturday June 23! Join us for any or all of these upcoming events and watch out for announcements as we add new Unpub Minis! In the meantime, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are 49 photos from this Saturday’s event! I cannot give enough thanks to the other designers Jay Treat, JasonTagmire, Michael R. Keller, Brandon Kavitsky, Alex Strang, George Tagmire, and Dan Cassar. Their creations were the show! That’s why people came out…that’s what people came out to see! I can’t neglect Redcap’s Corner. They have a great little shop with plenty of space. They were generous with resources and took a chance on something new. It was really a great day. On a personal note, I want to thank my girlfriend, Katherine. She picked up a lot...

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Media Reaction to Unpub 2!

The following links will take you to blogs, articles, videos and podcasts about Unpub2, Cartrunk Entertainment’s flagship event!   Dicehateme.com’s State of Games Podcast! Clever Mojo Games write-up of Unpub2! Matt Morgan’s MTV Geek write-up! Games and Grub posted an article on Unpub written by attendee and game designer Jason Tagmire! Fruitless Pursuits posts the same recap as Games and Grub, but on their website.  Patrick Thunstrom’s Unpub2 Report! Alex Strang’s Facebook Photo Album! Photo Gallery! (includes photos from Darrell Louder, Jason Tagmire, and John Moller.)  The Unpub2 Program Book Cartrunk’s Epic Unpub 2 Wrap-Up Part 1 Cartrunk’s Epic Unpub 2 Wrap-Up Part 2 Cartrunk’s Epic Unpub 2 Wrap-Up Part 3 Cartrunk’s Epic Unpub 2 Wrap-Up Part 4 Cartrunk’s Epic Unpub 2 Wrap-Up Part 5 Cartrunk’s Epic Unpub 2 Wrap-Up Part 6  Youtube Video of a game of Wartime between John Moller and Jason Tagmire Youtube Video compilation of several unpub2 games being...

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Unpub Preview: Bar Hop In

Unpub Previews give designers a chance to talk in a little more depth about the development of their games in the Unpub Network. Bar Hop In, designed by Val Lang, is a strategy game where players will see a Bar and Hop In for a chance to win a beer challenge against other players! They’ll also get to sing karaoke, play quarters, and even explore some classic landmarks as the build their path around the board in pursuit of a perfect beer flight. Let’s learn more about the creation and development of Bar Hop In with designer Val Lang. What was your inspiration for Bar Hop In? The Bar Hop In game was inspired in our adventures around local bars in New York City and of course, our love for a good beer. Cheers!  What is your favorite part of Bar Hop In?  My favorite part of the game is the high level of group interaction. Players feel like if they were playing with each other opposed to against each other, without losing the competition and strategy factors. To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Bar Hop In? Speaking of the game concept alone, most people enjoy the “Game On” activities which are in place to promote group interaction and the Bouncer Token which gives the player the ability to block paths or move other player’s tokens forcing them to adjust their game strategy throughout the game. Now, from the game to real life, the most interesting about the Bar Hop In game is the fact that once published, it will serve as an insider’s guide to a mix of 22 local bars, pubs, taverns and lounges in New York City. The Bar Hopping In Town Project has as one of its main goal to ensure a positive experience for the travelers and locals respecting the cultural values of the city and its residents. What has been the most challenging part of designing Bar Hop In? Considering its first layout started as a “monopoly” version, our biggest challenge was to establish our own identity which we have conquered by: – modifying the board layout to allow different moving directions giving the players more flexibility to build their path around the board; – simplifying the rules to better cater to our target population which includes international travelers (non-English speakers); – adding playing pieces that can be played by all players such as the Bouncer Token and the Beer Paddles; – selecting group interacting games that are fun and easy to play. What advice would you give to players attempting Bar Hop In for the first time? The rules are very straight forward, once you...

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