Building Better Board games Together

How to host an Unpub Mini Event
Apr17

How to host an Unpub Mini Event

So you want to participate in Unpub, but there’s not an Unpub event near you? Not a problem. just hold your own Unpub Mini. It’s probably less complicated than the last boardgame you played, although that won’t stop me from going into way too much detail anyway. First and most importantly, you need to love board games. Sure, having people, a place, and a time are all important, but loving boardgames is the most important. If you aren’t enthusiastic about holding an event, no one else will be either. I assume, if you are still reading, you are enthusiastic enough to go through with it, so lets get down to the details, because despite what the Beatles say, love isn’t all you need to hold a great Unpub Mini event. The first step is to find some people. If you gather with friends to play games, that’s a good place to start. In more populated areas, it might be easy to find local gaming groups by going online, or going into your local game store and asking around. Also try church social groups, local libraries, boy and girl scout troops, and local schools and colleges. Find people interested in playing unpublished games. (if you need reasons to convince them, just look at What Unpub Can Do for You.) Once you have found enough people who might be interested, you can start to plan the actual event. The second step is to find tables, by which I mean find a place to hold the event. An Unpub Mini event usually takes up 5-8 tables, and typically has an attendance between 10 and 40 people, so keep that in mind when scouting locations. Keep in mind that any location might have regular weekly events that will take up some room. If you have a local game store, start there, and see if the owner is willing to host an event. It can be a great way for an owner to generate additional traffic into the store, and increase a customer base. (Sometimes, the owner will even do all the work of planning it, and all you have to do is show up and host) A game store is, of course, the ideal situation because then you have built-in marketing and a pool of interested people. If you can’t find a store willing to host, think about other public places you can meet. Restaurants or bars might be willing to set aside an unbooked “event room” if they think they will bring in extra revenue from people eating and drinking. Church halls, schools, colleges, and places like fire halls and VFW posts...

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Unpub Downloaded
Apr14

Unpub Downloaded

On the LONG and uneventful drive from PAX East 2014 (in Boston, MA) Darrell & Mike had an idea to record a ‘stream of thought podcast’ to help pass the time. This is the product of that idea. They are still driving (currently passing mile post 69.2 on the NJ TurnPike). Hopefully they’ll be home before you give this a listen. Sit back and enjoy Darrell & Mike discuss the drive, PAX East, Designers, Games, Publishers, and tired rambling. http://unpub.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Unpub_download_one.mp3 [right click this to download] NOTE: This is a stream of conscience and done on the road, with minimal editing. So there may be some NSFW content… keep the kiddies away just in case. Points of discussion: Happy Mitten Podcast State of Games EZ Pass Unpub Designers attending PAX East: Derrick Vidal Eric J Handler Anthony Amato David Wilkinson Mackenzie Cameron Zachary Hoekstra Eli Kosminsky Michael Batista Jeremy Burnham Joe Stanziano Mick Sullivan Matt Golec Meghan McG Carlos Coral Max Seidman (if your name was left off this list, please comment...

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UNPUB drops the UN!
Apr01

UNPUB drops the UN!

Unpub is incredibly pleased to announce that a new direction is being headed, and we have new navigators to help us stay on course. Unpub has been acquired by Parker Brothers, of board game fame. With this acquisition, Unpub will be dropping the UN from our name to simply be known as PUB. The PUB name helps bring about a new era in board game awareness, and that is the often ignored published game. Sure, many people are aware of the tireless work, time, money, sweat, and tears it takes to design, develop, play test, redo, play test more, and shop a prototype; hell, everyone and their Mother knows and talks about it. Now it’s time to bring a spotlight to the unsung heroes, the heroes that make it onto the shelves at Toys R’ Us, Target, Wal-Mart, and so forth. The games that go untested and are just vomitted onto shelves and to family game nights. Games that are classics, such as Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, Clue, and many many other brilliant games by the marvelous Parker Brothers that are just too forgettable to name. So it’s with great pleasure that PUB will continue to press forward, and showcase these awe-inspiring works of grand gaming. So go pick up your 8th copy of Monopoly and play knowing that you are bringing attention to a great cause, and a great group of board room executives. Long live the...

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Thoughts on a First Unpub
Feb25

Thoughts on a First Unpub

A guest post by Duane Kolar, designer of Wu Xing Landscaping We’ve all been there. You sat down at a game that sounded cool, but you’re two minutes in and already you know this is not your cup of tea.  The designer is unclear, disorganized, or the game is super fiddly.  And now you’re stuck in a game you don’t want to play for an interval far longer than anyone previously suggested. You may feel defeated, resentful, or just angry.  But you know what’s worse? Being that designer that is torturing his/her previously willing participants. Over and over again. Saturday afternoon I became that guy. I have friends who have designed successful games and I’m a creative guy. Why not me, right? Sure, I’m no engineer or coder, but I possess a mathematical/spatial mind and a will to use it (occasionally). I enjoy looking for new systems and new ways to use old ones. This is so much fun that I did what many first time designers do (or so I’m told). I jammed a bunch of mechanics into a game to make it interesting, destroying my original concept.  Then I inflicted this doomed creation on unwitting strangers. I will say this for the play testers I corralled yesterday–they are a supportive, giving lot, to a man (or woman).  Most of them even finished my game and wrote some very complementary feedback forms.  Players graciously shared what they liked and their ideas on fixing the hot mess that was my game. Designers gave gentle, insightful, and plentiful suggestions for how to streamline my monstrosity. My brief foray into game design has been hugely educational. I went to sleep last night thinking I’d take a break from designing for a while, but I awoke at 2:45am with a bunch of ideas and a desire to try them out.  The lessons I learned yesterday were still buzzing around my head: 1. I learned two things from 7th Dimension Games owner, Glen. First, I learned how to shuffle my cards in sleeves without destroying said sleeves. Thanks Glen for overlooking the fact that the more sleeves I destroy, the more money you make! Second, I learned that you NEVER block the merchandise. Won’t happen again, Glen! 2. Less is more.  I found a mechanic and theme that I loved together, but when I encountered glitches, I added more and more rules and options to make up for what I saw as shortcomings of my original idea.  This morning I’ve been limiting options that don’t work to focus the game and give it a fighting chance at elegance. It feels good so far,...

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Unpub Live Play Event!
Feb22

Unpub Live Play Event!

Tune in on February 21st at 9:05pm (EST) as Unpub hosts a Live Play event of Lagoon: Land of Druids, with live Q&A (via chat) with game designer and publisher David Chott! Players are: Mike Mullins Lesley Louder John Moller Hosted by: Darrell Louder Click here for the Unpub Live Play web...

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Photos from the Unpub Mini at 7th Dimension Games, February 2014
Feb18

Photos from the Unpub Mini at 7th Dimension Games, February 2014

This past Saturday, 7 designers showed off games at the Unpub Mini held at 7th Dimension Games in Jenkintown, PA. The snow seemed to keep attendance down a little, but there were still about 25 attendees, who filled out between 40 to 50 feedback forms! This was encouraged by 7th Dimension owner Glen’s generous donation of a box of games and raffle tickets. 6 games were given away to people who submitted forms electronically and in person. Jason Kotarski volunteered to send out games to people randomly selected from all of the submitted online feedback forms, but a small glitch in the system stopped the names and email addresses from being recorded. Sorry about that! Everything appears to be fixed now and should be in working order for the next Event. As a first time host, (really more of a doorman than a Maitre D’), I had a blast. I could have been better prepared, but I actually found time to play some games. And with one under my belt, I can write a more detailed guide to running your own event. My wife, Anna, proved to be an even more capable host, and served as both raffle ticket taker/feedback collector and photographer. So with that out of the way, on to the pictures! Take my Word for It Wu Xing Landscaping Wu Xing Landscaping Meddling Mine Meddling Mine (Obligatory Pointing Picture) Jack and the Giant Jack and the Giant Crashtastic So Monsters...

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