Where is Cork Board Games today?

So it’s been a few months since my last post. A lot has happened, and at the same time not much has happened. So let’s check where CBG stands today and what my plans are going forward.

The last few months

January came with the submission for the Cardboard Edison Award. I submitted Compact Carnival and didn’t get picked as a finalist. But I did talk to a couple of the judges who looked at my game and got some ideas from them for some minor improvements. However, the one thing that stood out to me is that it’s just another tile laying game. I need a better hook to make it unique. I did make a few minor changes to the game in preparation for the contest, but largely development on Compact Carnival stalled.

I also had given up on Astroventure. I was going to send it to a publisher late last year, but after playing it one more time just hated it. I quickly began working on a radical redesign but didn’t have time to get through any of the big ideas before the deadline so I just withdrew my plans. I’m stuck it on the back burner and kind of walked away. For a little while I even thought about just walking away from it in general.

I spent a few months not doing much, then grabbed a little notebook and started mapping out some ideas for an RPG system that’s inspired partially by National Treasure movies and partially by the show Leverage. Still in an early stage, but that was a good part of the end of February for me.

March came around and went without playing a single game. In fact it’s been almost two months since I’ve played any board games. I have played a lot of Switch games. The big reason is because my wife gave birth to our first child in March. Big adjustment for us which means we’re not back into the swing of things for playing games together. But it has given me a lot of time to think about game design. I haven’t done much yet, but I’m starting to get back into my ideas and think through where to go next.

Where to go next

The RPG is a long term plan, and probably one that I would like to find a co-designer with. I have little experience with RPGs, aside from knowing about a lot of them. I’ll need to do more research and play some other games before I formulate the idea of how to put this together mechanically. I’m leaning towards something in the Powered by the Apocalypse style, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten with the mechanics of the game.

Compact Carnival is going through a semi redesign. The feedback I got from the Cardboard Edison Award has me thinking of ways to distinguish it from the current tile laying game it is today. I’m thinking through some ideas to make it a bit more unique and branch it out from just a tile laying game. The trick is I like how quick it plays. I just want to make scoring more interesting, while also providing the opportunity to expand the game seamlessly with new rides in the future.

Astroventure is working its way back into my mind. I had an idea for a couple board layouts that will help to both organize and simplify some of the main game mechanics. It’s possibly going to leave the simultaneous action selection mechanic and switch from a game of short, simultaneous rounds to longer, methodical rounds. I think that will make for an interesting change to the game play and make it a better game.

Nothing new has been tested or even really designed yet. I’m just starting back into designing games. But I have ideas, and some rough sketches. Origins is coming up, and that’s my next play testing event. That makes my personal deadline end of May to have everything in a showable state. Two months to adapt one game and redo a second game from scratch. That’s the goal. Now to get to work. I plan to update the blog more often. Treat it like a journal as I try things and adapt the games. I don’t promise regular posts, but more often than 3-4 months. I’m also shuttering my Facebook page here soon, so feel free to follow me at @corkboardgames on Twitter.